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Graphic novels and comic books, much like other forms of fiction and nonfiction, are an important area of creative expression, education, instruction, and entertainment, and they continue to have a significant impact on our (popular)culture. This influence is especially noticeable in the continued popularity of annual comic book and pop culture conventions, such as Comic Con International in San Diego and the local Grand Rapids Comic Con, and in the increased number of film and television adaptations of comic books and graphic novels that have appeared since the film release of Marvel Studios' Iron Man in 2008. Although tales of superheroes currently dominate the cinemas and television screens, the content of graphic novels and comic books reach far beyond these types of stories to cover such topics as historical events, biographies, memoirs, society and culture, politics, economics, family, relationships, religion, gender and sexuality, art and music, and college life.
Use this LibGuide to:
- Discover new and significant graphic novel/comic titles available at the Van Wylen Library
- Learn how to find other titles in the library or at other libraries
- Identify and obtain reference works and critical studies on graphic novels/comics
- Determine where to search for scholarly articles on the medium
- Follow links to other websites, including local/regional events, publishers, and comic book news and reviews
New Titles in the Library
The Comics Journal
Now published two times a year by Fantagraphics and available in the Current Periodicals section on the first floor of the Van Wylen Library: PN6700 .C673.
Be Gay, Do Comics by
Call Number: PN6726 .B33 2020
"The dream of a queer separatist town. The life of a gay, Jewish Nazi-fighter. A gender reveal party that tears reality apart. These are just some of the comics you'll find in this massive queer comics anthology from The Nib. [This book] is filled with dozens of comics about LGBTQIA + experiences, ranging from personal stories to queer history to cutting satire about pronoun panic and brands desperate to co-opt pride. Featuring more than 30 of today's top indie cartoonists." -- Back cover.
The Black Panther Party by
Call Number: E185.615 .W275 2021
"Founded in Oakland, California, in 1966, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was a radical political organization that stood in defiant contrast to the mainstream civil rights movement. This gripping illustrated history explores the impact and significance of the Panthers, from their social, educational, and healthcare programs that were designed to uplift the Black community to their battle against police brutality through citizen patrols and frequent clashes with the FBI, which targeted the Party from its outset. Using dramatic comic book-style retellings and illustrated profiles of key figures, The Black Panther Party captures the major events, people, and actions of the Party, as well as their cultural and political influence and enduring legacy."--Book jacket.
Bury the Lede by
Call Number: PN6727.D86 B87 2019
"Cub reporter Madison Jackson is young, scrappy, and hungry to prove that she deserves her coveted college internship at the premiere newspaper in town, The Boston Lede, where she fetches coffee for the night crew and dreams of her own byline. So when her police scanner mentions a brutal murder tied to a prominent Boston family, Madison races to the crime scene, looking for the scoop of the century. What she finds instead is the woman who'll change her life forever: Dahlia Kennedy, celebrity socialite, now widow, covered in gore and the prime suspect in the murder of her husband and child. When Dahlia refuses to talk to anyone but Madison, they begin a dangerous game of cat and mouse that leads the young journalist down a twisted path"--Provided by publisher.
Come Home, Indio by
Call Number: PN6727.T395 C65 2020
"A brutally honest but charming look at the pain of childhood and the alienation and anxiety of early adulthood. In his memoir, we are invited to walk through the life of the author, Jim Terry, as he struggles to find security and comfort in an often hostile environment. Between the Ho-Chunk community of his Native American family in Wisconsin and his schoolmates in the Chicago suburbs, he tries in vain to fit in and eventually turns to alcohol to provide an escape from increasing loneliness and alienation. Terry also shares with the reader in exquisite detail the process by which he finds hope and gets sober, as well as the powerful experience of finding something to believe in and to belong to at the Dakota Access Pipeline resistance at Standing Rock."--Amazon.
Everything Is an Emergency by
Call Number: RC533 .K37 2020
"Jason Adam Katzenstein is just trying to live his life, but he keeps getting sidetracked by his over-active, anxious brain. Mundane events like shaking hands or sharing a drink snowball into absolute catastrophes. Jason has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, a mental illness that compels him to perform rituals in order to protect himself from dangers that don't really exist. He checks, washes, over-thinks, rinse, repeat. He does his best to hide his embarrassing compulsions, and sometimes this even works. He grows up, worries about his first kiss, falls in love with making cartoons, moves to New York City -- which is magical and gross, etc. All the while, half his energy goes into living his life, while the other half is devoted to the increasingly ridiculous rituals he's decided to maintain to keep himself from fully short-circuiting, Then, he fully short-circuits. At his absolute lowest, Jason finally decides to do the things he's always been told to do to get better: exposure therapy and medication. These are the things that have always freaked him out, and they continue to freak him out. Also, they help him recover. Everything is an Emergency is a comic about all the self-destructive stories someone tells himself, over and over, until they start to seem true. In images surreal, witty, and confessional, Jason shows us that OCD can be funny, even when it feels like it's ruining your life." -- Publisher's description.
Call Number: DS135.H93 S43 2020
"Exodus is a powerful graphic novel telling the story of Ticka, a Jewish girl born in Hungary in the 1930s. On her fifth birthday Ticka was given a cat, which she named Pitsy. When the Nazis came and abducted her parents, Ticka and Pitsy hid in the wardrobe; the only reason Ticka wasn't discovered and taken away was that Pitsy leaped from the cupboard herself, distracting the Nazis and saving Ticka's life. Alone in war-ravaged Hungary without her parents, Ticka pretended to be a deaf-mute child and traveled across Europe by train, finally reaching the refugee ship Exodus in France, which took her and more than 4,000 other Holocaust survivors to Palestine. But even that wasn't the end of Ticka's story: Exodus was forcibly prevented by British warships from traveling to Palestine, and the refugees were taken back and interned in Germany. It was months before the refugees could re-board and try again. Ticka did not reach Israel until May of 1948. Through expressive drawings, sensitive dialogue, and diary-like texts, Esther Shakine tells her own personal story through the tale of little Ticka. Presenting the trauma of war, persecution, and homelessness from a child's point of view, Exodus also offers an inspiring account of civil courage, hope, and humanity"-- Amazon.com
The Flapper Queens by
Call Number: NC1426 .R63 2020
The world of comic strips always reflected the fashion of the time-- from R.F. Outcault's nightie-clad 'Yellow Kid' to Grace Drayton's 'Campbell Kids'. By the 1920s all the little roly-poly girls depicted in those early strips had grown up, bobbed their curls, and become flappers. Women got the vote in 1920, and suddenly they were equal to the boys-- at least in the voting booth. They smoked and drank bootleg hootch, they shortened their hair and skirts, and tossed out their corsets. It was a revolution, a time of excess and ebullience, and the flapper was the new queen-- and scores of women cartoonists chronicled her in the pages of America's newspapers. Fantagraphics celebrates that revolution with 'The Flapper Queens', a gorgeous oversized hardcover collection of full-color comic strips. In addition to featuring the more well-known cartoonists of the era, such as Ethel Hays and Nell Brinkley, Eisner-winning comics herstorian Robbins introduces you to women cartoonists like Eleanor Schorer, who started her career in the teens as a flowery art nouveau Nell Brinkley imitator, but by the '20s was drawing bold and outrageous art deco illustrations; Edith Stevens, who chronicled the fashion trends, hairstyles, and social manners of the '20s and '30s in the pages of The Boston Globe; and Virginia Huget, possibly the flappiest of the Flapper Queens, whose girls, with their angular elbows and knees, seemed to always exist in a euphoric state of Charleston. Trina Robbins welcomes you to the revolution with a coffee table book filled with liberating, full-color illustrations and comic strips.
The Golden Age by
Call Number: PN6747.M665 A3413 2020
"Legend tells of a Golden Age, 'when the valleys and mountains were not constrained by walls. When men would come and go as they pleased...' But those days are long gone. The kingdom has been stricken by famine and is plagued by the corruption of the lords of the court. When the old king dies, his daughter, Tilda, prepares to take the throne and succeed him. With the support of the wise Tankred and the loyal Bertil, her closest counselors and friends, she intends to carry out the reforms needed to relieve her people of their misery. But a plot led by her younger brother suddenly condemns her to exile. Guided by strange visions, Tilda decides to take back her kingdom with the help of her two companions. Thus begins a long journey in which their fate will become intertwined with 'The Golden Age'. More than just a legend, much more than an account of free men and their struggle, it's a lost book with power enough to change the world."--Provided by publisher.
Guantanamo Voices: An Anthology by
Call Number: HV6432 .G829 2020
In January 2002, the United States sent a group of Muslim men they suspected of terrorism to a prison in Guantanamo Bay. They were the first of roughly 780 prisoners who would be held there--and 40 inmates still remain. Eighteen years later, very few of them have been ever charged with a crime. In Guantanamo Voices, journalist Sarah Mirk and her team of diverse, talented graphic novel artists tell the stories of ten people whose lives have been shaped and affected by the prison, including former prisoners, lawyers, social workers, and service members. This collection of illustrated interviews explores the history of Guantanamo and the world post-9/11, presenting this complicated partisan issue through a new lens.
Call Number: PN6728.L236 O38 2019
"In an alternate world where aliens have integrated with society, pregnant Nigerian-American doctor Future Nwafor Chukwuebuka has just smuggled an illegal alien plant named Letme Live through LaGuardia International and Interstellar Airport ... and that's not the only thing she's hiding. She and Letme become part of a community of human and alien immigrants; but as their crusade for equality continues and the birth of her child nears, Future -- and her entire world -- begins to change."-- Provided by publisher.
The Library's Guide to Graphic Novels by
Call Number: Z692.G7 L53 2020
"This monograph provides an overview of the various aspects involved in selecting, acquiring and cataloging graphic novels and making them available to patrons"-- Provided by publisher.
The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist by
Call Number: PN6727.T64 Z46 2020
What happens when a childhood hobby grows into a lifelong career? The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist, Adrian Tomine's funniest and most revealing foray into autobiography, offers an array of unexpected answers. When a sudden medical incident lands Tomine in the emergency room, he begins to question if it was really all worthwhile: despite the accolades and opportunities of a seemingly charmed career, it's the gaffes, humiliations, slights, and insults he's experienced (or caused) within the industry that loom largest in his memory. Tomine illustrates the amusing absurdities of how we choose to spend our time, all the while mining his conflicted relationship with comics and comics culture. But in between chaotic book tours, disastrous interviews, and cringe-inducing interactions with other artists, life happens: he fumbles his way into marriage, parenthood, and an indisputably fulfilling existence. A richer emotional story emerges as his memories are delineated in excruciatingly hilarious detail. In a bold stylistic departure from his award-winning Killing and Dying, he distills his art to the loose, lively essentials of cartooning, each pen stroke economically imbued with human depth. Designed as a sketchbook complete with placeholder ribbon and an elastic band, The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist shows an acclaimed artist at the peak of his career."--Amazon.
Open Borders by
Call Number: JV6035 .C36 2019
"American policy-makers have long been locked in a heated battle over whether, how many, and what kind of immigrants to allow to live and work in the country. Those in favor of welcoming more immigrants often cite humanitarian reasons, while those in favor of more restrictive laws argue the need to protect native citizens. But economist Bryan Caplan adds a new, compelling perspective to the immigration debate: He argues that opening all borders could eliminate absolute poverty worldwide and usher in a booming worldwide economy--greatly benefiting humanity. With a clear and conversational tone, exhaustive research, and vibrant illustrations by Zach Weinersmith, Open Borders makes the case for unrestricted immigration easy to follow and hard to deny"--Provided by publisher.
Call Number: PN6747.D87 P37 2021
"Judith is barely out of her teens when a tumor begins pressing on her brain, ushering in a new world of seizures, memory gaps, and loss of self. Suddenly, the sentence of her normal life has been interrupted by the opening of a parenthesis that may never close. Based on the real experiences of cartoonist Élodie Durand, Parenthesis is a gripping testament of struggle, fragility, acceptance, and transformation which was deservedly awarded the Revelation Prize of the Angoulême International Comics Festival."--Amazon.
Paying the Land by
Call Number: E99.C59 S23 2020
"The Dene have lived in the vast Mackenzie River Valley since time immemorial, by their account. To the Dene, the land owns them, not the other way around, and it is central to their livelihood and very way of being. But the subarctic Canadian Northwest Territories are home to valuable resources, including oil, gas, and diamonds. With mining came jobs and investment, but also road-building, pipelines, and toxic waste, which scarred the landscape, and alcohol, drugs, and debt, which deformed a way of life. In Paying the Land, Joe Sacco travels the frozen North to reveal a people in conflict over the costs and benefits of development. The mining boom is only the latest assault on indigenous culture: Sacco recounts the shattering impact of a residential school system that aimed to "remove the Indian from the child"; the destructive process that drove the Dene from the bush into settlements and turned them into wage laborers; the government land claims stacked against the Dene Nation; and their uphill efforts to revive a wounded culture. Against a vast and gorgeous landscape that dwarfs all human scale, Paying the Land lends an ear to trappers and chiefs, activists and priests, to tell a sweeping story about money, dependency, loss, and culture--recounted in stunning visual detail by one of the greatest cartoonists alive"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: PN6747.S57 P87 2019
"After returning home from an unpopular war, Jun becomes an outsider in an indifferent world. Alone, desperate, and suffering from wounds both mental and physical, she seeks relief in the illicit drugs she manages to purchase or steal. Jun's tough exterior served her well in combat, but she'll need to nurture her vulnerability and humanity to survive at home. With the support of her fellow vets, the kindness of a stranger who refuses to turn away, and the companionship of a dog named Red, Jun learns to navigate the psychological trauma that she experienced in the war. Singelin's PTSD is an adult fiction graphic novel that grapples with the reality of being a war veteran about a traumatized war vet who must fend for herself against all odds"--Publisher website.
Call Number: PN6727.B78 P85 2021
"Max Winters, a pulp writer in 1930s New York, finds himself drawn into a story not unlike the tales he churns out at five cents a word--tales of a Wild West outlaw dispensing justice with a six-gun. But will Max be able to do the same when pursued by bank robbers, Nazi spies, and enemies from his past?"--Provided by publisher.
Save It for Later by
Call Number: PN6727.P73 S28 2021
"In this anthology of seven comics essays, author and graphic novelist Nate Powell addresses living in an era of what he calls 'necessary protest.' Save It for Later: Promises, Parenthood, and the Urgency of Protest is Powell's reflection on witnessing the collapse of discourse in real time while drawing the award-winning trilogy March, written by Congressman John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, this generation's preeminent historical account of nonviolent revolution in the civil rights movement. Powell highlights both the danger of normalized paramilitary presence symbols in consumer pop culture, and the roles we play individually as we interact with our communities, families, and society at large."--Provided by publisher.
Call Number: PN6727 .S46 2020
"Welcome to the U.S.S. Montgomery. When a separatist attack kills every adult on board a colony ship in deep space, it is up to VALARIE, the on-board A.I., to help the ship's children survive. But as they are pursued by dangerous forces, can VALARIE become more than what she was programmed to be--a savior to these children?"--Provided by publisher.
Slaughterhouse-Five: the Graphic Novel by
Call Number: PN6733.N67 S53 2020
"The first-ever graphic novel adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world's great anti-war books. An American classic and one of the world's seminal antiwar books, Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five is faithfully presented in graphic novel form for the first time from Eisner Award-winning writer Ryan North (How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler) and Eisner Award-nominated artist Albert Monteys (Universe!). Listen: Billy Pilgrim has...read Kilgore Trout... opened a successful optometry business... built a loving family... witnessed the firebombing of Dresden... traveled to the planet Tralfamadore... met Kurt Vonnegut... come unstuck in time. Billy Pilgrim's journey is at once a farcical look at the horror and tragedy of war where children are placed on the frontlines and die (so it goes), and a moving examination of what it means to be fallibly human."--Provided by publisher.
Something Is Killing the Children by
Call Number: PN6728.S56775 T96 2020
"When the children of Archer's Peak--a sleepy town in the heart of America--begin to go missing, everything seems hopeless. Most children never return, but the ones that do have terrible stories--impossible details of terrifying creatures that live in the shadows. Their only hope of finding and eliminating the threat is the arrival of a mysterious stranger, one who believes the children and claims to be the only one who sees what they can see. Her name is Erica Slaughter. She kills monsters. That is all she does, and she bears the cost because it must be done."--Provided by publisher.
Sovereign Traces by
Call Number: PN6720 .N68 2018
Volume 1 merges work of contemporary North American Indian literature with imaginative illustrations by U.S. and Canadian artists to provide a unique collection of reimagined fiction and poetry. Volume 2 provides a unique opportunity for audiences to hear from a myriad of American Indian and First Nations voices on the meaning of love. Here readers will find works of graphic literature, including both poetry and fiction, that explore how celestial bodies build and share creative intimacies.
Uncanny Bodies by
Call Number: PN6714 .U63 2019
"Explores how superhero comics, with their creative fusions of fantasy and realism, provide a flexible visual form for engaging issues of disability and intersectional identity (race, class, gender, sexuality) as well as for imagining and valuing different physical and cognitive ways of being in the world"--Provided by publisher.
What Unites Us: the Graphic Novel by
Call Number: JK1759 .R352 2021
"Brought to life in stunning color by artist Tim Foley, What Unites Us: The Graphic Novel takes apart the building blocks of this country, from the freedoms that define us, to the values that have transformed us, to the institutions that sustain us. Rather's vast experience and his unique perspective as one of America's most renowned newscasters shed light on who we were and who we are today, allowing us to see a possible future, where we are one country; united"-- Provided by publisher.
Graphic Novel Suggestions
Do you have a graphic novel suggestion for the library? If yes, contact the librarian above!