Check it out.

§ July 25th, 2006 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Check it out.

Thanks for all the responses to my questions yesterday…I’m finding them to be interesting reading. And thank you, too, for keeping the tone civil…maybe I’ve just been reading too many message boards lately, but I was a’feared that there’d be a comment or two like “THAT CREATOR SUCKS AND RUINED MY FAVORITE COMIC AND I HOPE HIS DOG GETS CRUSHED UNDER A FALLING FORD FESTIVA” or something along those lines.

I’m finding the comments about Legion of Super-Heroes to be informative, and about what I expected. Every time you do a relaunch like that (especially multiple relaunches in a relatively short period of time, as with the LSH), you may get some new readers, but that gives old readers an excuse to bail out as well.

Anyway, feel free to keep adding to the comments if you’d like, and answer these questions two: are there any titles you read/characters you followed for a long time, and finally just had to drop? Why?

Also, are there any characters or books that you’d follow regardless of how dire things may get?

As a former librarian, I always find news stories about comics in libraries to be of interest (particularly when they’re illustrated with a pic of Zippy the Pinhead):

“Local libraries soar with comic offerings”

“‘If somebody asked me whether comic books belong in a library, I would turn the question around,’ [English professor Joseph Witek] said in a telephone interview. ‘I would ask, “Why not?”‘

“Like any medium or style of literature, the quality can vary. The subject matter can be very intense or dark. Witek recognized that comics have always represented a source of anxiety for parents.”


“‘Even Batman can be very scary and psychologically challenging,’ [librarian Jonathan] Dolce said.”

Now back in my librarian days, our library had subscriptions to various Archie Comics publications, which would get read to tatters in our children’s section. Aside from that, most of our comic book/comic strip content would be in the non-fiction shelves, around the 740s, along with all the art instruction books.

That was in the days before Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen, the two books that probably introduced a good chunk of the American public to the idea of “graphic novels.” It’s been a while, so I don’t recall exactly, but I’m pretty sure all we had for superhero-type squarebound publications at the time were some beat up copies of Origins of Marvel Comics and Sons of Origins. I also remember a neat little book from the ’70s called How to Draw Comics for Fun and Profit (probably more accurately titled, for today’s marketplace, How to Draw Comics for Fun) which, as I recall, focused very little on superheroes and much more on other genres. I believe we had an out-of-date Overstreet price guide as well (on the reference shelf, natch).

Fredric Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent was, of course, long since lost or stolen from every branch in our particular network of libraries, but we still had one copy of Wertham’s mostly overlooked, and much less negative, follow-up book The World of Fanzines.

I haven’t been back to the library I used to work at in quite a while…I’m still in the same town, but that library is so out of my way that I never find myself in that area anymore. Thus, I don’t know if they’re carrying graphic novels or manga books now or not. If they do, I wonder if they have to deal with parents upset that their precious Little Billy looked at the shelf copy of Watchmen and saw a drawing of a nekkid blue man, or parents asking if the books are “too violent” or “too sexy” — which are invariably asked, of course, about comics that are neither. (That’s all rhetorical…I’m sure they do get these comments.)

Of course, if they don’t have much in the way of graphic novels, why, I know a certain store manager/comics weblogger who’d be happy to supply them….

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