Friday, October 13, 2006

More on Graphic Novels

An anonymous post on my own post on graphic novels (below) made what I thought were some pretty interesting comments/suggestions, so I thought I'd highlight them here for more people ot see:
As a selector for Graphic Novels for youth in a public library, I encounter many different kinds of issues when I order a new item. Unfortunately, the pictorial nature of this genre lends itself to censorship and complaint. I have found that reliable reviews are few and far between, even though this is clearly a burgeoning collection for libraries in most locations. The problem with the age/level labeling you mentioned, if I understood correctly, is that it is self-imposed by the publisher. I wish I could say that these can be good guidelines, but I have found that publishers (understandably, coming from a different angle) tend to have broad and fluctuating definitions of what constitutes material for one age group or another. In short, I would just like to provide a caveat to librarians out there: please do not rely solely on the publishers or unknown review sources to give an adequate picture of what the content may be in a given graphic novel. Please do your homework and look through books when they arrive from your vendor before they go out to the floor for patrons to check out...and, better still, befriend local persons in the know (unless that's already you!) such as comic shop owners and enthusiasts, and (as always) try to get a feel for what the patrons are reading and interested in.


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