Today is the third meeting of the ARRT Genre Study on Graphic Novels. Last month we tackled superheroes which is an area of weakness for me personally. However, later today we are moving into my comfort zone, Alternative and Literary graphic novels.
Our benchmark is Daniel Clowes' Ghost World. I read this gn before the blog existed, but here is a link to the times I have read Clowes since.
Of course another benchmark author in this area is Chris Ware and you can see my extensive posts on his 2012 masterpiece, Building Stories, including this post here where I show how we cataloged the 14 piece story. I am bringing my personal copy to the meeting for the group to see also.
Many of the titles we will be discussing today also appeared on my Graphic Novels for Grownups list which is available in print or online from the BPL. This is a popular list here at our library and a popular category of graphic novels in our adult collection.
However, after being a part of the genre study this year, I am starting to wonder if the alternative/literary genres of gns are popular here at the BPL because they are the ones Kathy and I read the most often, and therefore buy the most often, and furthermore suggest the most often. I am sure there is a link there. We are less into superheroes, and as a result, we have fewer copies of these graphic novels and a lower interest.
But that's why I am in the genre study. To look seriously at the entirety of graphic novels, assess my strengths and weaknesses, learn more by talking to other librarians, and look critically at my work with graphic novel readers and my collection.