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Friday, October 3, 2014

Tomorrow is 24 Hour Comic Book Day!

What is 24-Hour Comic Book Day and why should you care? Great question.  I'm glad I asked it.

Seriously though, 24-Hour Comic Book Day is an event in which artists are challenged to create a 24 page comic in 24-Hours.  Click here for more details. The idea behind this event began in 1990 when Scott McCloud challenged a friend to do just this.  And now, it happens every year on the first Saturday in October.  McCloud has a great history of it all on his site, here.

Although most events are located at comic book stores, there are a few libraries who are hosting these events.  It makes sense, especially in areas without a comic book store, for libraries to be a place for artists to gather and create.  I would compare it to the libraries who participate in NaNoWriMo.

Now, logistically I get it that most libraries could not stay open for 24 hours straight to be a venue for this event, but that doesn't mean you can't support it.

Promote it at your library. Make displays. Or just use it as an excuse to promote your graphic novel collections.

In that vein I have two resources worth your click RIGHT NOW in order to better educate yourself on comics and why they appeal to readers.

First, there is a BRAND NEW resource from the Book Riot family called Panels.  From their "Welcome "statement:
We wanted to drum up a community of seasoned comic book readers as well as novices to the form. That’s who we hope to speak to and also who we are. We looked for a wide array of voices. We found ourselves a chorus, and will continue to grow. Every day we get to play show-and-tell with our favorite new finds. We’re excited about that. 
Panels is a celebration of comics, the people who make them, and the people who love them. We take comics personally, because that’s the way they’re made. Personally. By people with things to say.
Click through to access the full site and see for yourself.

So, Panels is there trying to help the newbie as well as the comic book geek. This is great. But one of the hardest things for librarians who do not enjoy comics to overcome when helping fans find more to read is the fact that they do not understand the appeal themselves.

This is true for many genres. It is harder to help patrons with genres they love when we don't enjoy them ourselves, but with straight text formats, there seem to be more resources that help you to overcome this barrier.

One of my sure-fire tactics on this issue is to try to find someone who loves something and use their enthusiasm to sell the genre to another fan. Find someone who can articulate WHY they love, in this case, comics and you will better understand why others do too.

Luckily, I have a librarian created resource to help us here.  Ohio public librarian, Jack Phoenix has a blog called My Comic Memories in which he shares both RA and personal info about each of his comics. He begins with a comment on the comic itself and then moves on to why it is meaningful to him.  It is a memoir of his life through his comic book collection.  I absolutely love what he does here and highly encourage you to click through.  You can learn a lot about the appeal of comics from Jack.

For my previous list of preferred graphic novel resources for librarians, click here.

Finally, I want to end with a shout-out to my local comic book store-- Chimera Comics.  They are hosting artists for the 24 hours and running a silent auction.  I am very spoiled to have a comic book shop within walking distance from my home.  My son [a huge Marvel fan] and I will be making a stop tomorrow to be a part of the celebration.

Good luck to anyone out there taking the 24-Hour Comic Book Day challenge.

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