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Stephen Weiner On The Role Of Librarians In This Modern Golden Age Of Comics
posted July 17, 2009
 

I read your comment about Neil Gaiman's theory that acceptance of graphic novels by public librarians paved the way for the greater acceptance of comics. While as a librarian & a writer about comics I would like to believe that Neil is correct, The bigger picture reveals more factors. The 2002 ALA conference on graphic novels was a factor as was the 2002 conference on graphic novels at the Public Library Association conference,but other factors were important. The first Spider-Man movie came out in 2002 & was a mega hit, giving the public a different look for a superhero than the Miller-influenced Batman movies, Manga began its journey intro bookstores, and by 2002 the general public really had 3 graphic novels published by trade houses that they could read proudly on the subway: Maus, Understanding Comics, & Jimmy Corrigan. And those who didn't read comics could pretend they did by reading Michael Chabon's novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavaliar & Clay. So possibly, for the first time, the general public had a comic book inspired movie to talk about at work during coffee breaks, a few graphic novels to consider as Book Club selections & the ability to check them out of the public library if they didn't want to part with their cash.