Seeing Stories @ Penrose Library
Comics. Cartoons. Manga. Bande dessinée. Graphic novels. Seeing Stories: Traversing the Graphic Narrative is a semester-long exploration of graphic narrative expression currently on display at the Sheehan Gallery. In conjunction with this exhibit, Penrose Library is providing opportunities for further investigation of these literary art forms.
Our Seeing Stories @ Penrose Library display includes a cross-section of our entire catalog of graphic novels and comics, with a specific focus on works by those authors and artists being showcased in the Sheehan Gallery exhibit. As an academic library, we choose works such as comics and graphic novels for our collection on the basis of how they support specific courses and the curriculum as a whole, as well as their popularity, award-winning status, and scholarly relevance. Our collection of over a hundred graphic novels and comics includes popular fiction in the superhero tradition, such as Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye, narratives of personal experience like Joe Sacco’s Palestine or Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, and works from a variety of linguistic and artistic traditions.
Circulation Supervisor Ellen Brigham, who selected books for the library display, also included a few of her personal favorites. Ellen started reading comics and graphic novels in middle school. She says, “To me, comics represent the ability for an art form to transcend genre. While many comics are still often relegated to the ghettos of genre fiction or children’s literature in the eyes of the mainstream, the truth is that as long as a person has an appreciation for the marriage of prose and art, they will be able to find something they love in this vast collection.”
Of the graphic novels in Penrose Library, Ellen would recommend Takako Shimura’s Wandering Son. The moving story of a young trans girl and trans boy, Wandering Son follows these two characters through their lives as they navigate both the social maze of growing up, and the specific issues encountered by young trans people in Japan.
We invite you to continue reading/seeing graphic materials held in the Library’s collections. Items on the display are available for check-out and new materials are added each week. Look for the Seeing Stories @ Penrose Library poster!
Contributors: Amy Blau, Ellen Brigham, Dalia Corkrum