It looks as though we're really going to do it.
The library where I work, the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library at the University of Michigan, is going to develop a comic book & graphic novel collection. The collection will focus primarily on indy/art/alternative/underground/mini comics, as well as artistically and historically important domestic and foreign comics.
(We are not trying to duplicate the excellent collections of nearby universities such as the Comic Art Collection at Michigan State or the Cartoon Research Library at Ohio State.)
The bad news is that I don't get to be the person who purchases the items--that job will belong to Annette, our Art & Design librarian. (I'm the Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences Librarian, which means that I rarely get to buy any fun books...) The good news is that Jim O and I will be advising Annette on what to buy; finally after all these years I get to make use of my lifelong obsession in a professional capacity!
Now I need your help.
We will have a chunk of 'seed money' with which to develop the initial collection. Now while I could probably draw up a list of titles on my own, many minds are better than one, and any such list would reflect my own biases.
So I'd like to ask all of you reading this to make recommendations for an Academic Library Comics & Graphic Novels Collection. The recommendations should be consistant with the focus of the collection as I have outlined above.
Please limit your recommendations to 20 volumes. Simple lists are fine, but if you can offer brief annotations as to why you think they should be included, that will be helpful.
You can post your recommendations in my comments section here, on your own blog if you have one (please email me the link), or send them to me directly via email.
(In many ways this is similar to the Lieber's Eleven, but with an academic library focus rather than a public library focus. Plus, you know, 20 instead of 11.)
Thanks in advance to you all for helping me out with this.