Monday, November 22, 2004

GNs for an Academic Library

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.


Dave said...

I should point out that we will be buying far more than just 20 volumes--I just pulled that number out of the air in order to give lists more focus. But if you want to recommend more than 20, by all means pelase do so!

Anonymous said...

Books in print and worth purchasing for a permanent collection:

Amphigorey, Amphigory Too, and Amphigory Also by Edward Gorey
Barry Windsor-Smith's The Freebooters: Collected Edition by Barry Windsor-Smith
B. Krigstein: Comics by B. Krigstein, edited by Greg Sadowski
Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Kim Deitch
Carnet de Voyage by Craig Thompson
ComicStrips by Peter Kuper
The Complete Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz
Cusp and Gongwanadon by Thomas Herpich
Emmanuelle, Bianca and Venus in Furs by Guido Crepax
Ethel and Ernest by Raymond Briggs
From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell
Hey, Wait . . . by Jason
I Never Liked You by Chester Brown
Jimbo in Purgatory by Gary Panter
Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware
Kafka for Beginners by David Mairowitz and R. Crumb
Kramer's Ergot #5, edited by Sammy Harkham
Krazy & Ignatz: The Second Decade of Sundays 1925-1934 (hardcover) by George Herriman
Locas by Jaime Hernandez
Louis Riel by Chester Brown
Maus by Art Spiegelman
McSweeney's #13, edited by Chris Ware
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind by Hayao Miyazaki
Palomar by Gilbert Hernandez
Persepolis 1 & 2 by Marjane Satrapi
Reinventing Comics by Scott McCloud
Safe Area Gorazde by Joe Sacco
Sticks and Stones by Peter Kuper
The Spirit Archives by Will Eisner
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
The Walking Man by Jiro Taniguchi
Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
When the Wind Blows by Raymond Briggs

And there's a lot more where those came from. Truly, we are living in the golden age of comics.

Dave said...

That's a good list. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks. I'm back with more. Here goes:

The Acme Novelty Datebook by Chris Ware
American Splendor by Harvey Pekar
The Bloody Streets of Paris: 120 Rue De La Gare by Jacques Tardi
Beg the Question by Bob Fingerman
Bone by Jeff Smith
Cages by Dave McKean
Caricature by Daniel Clowes
A Child's Life and Other Stories by Phoebe Gloeckner
Clumsy by Jeffrey Brown
The Complete Crumb Comics by Robert Crumb
The Cowboy Wally Show by Kyle Baker
Daily Delirium by Miguelanxo Prado
David Boring by Daniel Clowes
David Chelsea in Love by David Chelsea
The Diary of a Teenage Girl by Phoebe Gloeckner
Dogs and Water by Anders Nilsen
Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend by Winsor Mccay
Eightball #22 & #23 by Daniel Clowes
Epileptic by David B.
The Frank Book by Jim Woodring
Gemma Bovery by Posy Simmonds
God's Man: A Novel in Woodcuts by Lynd Ward
Harvey Kurtzman's Jungle Book by Harvey Kurtzman
Hellblazer: Hard Time by Brian Azzarello and Richard Corben
The House on the Borderland by Simon Revelstroke and Richard Corben
Ian Pollock's Illustrated King Lear: Complete & Unabridged by William Shakespeare and Ian Pollock
It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken by Seth
Leve Ta Jambe Mon, Poisson Est Mort! (Lift Your Leg, My Fish Is Dead) by Julie Doucet
My New York Diary by Julie Doucet
One! Hundred! Demons! by Lynda Barry
Paul Auster's City of Glass by Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli
Poor Sailor by Sammy Harkham
Prosopopus aire libre-de crecy (a silent graphic novel) by Nicolas De Crecy
Quimby the Mouse by Chris Ware
RabbitHead by Rebecca Dart
Streak of Chalk by Miguelanxo Prado
Stuck Rubber Baby by Howard Cruse
Summer Blonde by Adrian Tomine
Tony Millionaire's Sock Monkey: Uncle Gabby by Tony Millionaire
The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean
Unlikely by Jeffrey Brown
V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd

Again, I believe all of the above books are still in print (or about to come into [or back into] print). And whaddya know, there's still plenty more that could and should be included. :)

BTW, an anthology of underground comics that you simply must try to find is the two-in-one The Apex Treasury of Underground Comics/The Best of Bijou Funnies. It's the best one volume intro to the underground you'll find.

And what's this? Claire Bretecher's books are out of print in English. Goddammit!

Anonymous said...

Here's a quick sampling of the more I referred to in my last message:

The Collected Hutch Owen by Tom Hart
The Collected Sequential by Paul Hornschemeier
The Desert Peach by Donna Barr
The Great Women Cartoonists by Trina Robbins
Mail Order Bride by Mark Kalesniko
The Masochists by Nick Bertozzi
Mirror, Window: An Artbabe Collection by Jessica Abel
Mother Come Home by Paul Hornschemeier
Perfect Example by John Porcellino
Queen of the Black Black by Megan Kelso
The Salon by Nick Bertozzi
Sleepwalk: And Other Stories by Adrian Tomine
Stinz by Donna Barr

Etc., etc.

Anonymous said...

Since nobody else is playing, I'm just gonna keep going:

Amy and Jordan by Mark Beyer
Birdland by Gilbert Hernandez
Blood Song: A Silent Ballad by Eric Drooker
Cerebus (all of it) by Dave Sim and Gerhard
Crumple by Dave Cooper
Dan & Larry: Don't Do That by Dave Cooper
Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel
Fair Weather by Joe Matt
The Fixer by Joe Sacco
Ghost World by Daniel Clowes
In the Shadow of No Towers by Art Spiegelman
The Job Thing by Carol Tyler
Little Lit: Folklore & Fairy Tale Funnies
Little Lit: It Was a Dark and Silly Night...
Marbles in my Underpants by Renee French
The Little Man: Short Strips 1980-1995 by Chester Brown
Notes from a Defeatist by Joe Sacco
Odds Off by Matt Madden
Omaha the Cat Dancer by Reed Waller and Kate Worley
Palestine by Joe Sacco
Playboy by Chester Brown
Phoenix by Osamu Tezuka
The Poor Bastard by Joe Matt
Pop Gun War by Farel Dalrymple
Ripple: A Predilection for Tina by Dave Cooper
Same Difference and Other Stories by Derek Kirk Kim
Silly Daddy by Joe Chiappetta
The Soap Lady by Renee French
The Tale of One Bad Rat by Bryan Talbot
Tijuana Bibles: Art and Wit in America's Forbidden Funnies, 1930s-1950s by Bob Adelman

More later, maybe. LOL!

Dave said...

Who are you, oh anonymous person with great knowledge of indy comics?

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'm not anybody you would know. Just an underground/alt/indy comics fan from way back, trying to be helpful.

It'd be great to get a couple of books by Maurice Sendak for the collection. Maybe "In the Night Kitchen" and "Some Swell Pup: Or, Are You Sure You Want a Dog?" As children's books in comics format, they're definitely precursors of the alt-flavoured "Little Lit" books. The fact that Sendak has a story in "Little Lit: Strange Stories for Strange Kids" confirms the connection, I think. Which reminds me, please add "Little Lit: Strange Stories for Strange Kids" to the list. And the "Little Lulu" reprint series that's about to be released. And anything you can get by Carl Barks. And, and, and . . .

Anonymous said...

... these:

American Elf: The Collected Sketchbook Diaries of James Kochalka by James Kochalka
Blankets by Craig Thompson
Bitchy Bitch (various collections) by Roberta Gregory
Hicksville by Dylan Horrocks
The Jew of New York by Ben Katchor
Julius Kniple, Real Estate Photographer: The Beauty Supply District by Ben Katchor
Shrimpy and Paul by Marc Bell
Teratoid Heights by Mat Brinkman

And . . .

Anonymous said...

. . . these:

The Art of the Comic Book: An Aesthetic History by Robert C. Harvey
The Art of the Funnies: An Aesthetic History by Robert C. Harvey
Barefoot Gen, Vols. 1-4 by Keiji Nakazawa
Big Yum-Yum Book by Robert Crumb
Children of the Yellow Kid: The Evolution of the American Comic Strip by Robert C. Harvey
Comic Book Rebels: Conversations with the Creators of the New Comics by Stanley Wiater and Stephen R. Bissette
The Complete Dirty Laundry Comics by Aline Kominsky-Crumb, R. Crumb, and Sophie Crumb
I Saw It: The Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima: A True Survivor's Story by Keiji Nakazawa
Love that Bunch by Aline Kominsky-Crumb
Rebel Visions: The Underground Comix Revolution, 1963-1975 by Patrick Rosenkranz

And . . .

Anonymous said...

So, what did you buy?

Dave said...

See this post.

Note that I don't get to make the actual purchase decision for the collection; I'm just in an advisory role.

Anonymous said...

Thanks! Quick scan reveals that a good chunk of my very long list made it into the final selection. Sad to see that none of the books *about* comics made it, however. And why the *Flight* anthology? Flashy stuff, to be sure, but not at all essential, especially given the focus of the library's collection.

Dave said...

Books about comics will be in a separate recommendation.

Flight because it is an anthology of young indy cartoonists, much like the students here at the U.