Batman, Superman, Odysseus, Beowulf, and The Walking Dead are now in Northeast State’s Basler Library.
The library has added more than 60 popular graphic novel titles to its collection. Titles range from The Sandman to The Dark Tower to The Avengers. In addition, classic literature selections such as The Odyssey, Beowulf, and Fahrenheit 451 are included.
“We decided to start a graphic novel collection because we wanted to get students into the library, especially reluctant readers,” said Chris Demas, dean of the Basler Library. “We want them visiting the library and getting engaged in reading.”
A graphic novel is an original story that is published in a comic book-style format. The books are usually bound and about 7 inches wide and 10 inches tall.
Demas said he thinks the greatest strength of graphic novel format is its ability to take complex stories and make them more readable and accessible.
“Another thing is that graphic novels give students another way to experience art and I think that’s a very, very good thing,” Demas said.
There is some debate, but most comics historians agree that the first real graphic novel was Will Eisner’s A Contract with God and Other Tenement Stories published in 1978. In 2015, sales figures for graphics novels totaled more than $500 million, according to Comichron and ICV2, which monitor comic sales in the United States.
Demas said the library plans to grow the collection over time and the library staff welcomes patrons to submit title suggestions.
The novels will be shelved in the library’s audio-visual room with the movie collection. The titles will be easily distinguished as each bears a graphic POW! sticker. Demas said the selections can be found by visiting www.NortheastState.edu/library and searching “graphic novels” and then clicking on the “Shelved at NESCC” tab.
“It was a conscious effort to place them there,” Demas said. “A lot of people who like movies also like graphic novels because of the visuals, so it just made sense to put them in the same area.”
The library staff plans to display selected titles in the lobby during the start of the fall semester. For more information, visit the library’s website at http://www.NortheastState.edu/library or call 423.354.2429 or e-mail mailto:mLibrary@NortheastState.edu.