I am not sure what it is about comics, but there is a certain type of magic to them. It could be how they have grown in the United States over the years (comics have long been considered an art form in Japan and France where they are referred to as manga and le neuvième art respectively). Maybe it’s because many lifelong readers started with comics and moved to other works from there. As a matter of fact growing up comics were a big part of my reading lists (I’ve read comics from Archie to the Maxx).
Whatever the reason comics have really come up and have evolved from kids pastimes to artistic expressions dealing with serious issues (made very evident when Maus won the Pulitzer Prize special award in 1992). The PSC Library had an interesting collection of comics. They were few, but many of them were of good quality, and are important to the genre. But, recently the library has obtained several new and fantastic titles that bring more variety to PSC’s comics collection. PSC does not have a particular section for the comics collection, but if you ask any librarian they will help you out, and right now we have an awesome display of our comics collection. Not to mention my own list of must read titles:
Osama Tezuka has done a lot for comics in Japan, and is considered to be the equivalent of Walt Disney (one of his inspirations) for anime and manga. Even though his artwork looks like it is meant for young children his stories are anything but. An example of his phenomenal body of work is the Black Jack series. This series revolves around a surgeon who helps heal his patients, and performs other extreme feats,with everything from performing a surgery to deal with a parasitic teratoma, to helping a terminal cancer patient in the nick of time. Definitely a good place to start, but do go further Tezuka’s story telling is phenomenal.
Art out of Time is stunning. Each page looks like it should be in a museum next to the art work of Litte Nemo. The fun part of this collection is how many of the artists were unknown, giving it the feeling of rarity. And lesser known works by big names like Boody Rogers. This is a must for all lovers of older comics, as well as lovers of new comics, and even general art lovers, because this book is a beautiful collection depicting the art form in a very real sense.
While we do not have titles by (or illustrated by) Colleen Doran she is someone that everyone should know, and that is why the PSC Library owns a book on her. Colleen Doran is a big name in the comic book industry for several reasons: she has worked with everyone from Anne Rice to Neil Gaiman, she frequently exhibits her artwork, and she both writes and illustrates her own works which is a rarity in the world of American comics. This book helps introduce readers to Colleen Doran and gives a great bibliography of her titles and her website.
Maus is the graphic novel that made me realize that this is a serious art form (I found out about it when it was required reading for one of my high school history classes). Art Spiegelman does a fantastic job of not only telling his parents stories, but telling his own. The book takes readers on a trip where they will feel sorrow, rage, and humor as this amazing testament to Art’s parents, and Art growing to terms with himself, gives you a glimpse into their world.