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Collecting Comics: May 2018 with Ally Watkins

Check out these May comics and graphic novels that your teens and tweens will be clamoring for!

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Goldie Vance, Volume 4 by Hope Larson and Jackie Ball, illustrated by Elle Power, colors by Sarah Stern (BOOM! Box, May 1). Goldie Vance is back! In Volume 4 of her adventures, sixteen year old ameteur sleuth Goldie finds plenty to keep her detective brain busy at the St. Pascal Rockin’ The Beach Music Festival which is in town! Give this to your young patrons who love historical fiction and/or mysteries.

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All Summer Long by Hope Larson (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux BYR, May 1). A standalone middle grade graphic novel about summer and friendships, All Summer Long is about 13-year-old Bina, who has a long summer ahead of her. Her best friend Austin is off to camp for a month and he’s been acting weird anyway. So Bina bonds with Austin’s older sister, who has similar taste in music. But when Austin returns, growing pains make things even more awkward. Will they reconnect? A touching coming of age story from Goldie Vance’s Hope Larson.

Runaways, Volume 1: Find Your Way Home by Rainbow Rowell, illustrated by Kris Anka (Marvel, May 1). YA superstar Rainbow Rowell takes over the wildly popular Runaways series, bringing back original characters like Nico, Carolina, Molly, Chase, and even Gert. Your comics fans will love this one because of the beloved characters, and your YA fans will be thrilled to get new work from Rowell. Collects issues #1-#6 of the comic book series.

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Angelic Volume 1: Heirs and Graces by Simon Spurrier, illustrated by Caspar Wijngaard (Image Comics, May 15). Centuries after humanity is gone, the earth belongs to genetically modified animals who stick to routines that feel oppressive to one young monkey, Qora, who just wants to fly free. Collects issues #1-#6 of the comic book series.

Misfit City Volume 2 by Kurt Lustgarten and Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith, illustrated by Naomi Franquiz (BOOM! Studios, May 29). Wilder and her friends continue their adventure, hunting for Black Mary’s treasure, and hoping to uncover secrets in their otherwise sleepy hometown. Collects #5-#8 of the comic book series.

BONUS NON-COMIC:

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Supergirl: Curse of the Ancients by Jo Whittemore (Amulet, May 1). This book is the second of a planned middle grade Supergirl trilogy. Kara Danvers is back to save the day!

BONUS COMICS INFORMATION:

The Eisner Award nominations have been released. The Eisner Awards are a major comic award given every year at San Diego Comic-Con. The nominees, which include awards for kids and teens, can be found here: https://www.comic-con.org/awards/2018-eisner-awards-nominations.

Collection Development: Updating My GN and Manga Collection; or, that time I decided I wanted to face my arch nemesis and build a better collection for my patrons

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Hello all, Collecting Comics is Ally Watkins’ column, but I’m co-opting her column for a brief moment to share with you how I’m going about re-vamping my graphic novel and manga collection. It’s okay, Ally helped me periodically on this project. I could not have done it without her and the help of several other librarians and my friends on Twitter, who are way better at graphic novel collection development than I am. I went to the experts.

Some of you may be aware, but I am in the midst of a massive collection development project. I took over here 3 1/2 years ago and after getting the Teen MakerSpace organized, I took a deep dive into collection development. That deep dive has included a huge weed (twice now), a re-organization, a diversity audit, and now I am looking at what I have always called my arch-nemesis: graphic novels. Let me state right at the beginning, I do not hate graphic novels or manga. I know that they are valuable and popular formats, they just don’t personally work for me as a reader, which makes ordering them more challenging. And to be honest, I find them overwhelming, in large part because they are often long running series which keep me on my toes and take a lot of space and budget. The budget issue comes in because I feel like I’m always replacing lost or damaged copies. Graphic novel collection development does not come as easily to me as YA collection development does, and I know I’m not alone.

Graphic novels still make up about 8% of the book market, and some 11.3 million graphic novels were sold in 2017. Source

So, here I am taking this deep dive into graphic novels and manga. Let me share with you a quick outline of what I’ve been doing.

I began by running a shelf list and weeding report.

I then made a list of every series that we have and every superhero we have something on. I used the stats to help me determine if it earned shelf space. If something hasn’t circulated in the last year, it goes into the consider weeding pile. My shelf space for this collection is tight and you have to earn your space.

I used the statistical information to determine whether we should keep or weed the series. I was only able to weed about 100 titles as the circulation statistics indicated that this is a high circulating collection. I also want to make a note here that we are very aware that circulation statistics alone can’t be our only measure because we have a large number of manga and gn readers who come in, read books off the shelf, and then place them back on the shelf. We see it happen daily. We have tried to put a basket for readers and asked that our patrons don’t re-shelve these items to help us get a better idea of what people are reading. I highly recommend not relying on circulation statistics alone for a manga/graphic novel collection because of in-house readers.

I went through and filled holes on massively popular series that we get a lot of I.L.L. requests for. This was a time consuming process that involved my shelf list which let me know which items were missing or lost.

Source: https://publishingperspectives.com/2018/01/childrens-books-salon-international-issues-trends-rights/

Source: https://publishingperspectives.com/2018/01/childrens-books-salon-international-issues-trends-rights/

We then made the decision to re-catalog all of our YA and Adult graphic novels simply as Graphic Novels (for us, GN means graphic novels and manga). This allowed us to put all of our adult and YA GNs into one location. Because we combined them both, we no longer wanted to promote them as YA or house them in YA. So they are no longer YA, but they are YA adjacent. We did this because we had a handful of graphic novels stuck in the 741.5 section, like The Walking Dead, that we knew our teens were reading but were getting lost in adult nonfiction. We wanted to adopt a more book store model and put all of our items of the same format into one location, but we also wanted to make sure that we weren’t saying the titles were necessarily YA. We do still have a separate E and J graphic novel section on our children’s floor.

I then turned to my librarian friends who excel at graphic novel collection development, including TLT’s own Ally Watkins, and several people I know from Twitter. I even tweeted pics of the series we do have and asked for recommendations. I compiled these recommendations and did some research.

I of course did the research and looked at things like award winners and YALSA best graphic novels lists. If a series appeared on a list, it got higher priority when considering whether or not to add it.

I then grabbed a notepad and pen and went a spent a day at Barnes and Noble. This was the most illuminating part of my research. You see, my library has two ranges of graphic novels and manga. Barnes and Noble has sixteen. That’s right, they have fourteen more shelving ranges of graphic novels and manga than the library has. I spoke at length to the staff at B&N and learned that graphic novels and manga are high selling items and a growing market. I knew from our stats that graphic novels were circulating well for us, but I had no idea how big of a market they are. Barnes and Noble has as much graphic novels and manga as they have Young Adult literature. I was blown away by this. Also, going through the graphic novels and manga at Barnes and Noble allowed me to look at a few titles from each recommended series, thumb through them, look at the rating on the back, etc. I felt it allowed me to make a somewhat more informed decision.

“According to NPD Bookscan data from global information provider the NPD Group, the comics and graphic novels category in the U.S. trade book market has experienced compound annual unit sales growth of 15 percent over the last three years, making it one of the highest growth categories in the trade book marketplace.” Source

I then placed an order to help add some new series to my graphic novel collection. I ordered a couple of titles in each series. I will then look in a couple of months to see how they are circulating and determine whether or not we want to add more of that series.

Today I am sharing with you a shelf list of the series that we either own or were recommended to me. Please note, it does not contain stand alone titles or titles by authors such as Raina Telgemeier or Gene Luan Yang, this is simply a look at some manga series that are recommended and some superheroes that you might want to make sure you have. These are not titles necessarily recommended by me, but have been recommended to me or their circulation at our library meant they were worth keeping in our collection. I am sure there are many series that we are missing, in fact, please feel free to comment and let me know what else you recommend.

Series Title (GNs and Manga, not superheroes)
Adventure Time
Ajin
Amulet
Assassination Classroom
Attack on Titan
Bakuman
Behind the Scenes
Black Butler
Bleach
Blue ExorcistBone
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Cleopatra in Space
Death Note
Doctor Who
Fairy Tale
Faith
The Far Side
Fruits Basket
Gabriel Dropout
Garfield
Giant Days
The Good Neighbors
Gotham Academy
Haven’t You Heard
I Hate Fairyland
I Kill Giants
Immortal Hounds
iZombie
Kill Shakespeare
The Last Airbender
Lumberjanes
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzaumiya
Miki Falls
Monster Hunter
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur
Naruto
One Piece
One Punch Man
Ouran High School Host Club
Pandora Hearts
Princeless
Riverdale (Archie)
Pretty Guardian (Sailor Moon)
The Sandman
School-live!
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Secret Coders
A Silent Voice
Simpsons
Spill Zone
Star Wars
Tokyo Ghoul
Transformers
Twin Star Exorcists
The Unbeatable Squirrell Girl
The Walking Dead
Zits
Superhero GNs
Ant-Man
Avengers
Batgirl
Batman
Black Panther
Captain Marvel
Daredeveil
Deadpool
Doctor Strange
Guardians of the Galaxy
Justice League
Ms. Marvel
Runaways
Spider-Man
Supergirl
Watchmen
Wonder Woman
X-Men

Collecting Comics: March 2018 with Ally Watkins

Check out these March-releasing comics that your teens and tweens will love!

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Archival Quality by Ivy Noelle Weir, illustrated by Steenz (Oni Press, March 6). Cel starts working as an archivist at the Logan Museum, but the job may not be everything she’s hoping for. Cel starts to dream of a woman she’s never met, and as she tries to learn more about her, strange things start happening–misplacing things, losing time–but she can’t seem to let go. Who’s the mysterious woman and why is Cel so drawn to her?

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The Altered History of Willow Sparks by Tara O’Connor (Oni Press, March 6). Willow is just about as low on the popularity scale of her high school as you can be. Until she finds a mysterious book that has the power to literally change her life. With each entry in the book, she becomes more popular, but her old life and friendships get farther and farther away. Willow is starting to discover that every action has a reaction and that this social experiment might not turn out the way she thinks it will.

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Brazen: Rebel Ladies who Rocked the World by Pénélope Bagieu (First Second, March 6). Bagieu compiles a comic biography of a variety of women who have rebelled and changed the world in various ways. Some of the women are well known, and some aren’t, but all are rebels. Great nonfiction title for teens!

Invincible Iron Man: Ironheart: Volume 1: Riri Williams by Brian Michael Bendis, illustrated by Stefano Caselli (Marvel, March 6). Riri Williams has her own Iron Man suit and the newest, best technology, and she’s ready to try her hand at this superhero thing. But she’s got a lot to deal with: super villains, super-teams trying hard to recruit her, and her adventures going viral. Is she ready for this? Collects issues #1-#5 of the comic book series. Your superhero fans will love the introduction of a new teenage superhero character!

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 7: I’ve Been Waiting for a Squirrel Like You by Ryan North, illustrated by Erica Henderson (Marvel, March 13). Doreen and Nancy enter a programming contest and they don’t expect the prize to be a trip to The Savage Land. Will Squirrel Girl get to fight a dinosaur?? Collects issues #22-#26 of the comic book series.

The Unstoppable Wasp, Volume 2: Agents of G.I.R.L. by Jeremy Whitley, illustrated by Elsa Charretier (Marvel, March 13). The Red Room wants Nadia back, and they’re gunning to get her there. This means the geniuses of G.I.R.L. are taking on their first real science challenge! Can they outsmart the Red Room, or will Nadia be forced back into captivity? Collects issues #5-#8 of the comic book series.

Giant Days Volume 7 by John Allison, illustrated by and Max Sarin and Liz Fleming (BOOM! Studios, March 27). Susan, Daisy, and Esther continue their second year at university and this semester includes: protests, family reunions, and an MMORPG wedding. Collects issues #25-#28 of the comic book series.

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Secret Coders: Potions and Parameters by Gene Luen Yang, illustrated by Mike Holmes (First Second, March 27). In the fifth Secret Coders book, The Coders have found Hopper’s dad–but he’s not the same. He’s had some of Professor One-Zero’s “green pop” concoction that makes him obsessed with the color green. The Professor won’t stop until the whole town is in a green stupor! Can the Coders stop him? Your younger comics readers will love this series!

BONUS NON-COMIC:

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: 2 Fuzzy 2 Furious by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale (Marvel Press, March 6). Doreen Green, age 14, also happens to be Squirrel Girl, a middle school superhero! In this next installment of her adventures, a new mall is opening up between two neighboring towns, and everyone gets to vote on the mascot! But soon the two towns are at war over the election, and Doreen begins to wonder if there isn’t something shady going on in Shady Oaks.

Collecting Comics: February 2018 by Ally Watkins

Happy February! Here are some comics and graphic novels that your teens and tweens will be asking for this month.

collectingcomics

Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson, illustrated by Emily Carroll (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, February 6). This is a graphic novel adaptation of the award-winning novel Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Melinda is working through something that happened to her over the summer, but no one will talk to her, much less listen to her after she got a party busted up by the cops. Through her work on an art project, she starts to come to terms with what happened to her. Carroll is an Eisner-award winning illustrator.

speakgraphicnovel

Scales & Scoundrels Volume 1: Into the Dragon’s Maw by Sebastian Girner, illustrated by Galaad (Image, February 13). Treasure hunter Luvander is tired of being a penniless adventurer, so she sets off on a journey to a fabled labyrinth of a dungeon, at the end of which is rumored to have endless wealth…or certain doom. Along the way, she collects a merry band of companions, each of whom have their own motives and secrets. Collects issues #1-#5 of the comic series.

The Backstagers, Vol. 2 by James Tynion IV, illustrated by Ryan Sygh (BOOM! Box, February 13). Jory and the rest of the Backstagers only want to put on the best show possible, but that’s hard when weird things are happening backstage. When an actor goes missing, the Backstagers must band together and keep the balance of the theatre! Collects issues #5-#8 of the comic series.

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang (First Second, February 13). Frances is a dressmaker pulled into a dazzling world–making dresses for the Crown Prince Sebastian of Belgium as he spends his nights dazzling Paris as Lady Crystallia! But Frances is Sebastian’s secret, which means she can’t pursue her own dreams. Will they ever be realized?

Princeless: Raven the Pirate Princess Book 4: Two Ships in the Night by Jeremy Whitley, illustrated by Xenia Pamfil (Action Lab Entertainment, February 20).  A night of revelry takes a sharp turn and Raven and her crew are taken off guard. Can they fight off invaders and keep their ship on course?

Lumberjanes, Vol. 8 by Shannon Waters and Kat Leyh, illustrated by Ayme Sotuyo (BOOM! Box, February 20). The Roanoke cabin Lumberjanes are distressed to find that their Zodiac cabin pals have all been turned to stone! Can they find out what caused it without looking the wrong thing in the eye and turning to stone themselves?

Cucumber Quest: The Ripple Kingdom by Gigi D.G. (First Second, February 27). After a surprise attack at sea, Cucumber finds himself in the Ripple Kingdom, where a giant terrible squid monster is holding his friends hostage! Can he save them?

Sex and Consent in LGBT Manga, a guest post by Eden Grey

by Eden Grey (@edenjeangrey)

In this post I would like to explore the differences between portrayals of sex in lesbian and gay manga and heterosexual romance stories in manga. By manga I mean graphic novels originally published in Japan, by Japanese authors and artists. In most libraries, manga is confined to the Young Adult Collection. In some libraries, such as mine, there are manga in both YA and the Adult graphic novel sections. Determining where to shelve particular manga, especially those with LGBT themes, can be confusing and challenging because the ratings given to the books don’t always reflect the explicitness of the content.

 

In general, heterosexual romance manga is lighthearted, there is rarely on-page sex, and both parties consent to whatever sexual action does happen. Some of the most popular romance manga include Nisekoi: False Love, Ai Ore! Love Me!, and Alice in the Country of Hearts.  There are notable exceptions, but I would like to talk about the majority of manga stories. In gay manga, on the other hand, there is frequently on-page sex, frequently questionable consent, and undertones of violence.

 

In many American-published, adult romance fiction, with both straight and gay characters, there are frequently themes of sexual violence and forced sexual interactions. Pick up any Harlequin romance and it’s likely to have a situation of dubious consent. These novels are intended as a fantasy for readers, and they are enjoyed by a large readership of adult women. However, the biggest audience for LGBT manga, at least in the United States, is young adults.

 

Should we be sharing these stories with our teens? Is it our place to decide what kind of sex they should and should not have access to? Is the answer as simple as ordering popular and requested manga and placing the explicit ones in the Adult section? These are questions rarely asked or discussed in Libraryland, and that’s really unfortunate. If we’re ordering these manga for our teens we should be discussing the sexual violence in them with readers. We should use this as an opportunity to talk about the issue of consent.

 

Below I will list several of the most popular manga with LGBT romances, as well as those commonly found in libraries. Ratings for these series can be looked up on the publisher’s website. I personally have most of these in my library’s collection, with everything except Whispered Words in the adult section or only available as an ebook. Most of them were requested by teen patrons.

 

Author’s Pet by Deathco Cotorino

The story of a single couple thrown together by chance. The gullible Yuuta is forced into oweing the mysterious author Tsubaki a big favor, and he ends up helping him write his romance novels. The men become involved, with Tsubaki taking the initiative in their seemingly one-sided relationship.

 

Apple and Honey by Hideyoshico

Features the story of 2 gay couples, set during the summer season. The characters are ordinary adults, going to college and working day jobs while pursuing their hobbies. The relationships take time to develop, but by the end of the volume the characters are having explicit sex.

 

Whispered Words by Takashi Ikeda 

The story of 2 high school girls who have been best friends since childhood. Ushio like cute girls (like Sumika!) but Sumika prefers tough, athletic girls. Will they ever be able to confess their feelings?

 

Private Teacher! by Yuu Moegi 

Rintarou needs a private tutor, but he also gets a lover with Kaede-san, who enjoys punishing Rintarou’s poor academic performance some unique punishment. Kaede’s sexual advances quickly become dominating and Rintarou starts questioning the feelings he has for his tutor.

author's petapple honeywhispered worldsprivate teacher

 

Junjou Romantica by Shungiku Nakimura 

The story of several gay couples who are connected through their work at a publishing company. The tone of the story is lighthearted and comedic, while the relationships can get unexpectedly serious and intense.

 

Citrus by Saburo Uta

When her mom marries a rich businessman, Yuzu must move to a new home and switch to an all-girls school. Yuzu is a fashionista and frequently gets in trouble with the student council president, Mei, who also happens to be her new step-sister. Yuzu finds herself inexplicably attracted to Mei and jealous of the attention she receives from other girls and boys. Their attraction escalates quickly, despite the potentially taboo nature of it.

 

What Did You Eat Yesterday? by Fumi Yoshinaga

The story of a single middle-aged male couple living together in Tokyo. Shiro loves cooking more than anything, and the chapters are organized around their meals together. The chapters also feature delicious and authentic Japanese recipes! A simple yet clever slice-of-life story.

 

Wolf Magic by Natsuki Zippo 

A collection of alternating short stories told in a casual, slice-of-life style about a variety of unlikely gay couples. The writing is clever and the art is well-done. The relationships quickly become serious, due to the stories being very short; they swiftly become sexual and explicit.

junjocitruswhat did you eatwolf magic

 

Meet Eden Grey

EDEN

Eden Grey is the Young Adult Programming Librarian at the busiest branch library in Kentucky. Eden is a reviewer for Young Adult Books Central and School Library Journal. When she is not herding cats -ahem, teens- at the library, Eden can be found reading, knitting, sewing, cosplaying, and playing Pokemon. You can always find her on Twitter @edenjeangrey.