Monday, March 25, 2019

Collection Highlights: Graphic Novels

Graphic novels are currently being highlighted on the new book table in the Armacost Library. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines "graphic novel" as "a full-length (esp. science fiction or fantasy) story published as a book in comic-strip format." OED identifies Richard Kyle as the first user of this term, in a 1964 newsletter for comics fans, Capa-Alpha, published by the Comics Amateur Press Association. Kyle explains that the term "graphic novel" refers to "serious writing" for an "older audience." And that a move away from the term "comic books" will aid the "acceptance of the medium by the literary world."

Image Credit: Trisha Aurelio
The graphic novels currently on display indicate the range of content available in this format. While OED puts an emphasis on science fiction and fantasy genres, Armacost Library's collection is more varied, featuring nonfiction, especially biographical and historical graphic novels, and realistic fiction.

Some nonfiction offerings currently on the table include Tales from La Vida: A Latinx Comics Anthology, edited by Frederick Luis Aldama, and The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir by Thi Bui.


Aldama's anthology includes biographical stories on Latinx identities and experiences. Bui's graphic novel tells the story of her family's departure from war-torn Vietnam and subsequent immigration to the United States.

More traditional graphic novels on the new book table this week include Deadly Class, written by Rick Remender and illustrated by Wesley Craig. Remender's work follows a group of students training to be assassins at a secret high school. Deadly Class has been adapted to a television series available on Netflix.

Additionally, Ms. Marvel, written by G. Willow Wilson and illustrated by Adrian Alphona features super-heroine Kamala Khan, a Muslim American teen who grapples with her burgeoning superpowers and familial expectations.

Happy reading!

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