Showing posts with label bibliography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bibliography. Show all posts

Saturday, December 03, 2011

'ComicBacks' Yahoo group is local now

A couple of years ago, Ray Bottorff Jr moved here from Detroit, and brought his project to produce a bibliography / price guide to paperback books related to comics with him. Ray's got a ComicBacks Yahoo group which he describes as:

"...a list designed to appeal to both fans of Comic Books and Paperbacks. ComicBacks is a term copyrighted by Ray Bottorff Jr to refer to mostly mass-market sized paperbacks that are comic-related. Comic-related means that the paperback has its origins in Comic Books, Comic Strips, Animation, Hero Pulps or other related Sister Arts. I have no problem including paperbacks in this list which may not have originated in comics, but are of a Super-Hero theme. The list can cover both comic reprinted work and prose material from comics or comic characters.
And if you wish to talk about Big Little Books, Oversize Paperbacks, Oblong Paperbacks or Trade Paperbacks of this "genre" feel free to do so.
Also feel free to post your buy/sell/trade lists!"

He's recently posted a link to a 700-page illustrated e-version of his list of ComicBacks. You can join the group through the above link.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

DC Comic Books Examiner: SLJ's summer reading comics list for kids

I've signed up for Mark Ruffin's email list for his comics columns and I'll pass them along here as I get them.

In the interests of diversity, I will note that the School Library Journal has run a couple of other bibliographies lately:

The Library Don't Have a Closet: 19 Graphic Novels for Gay & Lesbian Pride Month
By Martha Cornog, Philadelphia -- Library Journal, 5/27/2009.

Black, White, Red, Brown, and Yellow: America's Growing Pains in Graphic Novels
Celebrate the Fourth of July with 14 Titles.

By Martha Cornog, Philadelphia -- Library Journal, 6/23/2009.



This week, the School Library Journal posted a second list of comic books for summer reading. The sequel article continues from the initial ... Read more »

DC Comic Books Examiner, Mark Ruffin

Mark Ruffin, a reader of comics for over twenty years, is a freelance writer who tirelessly generates awareness for the Non-Fraternity Conversation and Write-up on Comic Books. Contact Mark here.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wordless comics bibliography available now

Some years ago I helped put together a bibliography of wordless comics that was published in the International Journal of Comic Art 2:2 (Fall 2000). Today questions about those comics were raised on the comix-scholars list with some people sending in suggestions about titles. I pulled up my old list to take a look at it and decided to make an update available.

I whipped up a corrected and updated version of the 2000 version of the list I had and stuck it on at as Stories Without Words: A Bibliography with Annotations 2008 edition. You can download a pdf for $1 (it wouldn't let me set it any lower), or buy a print version for $10.00.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Marvel bibliographer Rob Weiner interview

Rob Weiner, author of Marvel Graphic Novels and Related Publications: An Annotated Guide to Comics, Prose Novels, Children's Books, Articles, Criticism and Reference Works, 1965-2005, answered some questions about his 400-page book and his future projects.

How about some background? You're a librarian?

I have a BA in history and an MA in History from Texas Tech with a focus in American History and American Popular culture. While I was working on my MA in history, I was always in the library. People started asking me where things were as though I worked there. I thought I should probably get paid for doing that so I applied for a job and worked as a paraprofessional for a few years. Then I went and received my MS in Library Science at University of North Texas. I worked in a public library for 12 years and most recently took a position at Texas Tech as Humanities Librarian. I worked in the local music industry for about 10 years in Lubbock while going to college. I’ve always appreciated the “artsy” side of life so my position now is a real good fit.

Bibliography is kinda in my blood. I co-authored a bibliography on the Grateful Dead, I’ve published a filmographic essay on Johnny Cash, the Marvel Guide, and in my forthcoming book on Captain America, I co-authored Filmographic and Scholarly Bibliographic pieces. I don’t do just lists however; I have to read, or watch the piece and then annotate or critically judge it.

Why comic books?

Well, when I a little boy growing up in Michigan I remember certain images... I remember the image from Silver Surfer 1 and Tales of Suspense 39 (with the gray Iron Man)! I was mesmerized by those images. They stick with me today. I can’t say where I first saw them or how I started to read comics, but I remember those two covers specifically. I also remember I had a Batman bow tie that I was very proud to wear around at events. By the time I was around 10 or so I started actually collecting and reading comics. I was fascinated by characters like the Human Fly (I wish Marvel would do an Essential collection), 3-D Man (one of my ALL TIME favorites and one of the coolest characters Roy Thomas ever created), The Beast fascinated me (just his look), Nova the Human Rocket, Moon Knight, the Black Panther. It was these “secondary” characters that caught my eye more than the Big Guns (like Spidey / Thor / even Cap) at first. I was also fascinated by the Legion of Superheroes and those early adventures of Superboy. You know how a lot of people remember the "Death of Gwen Stacy" (which was a BIG BIG deal when it came out), for me it was the death of Chemical Boy. I cried and cried over that. (I loved Bouncing Boy also,) I have not read those 1970s Legion stories SINCE I was a kid. I would love to re-read them. I also went through a period of rediscovery when the first Tim Burton Batman movie came out and started collecting again, but then life / school / marriage got me busy again and I got out of the comic world for awhile.

It was in the late 1990s while working at the public library that I started to rekindle my love for comics through reading Graphic Novels. It occurred to me that perhaps we should try ordering some Spider-Man, Batman, and Superman books for the Public Library. I asked my library director about this and she said sure, let’s give it try. Well, that inspired ten years of collecting graphic novels for the Lubbock Public Library System. I helped build one of the best graphic novels collections in the country. There was some resistance to this as some people (on staff) did not want that sh**t in the library, but the director was always like “Do they circulate?” If they do, then let’s get more. Adults, kids, teens, all loved these books so we just kept buying more and more and built a great collection of over 4,000 items. At first, I tried reading EVERYTHING that I ordered or came in. This proved to be too daunting after awhile. There is a TON of stuff and more all the time being produced, so one has to pick their favorites and stick with them, occasionally reading something new and critically acclaimed of course.

Why Marvel?

I’ve always loved the Marvel characters. After reading Alex Ross’s Marvels I just became inspired. I realized that one could tell a story with Spider-Man that was equal to Shakespeare / Tolstoy etc. Although I had previously read The Watchmen, Dark Knight Returns, and the Crow, it just did not “hit” me until I read Marvels. The combination between the awesome art and the great storytelling just changed me (I was also highly impressed with DeFalco’s Spider-Girl). I thought wow, I should try to do something like the Grateful Dead bibliography with Marvel Graphic Novels and document and annotate them. Although some critics have pointed out that much of the info in my book is online, my book as “value added” material in that the annotations are fun to read and they provide at times a critical perspective to certain works. Frankly, I do document material that is not documented in quite the same way elsewhere, including online. Although Marvel Graphic Novels is a reference work, it is a fun book that anyone including fans, scholars, historians, librarians, should get something out of that they cannot get out of websites. For example did you know Marvel published a guide to the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, or about all those weird children’s books they published in the 1980s? None of that is documented in all one place. Are there things I missed? Of course. Is the book perfect? No, of course not. I find mistakes all the time, but I hope that it provides a great service to the sequential art community as a whole.

It took me six years to read and annotate all this material which is why it stops at 2005. Working full time, teaching, and trying to have a life is very difficult, but McFarland never gave up on me. I also have a second book, an edited collection on Captain America (my all time favorite character), coming out soon and that is in the can. Two more books are forthcoming as well. One is an edited collection looking at how Graphic Novels have affected libraries and archives and another documents Marvel on Film/Video.

Do you anticipate updating your Marvel book? Perhaps online for collectors of Marvel?

At this point no, I have no plans for that. I suppose in a few years I could do a sequel and update the book with all the items that have been published since then and perhaps have an annotated list of Marvel-related websites as well. There are some things I missed too that I could add. I wish someone actually associated with Marvel would see and appreciate this. That would be great. I know some reviews have lamented the fact that I stop at 2004-2005, and it just got published in 2008, but I just could not read and annotate everything. Much of the recent material is online (such as the Trade Paperback website and so forth), but again not all of it. Keep in mind too that it is also available as an e-book which you can download to your device. So I think this shows that reference books are not just dry and boring, but can provide something useful for the fan, scholar, professional, artist etc.

Can you talk more about the new books you've mentioned?

I have an edited collection on Captain America coming out soon. It is called Captain America and the Struggle of the Superhero: Critical Essays which should be out soon. Cap is my favorite character and after they killed Steve Rogers, I wanted to do something to honor Cap. Since similar collections like Batman and Philosophy , Man from Krypton, and Unauthorized X-Men are all edited collections, I wanted to do the same for Cap. The difference is that scholarship in my book is all over the map, from fields as diverse as Geography, History, Cultural Studies, Psychology, etc. The scholarship is a little more intense in my book than in most books I’ve seen about particular characters. The book also has some well-known scholars in the field of comic book/sequential art studies including Jason Dimitter, Cord Scott, Mark McDermott, John Moser and Mike Dubose among others. They all have a previous publishing track record, but there are those getting published for the first time in the book as well. I hope that it won’t be so deep that regular Cap fans will be put off by the book and there is a wide variety of ideas (not all of which I agree with). But I hope it will provide a good solid example of the various ways in which one can produce sequential art scholarship. I have no idea how the critics are going to view the book. The only thing missing is a detailed look at the late forties Cap comics when he got rid of Bucky and had a girl sidekick and the “commie smasher” version. Apparently those three comics published in the 1950s are nowhere to be found. I hope they turn up someday as Marvel really needs to reprint those as Atlas Era Captain America Masterworks (along with that single issue of Captain America Weird Tales which did not have a Cap story. For historical and cultural value those books are priceless.

As a librarian and someone who help build a big collection of Graphic Novels when I worked at the public library, I want to give something back to the profession. So I am also in the coming year going to be working on a book of collected essays that shows with how libraries and archives have dealt with Graphic Novels in their collections. I think this would be a very good book for professionals in the library and archival fields to have and use. I even talk about Digital Comics and the changing of the industry as well. I mean it really has been only in the last 10 years that libraries have taken note of graphic novels as a way to get folks to read and not poo-pooed it. There have been libraries that have collected comics (such as Michigan State and Randall Scott for years), but they are the exception. I went through some growing pains with my library as well, with folks skeptical about having them in the collection. I think there is less and less of that because, just like the Internet, patrons demand graphic novels in their libraries. I mean graphic storytelling is as old as humanity! Nothing to be ashamed of in that. BTW your comics’ web bibliography is an amazing resource, as is your comic to film adaptations book! Speaking of which, I am also going to do a project documenting Marvel on Film and video etc., all in one place which will be pretty cool. And I am trying to finish and editing volume on Exploitation/Horror/Grindhouse/Arthouse cinema. I am working on with a PhD student at University of Texas and I have my regular job duties at the University, so I have my hands full for at least the next few years and beyond.

[9/26/08, 5:21 pm - copy edited after initial posting - MR]

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Book review: European Comics in English Translation: A Descriptive Sourcebook.

I've submitted this to the International Journal of Comic Art for the Spring 2009 issue, but I think I've got a different audience here. If not, read it twice; it's short, it won't hurt too much.

Randall W. Scott. European Comics in English Translation: A Descriptive Sourcebook. McFarland & Company , 2002. 401 pages. $75.00. ISBN-10: 0786412054; ISBN-13: 978-0786412051.

Although the comic art form is almost four hundred years old – dating reasonably to the popularity of British satirical prints in 1729 – there has been very few scholarly bibliographical works available to the average researcher. American studies have been particularly slow to follow in the footsteps of the British who began cataloguing their prints as early as 1870. American comics bibliography took approximately a century to start after the first comic art ‘golden age,’ that of editorial cartoonists, but it is growing strongly now. Randy Scott is one of the key figures in the field, having worked to build Michigan State University’s Comic Art Collection for two decades.

In this book, Scott has provided an annotated bibliography for European albums that are available in a variety of stand-alone forms in English. The bibliography is arranged by creator and all of the books listed in it are available at the MSU library. Since he does not include serials, stories from Heavy Metal magazine, which has frequently published translated material in both single and multi-issues, is not included. Given the amount of material that has appeared in Heavy Metal and nowhere else, this is an unfortunate decision, although possibly the only practical one. In spite of this, Scott lists 543 albums, along with publication information, and more impressively, plot summaries for the albums. The plot summaries mean that the book’s index can be used to find items of particular interest, such as the randomly selected “cross dressing” which is linked to six citations. As with any work of this type, some points are arguable. The genre ‘funny animal’ probably would have been a helpful index term to link to books like Benoit Sokal’s Inspector Canardo. Although his stories belong to the genre of crime fiction and are not funny at all, Canardo is a duck.

Scott also included citations for reviews when he knew of them; an example can be seen in the listing for Mattotti’s Murmer which includes listings for two reviews from The Comics Journal. Most helpful of all may be his “Author/Translator Notes & Index” which gives brief biographical information as well as references to albums cited in the book, and source material that the biographical information was found in. An example of this is:

Madsen, Frank. Danish artist, writer, and translator, born in 1962. Annotated here are Kurt Dunder in Tirol (album 299), which he wrote, drew, and translated, and Sussi Bech’s Nofret: Kiya (album 27), which he translated. Source: DANISH (i.e. Danish Comics Today, Copenhagen, 1997), p. 104-105.

This type of additional biographical information can be very useful especially since Scott’s book covers the whole continent and is not segregated by country. The sole reason this reviewer would have for not recommending the book to anyone interested in learning about comics beyond America is the cost. The list price is far beyond what a paperback volume of this length should cost.

Friday, July 25, 2008

New book of wordless graphic novels by David Berona

Some years ago, I worked on a wordless comics bibliography - "Stories Without Words : A Bibliography with Annotations" compiled by Michael Rhode, Tom Furtwangler, and David Wybenga, International Journal of Comic Art,v. 2, no. 2 (Fall 2000), p. 265-306.

David Berona's done more than anyone else to bring some forgotten works back to public view. Here's a profile of him: "Central alum writes the book on wordless books; David Berona links wordless books of '30s to today's graphic novels," By Andrew McGinn, Springfield News Sun Thursday, July 24, 2008.

Needless to say, the bibliography's out of date. Lio's my current favorite wordless comic strip.