CFP-Essays on Librarians/Archives/Libraries in Graphic Novels, Comic Strips and Sequential Art

Date: November 15, 2020
Subject Fields: Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Film and Film History, Library and Information Science, Popular Culture Studies

Call for Essays: Libraries, Archives, and Librarians in Graphic Novels, Comic Strips and Sequential Art edited by Carrye Syma, Donell Callender, and Robert G. Weiner.

The editors of a new collection of articles/essays are seeking essays about the portrayal of libraries, archives and librarians in graphic novels, comic strips, and sequential art/comics. The librarian and the library have a long and varied history in sequential art. Steven M. Bergson’s popular website LIBRARIANS IN COMICS (http://www.ibiblio.org/librariesfaq/comstrp/comstrp.htm; http://www.ibiblio.org/librariesfaq/combks/combks.htm) is a useful reference source and a place to start as is the essay Let’s Talk Comics: Librarians by Megan Halsband (https://blogs.loc.gov/headlinesandheroes/2019/07/lets-talk-comics-librarians/). There are also other websites which discuss librarians in comics and provide a place for scholars to start.

Going as far back as the Atlantean age the librarian is seen as a seeker of knowledge for its own sake. For example, in Kull # 6 (1972) the librarian is trying to convince King Kull that of importance of gaining more knowledge for the journey they about to undertake. Kull is unconvinced, however. In the graphic novel Avengers No Road Home (2019), Hercules utters “Save the Librarian” which indicates just how important librarians are as gatekeepers of knowledge even for Greek Gods. These are just a few examples scholars can find in sequential art that illustrate librarians as characters who take their roles as preservers of knowledge seriously. We will accept essays related to sequential art television shows and movies e.g., Batgirl in the third season of Batman (1966); Stan Lee being a librarian in The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) movie.

Some possible topics include:

  • Libraries and librarians in the comic strip Unshelved.
  • Oracle/Batgirl as an information engineer in the DC Universe.
  • Libraries and Librarians in the Marvel Universe Archives in the Star Wars Comics Archives/Librarians in the X-Men series
  • The Librarian in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series
  • The librarian in the Buffy Comics
  • Libraries and Librarians in early and contemporary comic strips
  • Libraries and Librarians during the Golden Age (1940s/1950s) comics.
  • How is information seeking portrayed in graphic novels?
  • Librarians/Libraries in independent comics and graphic novels.
  • The use of graphic novels such as Matt Upson, C. Michael Hall, and Kevin Cannon’s Information Now.
  • Webcomics and Libraries and Librarians
  • In what other ways is the traditional role of librarian portrayed in other types of characters in comics? (oracle, seer, three witches, etc.)

These are just a few suggested topics. Any topic related to librarians/archives/librarians in comics and sequential art will be considered. We are seeking essays of 2,500-5,000 words (no longer) not including notes in APA style for this exciting new volume.

Please send a 300-500-word abstract by November 15th 2020 to Carrye Syma Carrye.Syma@ttu.edu Assistant Academic Dean and Associate Librarian Texas Tech University Libraries

Please note that this will be edited by three editors Rob Weiner, Carrye Syma, and Donell Callender even though Carrye Syma is the initial contact person.

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