From fantasy to personal narratives: explore our new graphic novel and comics collection

By Laura Morales - Associate Dean for Collections and Content Services

Swem Library has carved out a space on our second floor for a comics/graphic novel collection! Located in the nook at the front of the building, this collection contains approximately 500 titles, although new ones will be added regularly. Most of these already existed in our collections but were difficult to find and nearly impossible to browse, so we brought them all together. We encourage folks to drop by and peruse this collection. Comfy chairs are available nearby if the urge hits to just curl up and read right then and there!

Why comics:
Stories can be told using a variety of different formats. Combining textual, spatial, and visual components allows readers the opportunity to see through the eyes of the narrator, bearing witness to emotions and reactions of characters as events unfold. Comics both show and tell the reader what is happening and can depict any topic, fiction or non-fiction. They can be heartbreaking, thought-provoking, subversive, funny, irreverent, or inspiring, sometimes all within the same story! Comics and graphic novels can be used for cultural, political, literary, and artistic research, making them valuable enhancements to interdisciplinary studies.

Diverse content:
Separating these books into their own collection also gives us an opportunity to amplify marginalized and historically excluded voices. Although many people identify comics with superheroes, there is a strong literary output of graphic novels and graphic nonfiction that focuses on personal narratives. These are real stories created by the people who have lived them, telling their own story on their own terms and in their own way.

Everyone needs a stress buster! Disappearing into another world, even for a short time, can relax and refresh. As librarians, we would be remiss if we didn’t encourage joyful connections to books and reading, whatever the topic or format. From superheroes to manga, we hope there is something here for everyone! If you don’t find what you like, there is a QR code posted nearby to send us recommendations.