Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Where to find out about comics?

by Sean Murgatroyd

When responding to requests for purchase for the Graphic Novel collection, I often come across problems when the customer has requested a title that is out of print, hasn’t been printed yet or isn’t even available in English Language format.

Very often they are relying on the vast number of comics discussion forums where speculation and wishful thinking play as much a role as any real fact.

To sort out these issues, I visit the websites of the publishers themselves. I would recommend introducing them to any comics fans you’re helping. This will help them make informed decisions about their favourite characters and authors.

The big names are of course Marvel, which has a searchable catalogue and DC which provides a very helpful list of their graphic novels currently in publication.

Don’t forget Vertigo, DC’s very popular line of graphic novels for adults. A large part of our adult collection has been sourced from here.

Other notable names in the superhero publishing universe are Dark Horse, Image Comics and relative newcomer Dynamite Comics.

For adult readers looking for the more literary works, the Fantagraphics and Drawn and Quarterly (which publishes New Zealand’s own Dylan Horrocks) sites are well worth a look.

Lastly, the Japanese-originating manga world is a force that has had an increasing impact on the Western comics world. Weekly Shonen Jump magazine has been running in Japan since 1968, spawning many of the more famous comics lines. Viz Media publishes the English language versions of many of their titles. The other major English-language publisher of manga is Tokyopop.

As you can see there is a world of resources available in helping patrons with every comics preference. With many of the sites offering previews, informed choices are easy.

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