Thanks to everyone ages ago who jogged my memory when I was putting this collection together since I panicked and couldn’t remember a single title in 20 years of comic reading lol. Also thanks to Kelly Sue for the signal boost. It really helped me get a lot of great replies.
Our checkouts have been more than 80% girls. Batman and Spider-Man (Miles and Petey both) have been our highest checkouts and Captain Marvel hasn’t been in the library all week (old photo).
Also: there is a non-fiction section as well that is slowly growing as I recatalog things and order more books. The epic Captain America is on its way here. It is the one that weighs like twenty pounds lol.
I am stupid proud of this collection and what we were able to do over just one summer. Yes it took me that long to catalogue all those books :)
Thanks again to everyone who helped.
This is SO COOL!!!
Neato! We put our comics in this EXACT credenza at our library as well. Manga is by far the most popular type of graphic novel, but superhero comics are a close second. Of both of those, with us as well, girls typically outrank boys as graphic novel readers, and are instrumental in getting the guys to read as well. Current favorites are Nova, Batman, and Young Avengers.
Sometimes you get some interesting things in a donations box. Here we have two classic single issues featuring two of America’s most iconic superheroes.
On the left is Superman #168, written by Edmond Hamilton with art by Curt Swan and George Klein. The issue has the distinction (if one can call it that) of being the first to be published after John F. Kennedy’s assassination in November of 1963. The letters page has a tribute to the fallen President. This issue was originally supposed to have featured a story centered around JFK’s physical fitness program, but the story was pushed back to issue #170 after the President’s untimely death.
The issue on the right is Detective Comics #357, written by John Broome with art by Sheldon Moldoff and Joe Giella. The main story of the issue is entitled “Bruce Wayne Unmasks Batman!” and features a cameo appearance by then-well-known radio personality William B. Williams. Williams was a disc jockey on New York City’s WNEW station for over 40 years, where he interviewed top talent, including Frank Sinatra. As you can see from the cover, some early fan has removed Williams’s face from the late, great Carmine Infantino’s otherwise exquisitely beautiful cover. This issue also featured a backup story with the Elongated Man, with a story by Gardner Fox and art by Murphy Anderson and Sid Greene.
While each comic’s innards are well-preserved, the covers are both heavily damaged. This is typical for this era of comics, as they were printed on acidic paper and fans didn’t necessarily collect or keep issues. Often they were traded and shared after they were read, making them very “well-loved.” Still, markings and tears on any sort of book makes a librarian wince.
One last note: There’s an interesting progression between the two issues in the ads section. Each of these books is like a cultural time capsule, sharing what was important to young people at the time they were published. The 1963 Superman seems to assume that every reader is part of a household where at least one parent is present. The 1968 Detective Comics issue makes references to “parents or legal guardians,” acknowledging more complicated, less traditional family structures. Just an interesting observation on the progression of cultural ideas of family in a silly Batman book.
The Damian-meeting-the-Waynes fanarts I’ve seen on Tumblr are wonderful, and I think they’re helping the Batman fandom through the events of Batman Inc. #8.
I really appreciate the work that Grant Morrison, Scott Snyder, Peter Tomasi, and other writers did to make an initially prickly character so beloved by so many fans. You don’t cry over poorly-done characters. We’ll miss you, Damian, for however long you’re gone.
That episode of the Animated Series where Tim Drake has a crush on a girl, only she turns out to be part of Clayface and she sacrifices herself to save him.
My feels in this episode came more from another running theme in the episode. Batman sums it up best at the end of the story when he tells Tim that “sometimes there are no happy endings.” When Tim first mentions Annie to Batman, he points out that she’s a problem for a runaways center and not a teenage vigilante, and he’s right. Child abuse and runaways are both widespread and complicated problems that can’t be solved via batarang. Later, when Tim searches for Annie, he encounters many families coping with poverty and homelessness, another massive problem superheroics can’t solve.
Tim’s look when he encounters these families is touching because he came from a household of crime, poverty, and abuse himself and was rescued by Bruce/Batman. In this episode he’s greeted by the unpleasant reality that he is the exception, not the rule. Not every kid can be adopted by a billionaire turned superhero, and his Robin suit doesn’t make him the easy solution to every horribly sucky problem the world has to offer. All this doesn’t stop him from trying, but recognizing that not everyone actually receives the happiness they deserve is at the heart of Tim’s growing pains.
Some people won’t be happy until they’ve pushed you to the ground. What you have to do is have the courage to stand your ground and not give them the time of day. Hold on to your power and never give it away.
DC Comics has created a whole set of serials supposedly aimed at teens, but Batman #12, written by Scott Snyder, was the first comic they’ve published since the reboot that I thought of as a truly compelling, passionate story that spoke to teenagers. It featured an instantly likeable and wholly developed character whose story is told in a wrenching and engrossing 20 pages of panels. I cared deeply for them, and cried with them, a mere six pages into the book, and admired Harper’s courage and devotion to her tormented brother Cullen. Harper Row is as classic and beloved a character as any of John Green’s heroines, as Sam from The Perks of Being a Wallflower, as Katniss from The Hunger Games, as Jolly in Virginia Wolff’s Make Lemonade. Her financial and social situation is both relevant and emotionally potent to today’s teens, and when I set the comic down after my first reading I had the satisfying, full sensation of having just read a work of excellent YA literature. Everything else this week paled in comparison. DC’s actual comics for teens pale in comparison. Absolutely incredible.
Also, Batman was in this issue. But Harper pwned him.
I think the thought and intentions are very noble and very nice, and if Christian Bale, Christopher Nolan, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, etc., find that they’re interested in visiting kids injured in the Aurora shootings, more power to them. I think people would be thrilled and probably find the visit delightful. But I also think that the internet is making this tragedy too much about Batman and not enough about the victims themselves and what they might need.
The people in that movie theater were attacked by a masked man in what is likely going to be the most traumatic experience most of the survivors in the theater will ever face. That being said, I’m not sure that the appearance of another masked man, even a familiar one like “Batman,” in their hospital room would be an altogether good idea (unless one of the victims does want “Batman” to show up - then that’s great). I just don’t think that the internet should be making inappropriate connections between the Batman movie and the mass shooting tragedy.
The choice of venue was up to the aggressor in this situation, not the victims (he would have chosen another place to make a statement had the midnight premiere not worked out). So do we really want to keep that link between the movie and terror going? I think that whether or not Batman makes an appearance should be up to the victims and their families, not a well-intentioned internet. Just saying.