October is LGBT History Month! Let us celebrate and read some recently published comics and graphic novels by queer creators and about queer characters and stories!
Ever read a comic story with a character that has arthritis? How about someone who lives with anxiety and depression? PTSD? Food poisoning? If so, then you’re already familiar with Graphic Medicine!
Graphic Medicine is a genre of comics (with a website!) that examines the intersection of the comics medium with the discourses of healthcare, providing an accessible and impactful method of communicating and sharing illness narratives. These comics cover the spectrum, from published graphic novels (El Deafo), crowd-funded anthologies (Corpus), self-published web-comics (Kate or Die!) and zines ((No) Pain: A Guide to Injury Prevention for Cartoonists), with Graphic Medicine sometimes the focus of the work, other times simply present in a particular character or storyline. Continue reading “Graphic Medicine”
Seattle Reads recently celebrated Vietnamese American cartoonist Thi Bui’s comics memoir The Best We Could Do. Bui is one of many, many great Asian American and Pacific Islander American cartoonists. In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, librarians at The Seattle Public list created a list of work from some of these brilliant cartoonists. Below are a few selections.
Blame This on the Boogie by Rina Ayuyang
Vibrant, kinetic colored pencil drawings gorgeously illustrate Ayuyang’s memoir full of touching and hilarious stories of Filipino American culture, Pittsburgh, music, dance, motherhood, and pop-culture fandom. Continue reading “Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Comics and Graphic Novels”
An Interview with Thi Bui
by Jess Boyd
Thi Bui’s The Best We Could Do is a story that moved me, my family and my community. It gave voice to feelings and frustrations that I had yet to articulate and acted as a medium to bridge generations and countries.
The story is a multigenerational saga told through Bui’s past and present selves. Bui generously shares herself at different moments throughout her life, as a child, as a sibling, as a new mother, allowing us to see the far reaching ripples of war, and the way that those ripples can become waves that carry people across oceans.
Jess Boyd: Where was the birthplace of your creativity?
Thi Bui: I have to take a moment to allow myself to accept the compliment embedded in this question. “Ya not creative!” shouts my inner Viet.
Okay, it’s good now. I remember making things and daydreaming when I was a kid as a form of escape. Whether I was escaping my drab physical environment or tense emotional environment, I’m not sure … maybe both? It’s not like that anymore but that was how being creative started — first as an escape and then as a rebellion.
Why is it important to remember and reflect on the past?
We apes learn slow and we keep having to learn the same lessons over and over again. History keeps us humble and it also lends us perspective. Continue reading “Seattle Reads: An Interview with Thi Bui”
The Seattle Public Library has physical comics for children, teens, and adults available for checkout in all of our 27 locations, as well as through our mobile services. We also have comics available through our Hoopla Digital service. But did you know, amongst all of the mysteries, memoirs, and literary fiction e-books, that we also have approximately 1,700 “comic and graphic works” in our OverDrive collection?! This collection includes popular kids comics like the Narwhal and Jelly series, relatable webcomics such as “Sarah’s Scribbles,” award winners like Kindred… and even the 2019 Seattle Reads selection The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui!
Narwhal’s Otter Friend: Narwhal and Jelly Series, Book 4 by Ben Clanton
This is the fourth book of the Narwhal and Jelly aquatic graphic novel adventure series for early readers! While Narwhal enthusiastically accepts newcomer Otter into the friend-pod, Jelly reacts somewhat jelly-ously… (Clanton, a local author, won the Washington State Book Award for the first book in this series.) Continue reading “OverDrive Comics and ‘The Best We Could Do’”