Comics Before Cinema! Part Two

This is the second of three posts featuring graphic novels and comics as the original source material. If you liked what you’ve seen on screen, try reading it…because sometimes the comic book is better.

I admit that I have not watched or read most of what I’ve listed (though not for a lack of trying!) and I made it a point to explore outside the expansive DC and Marvel universe. Today I will be showcasing popular family classics whose comic book roots might surprise you.

The Adventures of Tintin The Adventures of TinTin by Hergé

TinTin is a reporter and adventurer who travels around the world with his faithful dog Snowy. Since 1929, Hergé’s meticulous attention to his art and good-natured protagonist has charmed generations throughout the world and totes a Steven Spielberg directed animated movie. Continue reading “Comics Before Cinema! Part Two”

Comics Before Cinema, Part One

Like many stuck at home, I have been looking forward to warm days that could coax me outdoors and read a good comic while basking in the sun. However, us Washingtonians do expect a spat of rain every now and again to water our Evergreen state and it is a given that most of us are back indoors when it pours.

As a fan of graphic novels and comics, I decided to spend some of my free time researching (or more accurately, binge-watching) television shows and movies that were inspired by the illustrated medium ​that I so enjoy. Thanks to online streaming there are quite a few titles available, and I admit that I have not watched or read most of what I’ve listed (though not for a lack of trying!) and I made it a point to explore outside the expansive DC and Marvel universe.

This will be the first of three posts featuring graphic novels and comics as the original source material of popular movies or shows. If you liked what you’ve seen on screen, try reading it…because sometimes the comic book is better.

The Best of Archie Comics 75 years, 75 Stories by Bob MontanaArchie: 75 Years, 75 Stories by Bob Montana

Did you know that over 300 Archie comics are available on Hoopla? Fans of the show Riverdale can find Archie and the gang across a platform of genres ranging from the light-hearted feel-good classics like The Best of Archie Comics to a more serious coming-of-age story set during the start of WWII in Archie: 1941. ​ And who could forget that time zombies infested the town (Afterlife with Archie) or when Predator came to crash Spring Break in Archie vs. Predator? There are also several titles set in the silver screen universe of Riverdale Digest for die-hard fans of the show. Continue reading “Comics Before Cinema, Part One”

Comic Cuisine

Before social-distancing, I thought I was a pretty decent home cook. Now, after eating nothing but my own cooking for two weeks, I’ve discovered that I only know about five recipes. For anyone in a similar boat, the library has nearly 2,000 digital cookbooks to inspire your cooking adventures.

Personally though, most of those cookbooks don’t work well for me—I need step by step help and looking at a huge block of text on a recipe usually makes my attention wander. The solution? Comic cookbooks! These cookbooks often encompass multiple genres combining travelogue, memoir, food history, and – most importantly – recipes in graphic novel format that are engaging and easy to follow.

A sampling of the comic cookbooks in our collection:

Cook Korean! A Comic Book with Recipes by Robin HaCook Korean! A Comic Book with Recipes by Robin Ha
Ha’s personal and educational approach to Korean food makes it feel like I’m learning to cook from a friend. In addition to 65 recipes, she also helps the reader connect more deeply to Korean cuisine by sharing food histories, regional variations, and anecdotes. Continue reading “Comic Cuisine”

Wordless Comics

In the influential graphic novel Understanding Comics, creator Scott McCloud defines comics as:

“Juxtaposed pictorial and other images in a deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or produce an aesthetic response in the viewer.”

Notice that this definition does not include any specific mention of comics requiring words in order to be considered comics. Words, sure, fit under the generously vague “other images” category, but, at their most unadorned, comics simply need images put together in a particular order to be comics.

These “wordless comics” still require reading, just of a different sort. Images, on a spectrum of realistic to abstract, are associated with each other and meaning is made, just as with interpreting letters and words. Wordless comics use “silence” to their advantage by necessitating a closer reading of the colors, backgrounds, moods, layouts, line-work, and body language of the characters.

Continue reading “Wordless Comics”

Kickstarter Comics at the Library

Generally comic book collections or original graphic novels are purchased by the Library from a book distributor. The titles offered by these companies typically include materials from major publishing companies. But many wonderful titles are produced by smaller presses or individuals, and funded through crowdsourcing sites such as Kickstarter. Many of these titles, after their initial Kickstarter printing, are picked up and reprinted by a larger publisher such as Boom! Studios or Image Comics.

The Library purchases materials from these publishers as a way to diversify the collection and support independent and oft-marginalized creators. Many of the stories told in these books unfortunately aren’t found at larger presses. Take a look at these recently crowd-funded comics and graphic novels in The Seattle Public Library collection, and Continue reading “Kickstarter Comics at the Library”