It’s summertime, which nowadays essentially means Marvel™ movies season! Not looking for more Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, or the Avengers? Then check out these lesser-known, but equally Marvel™-ous graphic novels:
Black Bolt vol. 1 Hard Time by Saladin Ahmed & Christian Ward
Blackagar Boltagon (yes, really), the silent king of the Inhumans, finds himself imprisoned. Where is this prison? Who could be powerful enough to hold Black Bolt captive? This mesmerizing character study, with surreal, vibrant artwork, is part prison break, part buddy movie. Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2018: Graphic Novels”
A zine is a self-published work of original or appropriated and remixed materials, including photographs, drawings, poetry, and prose. Typically limited in print number, zines are most often stapled-together paper reproduced on a photocopier, and distributed locally.
While zines are closely associated with music scenes such as punk or riot grrrl, they have existed in their modern form as a part of a variety of artistic movements since the early 20th century, including Dadaist leaflets and early science fiction fan magazines (aka fanzines aka zines).
The Central Library’s Teen Center zine collection, launched with the goal of promoting the voices and creative expression of teens and young adults, especially those living in the Pacific Northwest, includes over a hundred zines and mini-comics, with topics ranging from self-perception to parrotfish to paper airplanes. All zines in this collection are uncatalogued, but may be borrowed and returned to the library when finished. Continue reading “The Seattle Public Library Zine Collections”
“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.
Sequential art is a very flexible storytelling medium. Styles range from serialized or one-shot stories, published as individual comics issues and larger graphic novels, to very short comic strips and political cartoons. A favorite comics type of mine is the thematic comics anthology.
Anthologies tend to highlight stories from up-and-coming creators, creators from under-represented groups (including #ownvoices stories), and often feature supposedly “less marketable” subject matter. They are generally short stories of a few pages each, not the typical 22-page or longer comics story. They are sometimes financed outright by traditional publishers, but nowadays the trend seems to be moving towards crowdfunding.
#ownvoices is a social media hashtag, first suggested on Twitter by Corinne Duyvis in September 2015 as a tool “to recommend kidlit about diverse characters written by authors from that same diverse group”. It is related to, and overlaps with, the “We Need Diverse Books” movement/non-profit organization. As a tool and a movement, #ownvoices can be used to describe any marginalized group within any genre of any art form; it is purposefully unrestrictive.
Try out these #ownvoices comics in The Seattle Public Library collection, where the creators (writer[s]) or artist[s]) share a marginalized identity with a protagonist:
The Eisner Award winning graphic novel from Singaporean-based Malaysian creator Sonny Liew tells the fictional story of Singaporean comics creator Charlie Chan Hock Chye, whose life and art parallel and evolve alongside the actual history of modern Singapore.