list of eleven updated again

So I’ve been doing my bit for meme tracking with my compiled list of Elevenses. I’ve uploaded the most recent version of the master list:

I added a crime/suspense category and a little bit of navigation so people can jump from genre to genre. I’m not entirely happy with the organization of the list, the whole “Art Comics and Independents” category is a dumping ground for things that I haven’t read but seem artsy or titles I can’t easily assign to a genre. Maybe I’ll organize that section by publisher or author. I need to look up some authors for titles that people listed without an author or publisher. And I’d like to provide links to web sites for each title.

don’t mess with Beat Takeshi

I saw Zatoichi today. I hink that it is the best movie I’ve seen so far this summer. In Zatoichi many gang leaders learn one of the basic laws of the universe:

Don’t mess with Beat Takeshi, because he will CUT you!!!

Really, you think by now, they’d know to run immediately when they see him. I’ve never seen blood splatter that artistically. I haven’t seen any of the earlier Zatoichi movies, but now I’m curious. I want to see some of the earlier incarnations of the blind swordsman. I was aware that this character has appeared over and over again and it will be interesting to compare Kitano’s version with the earlier movies.

LOTR the exhibit

Yesterday I went to see the Lord of the Rings exhibit at the Museum of Science. It was a total zoo, which I should have expected. I don’t usually like moving around in a big crush of people, and it becomes more aggravating when you have to dodge people who dress up in giant cloaks to go to a museum.
It was interesting seeing costumes and props used for the films, everything was made with such a great attention to detail, it was quite amazing.

I still have around 5 lists to incorporate into the list of elevens, that will probably happen in the next few days.

wah! thwarted by usb2!

I decided awhile ago that having an ipod would make me a better librarian. Now I have an ipod, a cute silver mini ipod, but I can’t really use it yet because my ancient laptop doesn’t have usb2. So I’m going to buy one of those adapter cards this evening, after which I will enter into ipod nirvana…

list of the lists of eleven

I’ve put up a BIG list attempting to compile the comic books recommended for libraries from the “Lieber’s Eleven” meme. I think I might have missed a few lists that were posted on message boards or in blog comments, but I’ll be trying to improve the formatting of the list and adding in what I’ve missed in the next couple days. I noted when people were voting for the same book (Maus and Understanding comics were very popular) and I added some arbitrary categories because the list was getting pretty long. When I put the list together I was surprised at how few traditional superhero titles were recommended as well as how many non-fiction comics were recomended. If I missed including your list, please let me know!

slow night at the reference desk

Refgrunt from a very slow night:

The bound periodicals are over there
I’ll show you where the computer science books are, they might have been moved
You can only check out a book for a month, but you can renew it a bunch!
How to print
I explain the differences between a collection of electronic journals vs an article database
How to print
A family on a college tour asks what the best academic department is…I make something up
(To student poking at computer) Did you have any questions about the computer? …You can save to a floppy disk or usb device
Visiting student asks about accessing library databases — as long as you are in the library I can log you in to anything you want
Limiting to full-text in an article database
Yes, go ahead and check your e-mail

fandom and piracy

Johanna at Cognitive Dissonance points to this article “When Piracy Becomes Promotion” about early years of anime fandom, when the fansubbing community was the major source of anime, as opposed to today when you can buy Tokyo Godfathers at Target. I have to admit, most of my initial interest in anime can be traced to fansubs. Back in my youth (um, late 1980s to early 1990s), my only way of watching any anime was to attend the meetings of the anime club at the local university, where they would screen fansubs of Zeta Gundam, Bubblegum Crisis, Ranma 1/2, etc. I think I still have some really bad quality dubs from that era. Up until a couple years ago, I hadn’t watched any recent anime except for Cowboy Bebop, but my little sister sent me some fansubs and I started getting into anime again.

Books about comic books

My mom posted a comment asking me what books about comic books I’d consider essential. I’m going to make a couple lists, one list that I’d consider essential for an academic library, and one list that I’d consider essential for someone with a large personal collection of books.

So, a list of essentials in academia (I haven’t read most of these, this is what I put together with a couple searches in WorldCat and 15 minutes of wandering around my library). I’m also including as many titles as I want in this list, if someone is researching comics at an academic library, my definition of essential is a solid foundation of sources that someone would have immediate access to without having to resort to interlibrary loan:

The early comic strip; narrative strips and picture stories in the European broadsheet from c.1450 to 1825.
Kunzle, David.
Berkeley, University of California Press 1973

This is a mammoth 2 volume set based on the author’s thesis. It looked to me like it would serve double-duty in a library collection, someone wanting information on the development of cartooning in Europe could use this for research as well as a historian wanting to study the popular culture of the times. Kunzle also has a book that focuses on comic strips in the 19th century

The world encyclopedia of comics
Horn, Maurice.
Philadelphia : Chelsea House, 1999
The World encyclopedia of cartoons
Horn, Maurice.; Marschall, Richard.
Detroit : Gale Research Co., 1980
The Encyclopedia of American comics
Goulart, Ron
New York : Facts on File, 1990

These look like they are good to have in a library’s reference collection. It is too bad that they haven’t been updated and reissued.

A Smithsonian book of comic-book comics
J Michael Barrier; Martin T Williams

I saw this on one of the “essential 11” lists. I read this over and over when I was a kid. A great anthology, and a new book, The New Smithsonian Book Of Comic Book Stories: From Crumb To Clowes is coming out soon. I haven’t seen it of course, but I’m adding it to this list as well, if it is anything like the previous books in this series it will be an essential anthology.

Understanding comics : the invisible art
Scott McCloud

One of the best comic books about comic books! I still miss Zot!

Comics & sequential art

Will Eisner

I have to admit I haven’t read much Will Eisner (I am shamed) other than bits of the Spirit here and there. But I’m sure that this book is essential!

Manga! Manga! : the world of Japanese comics
Dreamland Japan : writings on modern manga
Frederik L Schodt

With manga dominating bookstore graphic novel sales and more students citing japanese pop culture as their reason for studying Japanese, you have to have these books.

From girls to grrrlz : a history of [women’s] comics from teens to zines

Trina Robbins

Yay! Women’s Comics!

Seduction of the innocent.
Fredric Wertham

For its historical value for anyone researching censorship and the comics code

Histoire de la bande dessinée en France et en Belgique : des origines à nos jours
Henri Filippini

One hard thing about putting together a list like this is the lack of books in English about the development of comics in Europe. It seems goofy to me to leave that out, so this is book is included — a history of comic books in France and Belgium. It is written in French.

Children of the yellow kid : the evolution of the American comic strip
Harvey, Robert C.; Walker, Brian.; West, Richard V.
Publication: Seattle : Frye Art Museum in association with the
University of Washington Press, 1998
Comics, comix & graphic novels
Roger Sabin
London : Phaidon Press, 1996
The Great Comic Book Heroes
Jules Feiffer

That’s about it. I’d think that you would also want to add a couple books of pop culture criticism and some of those collections that reprint superhero (Batman, Spiderman, Superman, etc) stories selected across many decades as well as collections of alernative comics.

For the average person’s personal library, I think that you just need Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, The Smithsonian Book of Comic Book Comics, a Frederik L Schodt book (if you like manga), and either a few boxes of old comics or some books collecting comics from many decades.

I don’t think there are enough examples of comics or comics creaters featured in novels to cull a list of essentials. I’m going to list the ones I’ve read and a few others that I’m aware of.
Books I’ve read

The amazing adventures of Kavalier and Clay : a novel

Chabon, Michael
Fortress of Solitude
Jonathan Lethem
The Funnies
J. Robert Lennon

An artist inherits a comic strip from his estranged father.

Edwin Mullhouse: The Life and Death of an American Writer 1943-1954 by Jeffrey Cartwright

Steven Millhauser

The child genius in the novel works on a masterpiece called Cartoons.

Love Fights
Andi Watson

I’m adding this comic to the list, since one of the main characters is a comic book artist AND it still has an entertaining story. Someone could add some of the autobiographical work that is included in something like the collection McSweeney’s #13, I just find fiction more entertaining than non-fiction.

A couple other novels I haven’t read:

Funny papers : a novel
Tom De Haven
What they did to Princess Paragon
Robert Rodi