This guide is constantly being updated and features the complete adult graphics collection of the Downtown branch as well as highlights from several of our other branches that feature graphic novel collections, our entire catalog can be viewed at http://catalog.hmcpl.org/.
Although a large variety of the titles present are acceptible for teens, each book summary will have an age range recommendation. The young adult overview of graphic novels at the Main Branch can be found here.
This guide is broken up into several genres and then into subsections, with the fiction titles broken down into modern graphics, vintage graphics, comic books and manga while the non-fiction titles are broken down by Dewey classifications. Fiction titles are arranged alphabetically by title and non-fiction titles numerically and alphabetically as they appear on the shelf. Many titles fall under multple genres so they are listed in more than one section to be easliy found and each title links to our catalogue to check availablity and the ability to place holds. Under this home page there are subpages for displays we currently have up on specific themes or events as well as past lists as time goes on as well as a page for staff picks/reviews.
Found a graphic novel you're interested in and want to place a hold on it? Click on the title you'd like in this guide and it will take you to it's record in HMCPL's catalog. From there you should see a "Place Hold" option on the right hand side of the screen, click on that and you will be prompted to log in to your account if you aren't already. Once logged in you'll be able to review the book you're about to place on hold and choose a branch destination for you to pick it up at. Click the Place Hold button and you're done!
Keep in mind if you're looking for a specific volume in a series (Like Walking Dead, Saga, Fables, ect.) that the volume you're looking for may be in a record with multiple volumes. If you do not specific which one you'd like to put on hold, the system will pull the next available copy regardless of which one it might be. To place a spefic volume on hold, click on the title you'd like in this guide and it will take you to it's record in HMCPL's catalog where you should see a "Place Hold"option on the right hand side of the screen. From this screen click the "Show more options" box and click the "A specific item" box where you'll be able to select the specific volume you need!
Rocket City NerdCon is Huntsville Madison County Public Library's annual convention in celebration of everything nerdy! We not only have great programs that highlight various fandoms but have several vendors that sell all manner of great items. Proceeds from this event go towards helping the library's materials budget (including getting more graphic novels!). Follow us out on facebook.
At the Downtown Branch, the adult graphics section is located go the left as you enter the building in a nook next to the International Media Center. The fiction graphics are arranged alphabetically by title for easier browsing (i.e. looking for Batman? Frank Miller, Denny O'Neil, and Bob Kane are together in one place in the B's) and our nonfiction titles are shelved according to the Dewey Decimal System. Each branch has their own collection of Adult Graphics, consult with the desk at your local branch to see where their collection is located! We are always expanding our catalog and add new books monthly! We gladly accept patron suggetions, if you see a title or series that we don't have please put in a request. We also readily accept donations, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in contributing to Downtown's collection or contact your local branch for donating to them.
A Brief Overview
Comic books refer to single issue periodicals (typcially monthly) while graphic novels generally refer to orignal material that has never before been serialized in comic book form. TPBs or trade paperbacks tend to refer to a collected storyarc of a comic book series. much like books these usually are released in hardcover form first and then softcover.
Avatar - Containing mature titles, responsible for such titles as Robocop, Extinction Parade, Lady Death, and several horror movie adaptations.
Boom Studios- Responsible for such titles as Lumberjanes, The Midas Flesh, Munchkin and others.
Kaboom- Boom's all ages line of books with titles which have included Pixas and Disney proporties in the past.
Bongo - Typically all ages friendly, responsible for such titles as The Simpsons, Futurama and Spongebob Squarepants among others.
Dark Horse- Typically for teens and up, responsible for such titles as Conan the Barbarian, Hellboy, Goon and 1990's-200's Star wars books among others.
DC- Responsible for such titles as Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and others.
Vertigo - DC's mature imprint, responsible for such titles as Sandman, Fables, Y the Last Man and others.
Dynamite- Responsible for such titles as Red Sonja, Game of Thrones, Lone Ranger and others.
IDW- Responsible for such titles as Transformers, Ghostbusters, G.I. Joe and more mature titles like 30 Days of Night among others.
Image- Typically for teens and up, responsible for such titles as Walking Dead, Invincible, Fatale and others.
Marvel- Responsible for such titles as Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy and others.
Max - Marvel's mature imprint, responsible for such titles as Punisher, Fury, Supreme Power and others.
Icon - Marvel's imprint for creator owned properities (typically mature), responsible for suchs titles as Kabuki, Incognito, Powers and others.
Viz Media- Responsible for manga titles as well as popular magazines like Shonen Jump and Shojo Beat.
Comics? That's kid stuff....
A common misconception that comics are strictly for kids, have always been and will always be. This isn't the case and really has never been, even in the 1940's during the Golden Age of comics adults were reading them, they were even sent in care packages to soldiers overseas. Always a diverse medium, even then they weren't just funny animal books and super heroes, there were science fiction, crime and horror comics that were also widely popular at the time. In fact, during World War 2 when artist Will Eisner was drafted, he used his expertise in the medium to illustrate instructional and assembly manuals for the army.
Art by Scott Mccloud from Understanding Comics (William Morrow, 1993)
Things took a down turn in the 1950's, primarily due to the efforts of Dr. Fredrick Wertham, a psychologist that wrote extensively on the evils of comics and their direct correlation with children becoming criminals, sadists, and homosexuals by merely reading them- he even published a book entitled Seduction of the Innocent in which he outlines all his outlandish claims. He fought this issue all the way to Congress and because of the hysteria he whipped up, he drove several publishers out of business and lead to the establishment of the Comics Code Authority which policed the content of comics. With the new restrictions, writers and artists were limited to what was allowable - the good guys must always win, police are never to look foolish, the bad guys must always be caught, there will be no mention of social issues, monsters such as werewolves and vampires were strictly forbidden.
(left) A picture of Dr. Wertham from the dust jacket of Seduction of the Innocent and (right) the Comics Code Authority emblem.
This set the industry back for decades, although clever writers and artists found clever loopholes around the code and tackled important issues of the day like civil rights, drug abuse, and other hard hitting issues while an underground comix movement also sprang up that ignored the code entirely. Comic books continued to seep into pop culture and the ingrain itself into the commonplace as time progressed and the code's stranglehold waned before disappearing entirely in the 1990s.
These days, comic books and graphic novels recieve the recognition they deserve and are created for audiences of all ages. There are still super hero and funny animal books, along with so much more...comics are teaching aides, cultural milestones, required reading. Whatever you're interested in, there is a graphic novel for you, all you have to do is open your horizons!