19 December 2008


Two highly compelling book-length comics that I found in the Young Adult Graphic Novels section of my local library, though I'm still not convinced they belong anywhere near there—

Clyde Fans, by Seth, because there's nothing teenagers like to read more than delicately paced studies of two brothers who tried to sell electric fans to Canadian retailers midway through the last century.

From Hell, by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell, because there's nothing parents like their teenagers to read more than a depiction of the Jack the Ripper murders in all their bloody, full-frontal, sex-and-gore detail.

Yes, this is part of my ongoing meditation/grouse about how in America the comics form makes people think that books are more appropriate for younger readers than their subjects, stories, and styles should really indicate.

Though I wonder if the real explanation for that shelving is that the YA librarian was more aggressive about buying well-reviewed graphic novels, just to make sure they got into the collection.


Jennifer said...

Well, it's a problem. I'm the youth services librarian, which means I do babies to teens and right now I've got a bunch of 16+ rated manga which I don't know what to do with. Put it in my YA area? But my YA area goes down to middle school (and below) and my director (and I) aren't happy about putting "Battle Vixens" where the 12 year olds will find it. Put it in the adult nonfiction? Nobody will ever find it. It's a dilemma.

Anonymous said...

My local library has three different comics sections - one in adults, one in YA, and one in middle grade. Mostly this is nice because stuff that is clearly adult stays upstairs, but sometimes weird happen like Yotsuba& ending up in the middle grade section, and sometimes I have to play "which section would this title get assigned to" but overall I think it's a pretty good implementation choice.

J. L. Bell said...

My library also has separate shelving of Children’s, Young Adult, and Adult graphic novels. The YA and Adult shelves are within a few steps of each other on one floor, the Children’s downstairs in the kids’ wing.

I’ve learned to check all three regularly because there’s so much overlap, and I can’t make sense of what titles will end up where.