Category Archives: Collection Highlights

NEW BOOKS – Comics and Graphic Novels

Weapons of Mass Diplomacy by Lanzac & Blain

PN6747.L36 A2 2014

Winner of the Best Graphic Novel Award at the Angoulême International Comics Festival, 2013.

Following 9/11, President Bush’s “War on Terror” with plans to invade Iraq erupted into a cultural clash between French reluctance and American assurance over the case for “Weapons of Mass Destruction.” In Weapons of Mass Diplomacy, diplomat Abel Lanzac reveals the tension and politics through a French insider’s point of view, with satirical humor that softens the controversial subject matter. Readers follow Lanzac’s fictionalized self, Arthur Vlaminck, a speechwriter for the French Foreign Minister. As part of a team tasked with drafting France’s response to the growing international crisis in the Middle East, which is then delivered before the United Nations Security Council. A graphic milestone of diplomacy, Weapons of Mass Diplomacy—a bestseller in Europe—pro­vides a revelatory account of a period that saw French fries become “freedom fries” and an alternative perspective on the decisions leading up to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.


War of Streets and Houses by Sophie Yanow

PN6727.Y36 W37 2014

Ignatz award Nomination for Outstanding Graphic Novel

An American artist witnesses the Quebec spring 2012 student strike on the streets of Montreal. The brutal police response and their violent tactics trigger an exploration of urban planning and its hidden connections to military strategies. Marshal Bugeaud’s urban warfare tactics in Algeria, Haussmann’s plan for Paris, planning and repression in the New World; theory and personal experience collide into an ambitious and poetic cartoon memoir.

Writer Adam Rothstein wrote a very thoughtful review.                                          His piece appears at The State.

The point is not to answer the questions, but to try to understand how we ended up with unanswerable questions to begin with. Like any person building a house, we can’t erase the city around us. We have to figure out how to build what we want in the environment we have.

Shawn Starr posted an insightful essay on the book, offering commentary on Sophie’s use of the comics grid. The essay appears on Left Me Wanting More.

Yanow’s panels though are free drawn, weaving up and down, veering to the right a little or the left. It is in these inconsistencies that we see the artist’s hand first and foremost, the nature of her line, rather than the uniformity found at the edge of a ruler. This naturalism goes straight to the heart of War of Streets and Houses; the city/comics grid may have its place, but the eccentricities of the individual community or artist come through first and foremost.



The Strain book one by Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan

PN6727.L369 S87 2014  

When a Boeing 777 lands at JFK International Airport and goes dark on the runway, the Center for Disease Control, fearing a terrorist attack, calls in Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his team of expert biological-threat first responders. Only an elderly pawnbroker from Spanish Harlem suspects a darker purpose behind the event–an ancient threat intent on covering mankind in darkness. In one week, Manhattan will be gone. In one month, the country. In two months–the world.

This horrifying first chapter introduces an outbreak of diabolical proportions that puts a terrifying twist on the vampire genre! Collects issues #1 through #11.

Now an FX original series.



Afterlife with Archie by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa Artwork by Francesco Francavilla

PN6728.A72 A78 2014

When Jughead’s beloved pet Hot Dog is killed in a hit and run, Jughead turns to Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Using dark magic, Sabrina returns him to the land of the living. But he’s not the same… and soon, the darkness he brings from beyond the grave spreads through Riverdale!

Adult take on the classic Archie characters.


The Castle by David Zane Mairowitz

PN6727.M347 C37 2013

 Like Kafka’s last novel, Mairowitz’s graphic adaptation ends midsentence. Neither Mairowitz nor any other reader can say whether the land surveyor K. ever meets the Count, his supposed employer, in the castle. Nor can they ever determine whether he meets the Count’s agent, who K. repeatedly tries to contact by way of a messenger and with whose disgraced family he ends up sheltering when he fails to discover whether he has actually been hired at all and everyone else in town has closed their doors on him. Of course, the villagers—ignorantly in thrall to the castle and its authority—haven’t helped him at all, regardless of any sympathy they might have for K. Critics have argued that the story might satirize bureaucracy, political authority, or religious salvation. Or might it be an allegory of the Jew in a Gentile society? Jaromír 99 perhaps bets on that last interpretation with artwork that is a matter of stark swatches and blocks of black, white, and gray, suggestive of woodcuts and expressionism in general and German artist Käthe Kollwitz in particular. –Ray Olson from Booklist

Recent Museum Exhibition Catalogs – NEW BOOKS


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Jeff Koons – A Retrospective by Scott Rothkopf                                            N6537.K645 A4 2014                                                                                                     Catalog of the exhibition on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York till October 19th.

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Henri Matisse – The Cut-outs                                                                            N6853.M33 A4 2014b                                                                                                 Catalog to the exhibition at the MOMA on view October 25-Febuary 9, 2015.

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Mel Bochner – Strong Language by Norman L. Kleeblatt                                   N6537.B578 A4x 2014                                                                                              Catalog to the exhibition that recently closed at the Jewish Museum, New York.

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Minor White – Manifestations of the Spirit by Paul Martineau                                    TR647 .W458 2014                                                                                                   Catalog to the exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, Los Angeles, on view till October 19, 2014.

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Richard Hamilton / edited by Mark Godfrey, Paul Schimmel, Vicente Todolí ; essays by Benjamin H.D. Buchloh, Hal Foster, Mark Godfrey, Richard Hamilton, Alice Rawsthorn, Paul Schimmel, Fanny Singer, Victoria Walsh.                           N6797.H3 A4 2014                                                                                                         Catalog to the exhibition that recently closed at the Tate Modern, London and presently on view at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid till October 13, 2014.

Celebrate Banned Books Week with Comics and Graphic Novels

Banned Books Week is the national celebration of the freedom to read in the United States. Launched in 1982 by library activist Judith Krug, its purpose is to draw attention to the value of free and open access to information some consider unorthodox or unpopular. This year’s event, held from September 21-27, 2014, focuses on the freedom to read comics and graphic novels. Take a look at a few of SVA Library’s comics and graphic novels in the collection:

Andre the Giant: life and legend
By Box Brown
Location: Main Stacks c.1  Temporarily shelved at New Book Shelf
Call Number: PN6727.B756 A53 2014

Drawing from historical records about Andre’s life as well as a wealth of anecdotes from his colleagues in the wrestling world, including Hulk Hogan, and his film co-stars (Billy Crystal, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, etc), Brown has created in Andre the Giant, the first substantive biography of one of the twentieth century’s most recognizable figures.

Blankets: an illustrated novel
By Craig Thompson
Location: Main Stacks
Call Number: PN6727.T48 B53 2003

Loosely based on the author’s life, chronicling his journey from childhood to adulthood, exploring the people, experiences, and beliefs that he encountered along the way.

By Jeff Smith
Location: Main Stacks
Call Number: PN6727.S546 B66 2004

Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone are run out of their home, Boneville, and become separated in the wilds, but better fortune begins when the three cousins reunite at a farmstead in a deep forested valley, where Fone meets a young girl named Thorn. In Out From Boneville, volume 1 of this 9-book epic, the three Bone cousins, Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone, are separated and lost in a vast, uncharted desert. One by one, they find their way into a deep, forested valley filled with wonderful and terrifying creatures.

Boxers & Saints
By Gene Luen Yang
Location: Main Stacks c.1  Temporarily shelved at New Book Shelf
Call Number: PN6727.Y36 B68 2013 v.01 and v.02

A graphically rendered account of China’s Boxer Rebellion in 1898 is told from the perspective of Little Bao, who joins an army of kung fu-trained commoners who fight for freedom from the oppression inflicted by foreign missionaries and soldiers. Saints is a companion volume to Boxers that graphically depicts China’s 1898 Boxer Rebellion from the perspective of a young Christian convert and neglected fourth daughter who struggles with divided loyalties that compel her to make the ultimate sacrifice for her faith.

By Paul Pope
Location: Main Stacks c.1  Temporarily shelved at New Book Shelf
Call Number: PN6727.P665 E73 2014

From the mind of three-time Eisner Award-Winner Paul Pope comes Escapo! Like a feverish mash-up of Fellini films, Heavy Metal magazine, and classic Jack Kirby comics, Escapo tells the tale of a circus escape artist extraordinaire, who can escape from any situation – even from Death himself!

Fun Home: a family tragicomic
By Alison Bechdel
Location: Main Stacks
Call Number: PN6727.B3757 Z46 2007b

This book takes its place alongside the unnerving, memorable, darkly funny family memoirs of Augusten Burroughs and Mary Karr. It’s a father-daughter tale perfectly suited to the graphic memoir form. Meet Alison’s father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family’s Victorian house, a third-generation funeral home director, a high school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with male students and a family babysitter.

Kill my mother: a graphic novel
By Jules Feiffer
Location: Main Stacks c.1  Temporarily shelved at New Book Shelf
Call Number: PN6727.F4 K55 2014

When three daunting dolls intersect with one hapless heroine and a hard-boiled private eye, deception, betrayal, and murder stalk every mean street.

Ice Haven
By Daniel Clowes
Location: Main Stacks
Call Number: PN6727.C54 I33 2005

Ice Haven is Clowes’s first experiment with fragmented storytelling, told in brief, bite-size segments that are no more than four pages long. These segments are stylistically diverse, ranging from the antic anthropomorphism of “Blue Bunny” to the noirish melodrama of the Mr. and Mrs. Ames segments.

By Marjane Satrapi
Location: Main Stacks
Call Number: PN6747.S245 P4713 2003

An intelligent and outspoken only child, Satrapi–the daughter of radical Marxists and the great-granddaughter of Iran’s last emperor–bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country. Originally published to wide critical acclaim in France, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s wise, funny, and heartbreaking memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution.

By Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
Location: Main Stacks
Call Number: PN6737.M6 W35 1987

As former members of a disbanded group of superheroes called the Crimebusters start turning up dead, the remaining members of the group try to discover the identity of the murderer before they, too, are killed.

Visual Ink Behind the Hatching Face – new books!

The Visual language of comics : introduction to the structure and cognition of sequential images / Neil Cohn – PN6710.C64 V57 2013

Pretty in ink : American women cartoonists, 1896-2013 / by Trina Robbins – PN6725 .R58 2013

The man without a face : the unlikely rise of Vladimir Putin / Masha Gessen – DK510.766.P87 G47 2013

The news : a user’s manual / Alain De Botton – PN4749 .D43 2014

Dr. Seuss, the cat behind the hat / by Caroline M. Smith – NC975.5.S48 A4 2012

Hatching Twitter : a true story of money, power, friendship, and betrayal / Nick Bilton – HM743.T95 B55 2013

The Lighter Side of I – new books!

Dave Berg : five decades of “The lighter side of…” / foreword by Drew Friedman.- PN6727.B4694 A4 2013

Mort Drucker : five decades of his finest works / foreword by Michael J. Fox. – PN6727.D78 A6 2012

I is an other : the secret life of metaphor and how it shapes the way we see the world / James Geary – PE1445.M4 G43 2012

Drawn to drawing / by John Vernon Lord. – NC242.L67 A4 2014

The Duchamp dictionary / Thomas Girst, [illustrations Luke Frost and Therese Vandling (Heretic)] – N6853.D8 G577 2014

Escapo / written and illustrated by Paul Pope – PN6727.P665 E73 2014

How to Whistle – RIP Lauren Bacall

Last week saw the passage of Lauren Bacall at the age of 89. Bacall’s career started off with a bang, starring in a Howard Hawks film, To Have and Have Not (see above and below) opposite her future husband,Humphrey Bogart.

On set for [To Have and Have Not], Bacall developed her trademark gesture, “>The Look.” Oddly enough, it began as a defense against nerves: Bacall had to keep her chin pressed against her chest to keep from shaking until just before the cameras rolled, causing her to begin every shot bringing her gaze upward. The project launched Bacall toward her reputation as a leading lady in the film noir genre.

To explore Bacall’s career – noir and otherwise – here some places to start:

Ernest Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not /screen play by Jules Furthman and William Faulkner ; directed by Howard Hawks. – V-F H384 To DVD

The Big Sleep / a Howard Hawks production – V-F H384 Big DVD

Dark passage / V-F D384 Dar DVD

Dogville / written and directed by Lars von Trier.

Ready to Wear / produced and directed by Robert Altman. – V-F A475 Rea DVD

Key Largo / directed by John Huston – V-F H877 Key DVD

Lauren Bacall by myself / Lauren Bacall – PN2287.B115 A35 1979

What’s up, Chuck?

Growing up with Saturday morning cartoons, there came a point, past when I started to see the differences between Warner Bros. cartoons and products from Hanna Barbara (ex. The Flintstones) or MGM (ex. Tom and Jerry), when even within the vast universe of WB animation, certain titles stood out for their excellence – of story, of art, of animated movement. And consistently I found those extraordinary cartoons – Rabbit of Seville, What’s Opera, Doc?, Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century, Don’t Give Up the Sheep – were directed by Chuck Jones. Now the Museum of the Moving Image has a show up through January, 2015, highlighting the career of this singular animator, What’s Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones. (review / slideshow)

To explore his work:

Chuck amuck : the life and times of an animated cartoonist / by Chuck Jones – NC1766.U52 J66 1989

Chuck reducks : drawings from the fun side of life / Chuck Jones ; with a foreword by Robin Williams. – NC1766.U52 J66 1996

Looney tunes premiere collection /director, Charles M. Jones – V-AN J664 LooP DVD

Looney tunes golden collection. Vol. 2 – includes “What’s opera, Doc?” (1957)

Gay Purr-ee / Warner Bros ; A UPA production ; written by Dorothy & Chuck Jones – V-AN L458 Gay DVD

How the Grinch stole Christmas / Producers, Chuck Jones and Theodore Geisel ; director, Chuck Jones – V-AN S487 How DVD

Chuck Jones extremes & inbetweens, a life in animation / produced and directed by Margaret Selby – V-AN J664 Ext DVD