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.

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