Thursday, October 2, 2008

In Praise of Libraries

I just wanted to point out that, in these times of economic trouble, when your last penny is going to gas money (or maybe not), you can still get your comic book fix. For FREE. Just head to your local library -- maybe some communities don't have gasoline, but everyone has a local library.

Although you don't get to keep those wonderful, FREE, comic books, you'll probably be surprised at the variety and depth of the selection at the library. You'll find the superhero books from Marvel and DC, but also the more mature works that typically end up on "best of the year" lists. And they have comics for younger readers too, which is great if you've got kids and want them to LEARN TO READ even though the stock market is plummeting.

Libraries have new stuff too -- they buy new comics all the time. You'll even be able to easily find that new stuff if you go to the "New" section and scan the shelves for those oversized hardcover collections. And the more comic books that you check out, the more comic books the library will order; librarians pay attention to what people are reading.

Significantly, you can rest easy checking out books that you might not otherwise buy but are interested in (maybe you've read a positive review, for instance). And many, if not most, libraries have snazzy web sites where you can search and browse their catalog, and reserve in advance copies of the comics you want. It's just like shopping. Only, you know, FREE.

I'm saying all of this because I know that although many comic book readers already know that libraries have bought into graphic novels in a big way, many readers probably don't use those libraries to expand their comic book reading. So here is my list of the comic books that I have taken out from my local library, just to show you how you really can read everything and anything you want just by heading to your library (yeah, I've cut-and-pasted my excel spreadsheet, I'm kinda ridiculous):

24 Seven
Age of Bronze Vol. 1: A Thousand Ships
American Born Chinese
Amulet Vol. 1: Stonekeeper
Animal Man Vol. 1
Animal Man Vol. 2
Arrival, The
Black Hole
Civil War
DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore
Doom Patrol Vol. 1: Crawling from the Wreckage
Doom Patrol Vol. 2: The Painting That Ate Paris
Essex County Vol. 1: Tales from the Farm
Exit Wounds
Flight Vol. 1
Fun Home
Green Lantern / Green Arrow: Vol. 1, 2
Hellboy Vol. 1: Seed of Destruction
Hellboy Vol. 2: Wake the Devil
Homeless Channel, The
House of M
La Perdida
New Avengers Vol. 1
Persepolis: Vol. 1, 2
Professor's Daughter, The
Promethea: Vol. 1
Runaways: Vol. 1, 2
Salon, The
Sandman Vol. 7: Brief Lives
Swamp Thing Vol. 1: Saga of the Swamp Thing
Tom Strong: Vol. 1
Ultimate Spider-man: Vol. 1
Ultimate X-Men: Vol. 1, 2

So head out there and get some FREE COMIC BOOKS.


  1. Huzzah! I just finished a post about another Minx title that I have borrowed from the library. I read a review of the Prince of Persia Graphic novel at another blog in the past two days and today... it was in my public library. I will do a post similar to yours sometime soon I think. The Library and used bookstores (and Amazon) are all useful for the rabid reader with relatively shallow pockets. I try to buy a decent amount directly from my local comic shop, but my habit is bigger than that.

    I have taken to putting a 'library' tag on reviews of anything I borrow from the library.

  2. I think this is great and a wonderfu commentar on the value of libraries. We certaily used ours thoroughly!
    However -- I am amazed you didn't buy Hellboy.

    ...then again what do I know?