Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Graphic novels, Gleeson Library, and Hollywood?
Before Tobey Maguire was bit by a spider and had a steamy upside down lip lock with Kirsten Dunst. Before Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, and Christian Bale bravely donned the skintight black leather that left little to the imagination. And even before Jessica Alba defied physics by making herself invisible, there was the printed version, the original version…the comic book. Some might argue that the original genius of graphic novels has been overshadowed by Hollywood’s box office blockbusters, but at the University of San Francisco in the forefront of the Gleeson Library, librarians created a graphic novel display that draws attention to the creativity, social relevance and impression that graphic novels leave on a variety of cultural industries (i.e. films!).
Created by librarians Kathy Woo and Debbie Benrubi the display, which was a way “to highlight the library’s great collection,” said Benrubi, began showing on January 23 and will continue to the end of February of this year. The display allows an interactive element as students can freely check out a comic book right off of the display. “Fifty or so books have been checked out,” said Benrubi, out of the 91 graphic novels that have been used. At present date the display features a case that holds 16 comics, which are owned by USF faculty members and include volume one additions of Superman and Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder (these comics are not available for check out), one shelf of graphic novels, two carts worth of half empty graphic novels, and a comment box. “We have gotten a lot of great feedback,” said Benrubi. “We have already ordered 15-20 more comic books to expand on the library’s collection.”
So whether you are mindlessly whizzing about the library with tests protruding, dreadfully trudging along to read yet another essay, or on your way to the Sacramental Light exhibit in the Thacher Gallery, stop and take notice of the small yet visible graphic novel display. Whether it’s the “Rabbi’s Cat (Benrubi’s favorite)” or “Roadstrips,” a beautiful and breezy flip through of “a graphic journey across America,” take notice of the graphic novels which tell creative stories and feature wonderful illustrations. And if you check out a graphic novel, where an original price usually averages around three dollars, you might just be holding the next idea for a Hollywood script that could rack in 821.6 million dollars worldwide, just as Spidy did!