Tag Archives: Graphic Novels

Graphic Novels at GRCC

Graphic Novels spelled out with book covers

GRCC’s Library has graphic novels! Who knew? Graphic novels are “books made up of comics content. Although the word “novel” normally refers to long fictional works, the term “graphic novel” is applied broadly and includes fiction, non-fiction, and anthologized work.” – Wikipedia.

This collection is used by graphic arts students, English as a Second Language learners, and those seeking a alternative to “too-much text”.  If you don’t see what you want, try our free MeLCat Interlibrary Loan Service where we borrow titles from other Michigan libraries (with larger graphic novel collections) we don’t own and alert you when they’re here.


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Graphic Novels @ the Library

Although the GRCC Library’s collection is primarily acquired to support the college’s curriculum, our staff realizes the value of providing students options for leisure reading.  Breaks from studying and research are necessary and well-deserved, after all!  The library offers students fiction and graphic novel reading selections – in print and ebook versions.

Come in today and check out the new graphic novel display that is on our Circulation desk, designed by our Evening Circulation Associate Toni Harrington.  To browse more titles, head up to the second floor of the library where the graphic novel section is located at the beginning of the circulating collection.

To view a list of graphic novels retained, click here.

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Banned Books Week: Graphic Novels


By Lisa M. Rabey
Systems & Web Librarian

The reasons why books are banned or challenged can span dozens of reasons, ranging from preceived sexuality, content, language, or violence. But censorship is not limited to just a book, but can also be applied to movies, music, and graphic novels.

To highlight graphic novels that have also been banned or challenged, the American Library Association and the Comic Book Defense League created lists highlighting the top accused graphic novels. GRCC library has numerous of those titles available for check-out:

In addition to the above titles, GRCC library also has large selection of graphic novels available in the stacks the second floor.

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Banned Books Week: Censorship


By Lisa M. Rabey
Systems & Web Librarian

Each year, hundreds of books are challenged across the U.S, and many of those challenges pull the books off the shelf for good. Nearly 80% of those challenges are never reported. In 2011, according to American Library Association, more than 300 books were removed from libraries for content objection ranging from violence, to nudity, to offensive language and even for something as benign as technical errors. Almost always, the challenge was initiated by a parent.

But why are the books challenged? Sometimes it can be for a religious disagreement, other times it can be for difference in political viewpoint. A recent, and rather publicized, case is Chicago Public Schools’ attempt to ban Persepolis (GRCC has volume 1 and 2 of Persepolis in the library), the award winning graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi of her childhood during the Iranian revolution, from the 7th grade classroom. According to the CPS spokesperson, it was found the content in Persepolis was not suitable for the 7th grade curriculum and as a compromise, had suggested of pulling the graphic novel from the classroom but leaving it in the library for students to read on their own accord.

There was one tiny catch — many of CPS’ middle schools did not have a library in the school, books were kept within the classroom. So the compromise was a false one.

Thanks to the pressure by the Chicago Teachers Union, the people of Chicago, and the viral sensation this created on the Internet, the decision was overturned.

But not every challenged book is going to have a happy reversal ending. And much of this has to do with context, content, and even location. Below is a map of where most of the book challenges took place in 2010. If you click on the link “View Larger Map,” it will take you to a magnified Google map. Now what’s cool is that in the magnified map, you can cilck on a location point and get the story behind the book that was challenged and why.

To get a idea of the type of books that are challenged, below is several sources of lists of challenged books, including the classics.

Lastly, censorship doesn’t only happen in books, but it also happens in art, music, and graphic novels to name a few mediums. Below are links to a few well regarded non-profit organizations that work tirelessly to protect the artists rights of free speech and to work with them on censorship disputes.

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May 4th: Free Comic Book Day

FCBD_nodate-small By Lisa M. Rabey
Systems & Web Librarian

If you’ve met me around campus or ended up in one of my classes, you probably already know I’m fairly passionate about comics and graphic novels. One my goals as an instructor and a librarian is to use sequential art not just as a teaching tool or use comics creatively but to ultimately inspire passion for comics in others.

For those reasons, and more, I’m always super excited about the advent of Free Comic Book Day every year. This is a great way to get others introduced into reading comics and to do so for free.  The world of comics can be completely overwhelming and FCBD is a great introduction into that world without getting overly lost.

How does it work? Simple. Every year FCBD organizers have a list of titles that will be given away by local comic book stores. You show up, ask for the titles, and tada! They are yours for free. Now not all titles are available all stores, so you may have to call yours and ask, but chances are pretty good you’ll get what you want.

Other awesome things is that depending on where you live, comic book stores will often have events, signings, and other fun programming happening during the day. In Grand Rapids, check out Argos Books, Apparitions, and Goldmine Comics to see what they have planned for Saturday.

If you’re not able to make it to FCBD this year, don’t panic! The library has you covered! We have:

If you have any questions or suggestions for titles we should have in our collection, please email me.

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