Banned Books Week is an annual event that celebrates the freedom to read. This year the thematic focus is on graphic novels and comics. Graphic novels have had a rocky and misunderstood past, and are still not considered a valuable form of storytelling to some. Graphic novels and comics are some of the more commonly challenged or banned types of books. Charles Brownstein, executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund says, “They’re [comics and graphic novels] uniquely vulnerable to challenges because of the medium’s visual nature and because comics still carry a stigma of being low-value speech. Some challenges are brought against comics because a single page or panel can be taken out of context, while others come under attack because of the mistaken notion that all comics are for children” (Flood, 2014).
To celebrate Cannell Library has created a graphic novel display complete with banned or challenged graphic novels available for check-out. These books can also be requested for pick-up at the iCommons at CTC. The display will be available September 21st-27th .
If you’re interested in learning more about Banned Books Week or graphic novels consider this amazing handbook from Comic Book Legal Defense Fund with a cover designed by Jeff Smith, author of popular graphic novel series – and most frequently challenged title of 2013 – Bone (Melrose, 2014).
More information about Banned Books Week available here.
Flood, Alison. “Bone author Jeff Smith speaks out ahead of US Banned Books Week.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited, 19 Sept. 2014. Web. 19 Sept. 2014.
Melrose, Kevin. “CBLDF debuts ‘Banned Books Week Handbook.’” CBR. Comic Book Resources, 27, June 2014. Web. 19 Sept. 2014.