Graphic novels in the UL – Les cinq de Cambridge

We have previously written about our struggle with selecting which bandes dessinées we should buy for the UL’s collections. As well as our burgeoning interest in collecting BD, we also have a selection of scholarly works of criticism of BD. Three new books help to demonstrate the breadth of material available:

The UL doesn't feature in the story, but Trinity College does.

The UL doesn’t feature in the story, but Trinity College does.

A new set of graphic novels aptly demonstrates the challenge that we have in determining whether to buy graphic novels: Les cinq de Cambridge by Olivier Neuray & Valérie Lemaire will be a series of graphic novels about the Cambridge Spies. While comic books about spying are not the usual domain of the University Library, the subject matter of these made them difficult to ignore. We have received the first in the series (TrinityC201.b.7951) and I had a quick look through to see if the UL makes an appearance (sadly, it doesn’t). The next volume, 54 Broadway, moves beyond Cambridge, so our hopes for immortality in the world of the graphic novel are dashed for the moment.

Some traditional Cambridge activities appear…

Two new books in our collection, Le siècle des Lumières en bande dessinée : de poudre et de dentelles (C210.c.3514) and Milou, Idéfix et Cie : le chien en BD (2015.8.7609) are from the series Collection Esprit BD, published by Karthala. The UL has all 6 books in this collection, which is directed by Philippe Delisle. Both of these titles demonstrate the range of subjects studied by those writing about BD.

The cover of Milou, Idéfix et Cie (image from the publisher)

The cover of Milou, Idéfix et Cie (image from the publisher)

A further recently acquired book examines BD as a discipline: Bande dessinée et Adaptation (Littérature, cinéma, TV) / études réunies et présentées par Benoît Mitaine, David Roche et Isabelle Schmitt-Pitiot (735:45.c.201.128) is divided into two parts. The first part deals with literary adaptations in graphic novel format, the second with cinematographic adaptations of graphic novels. Each section contains 7 essays, with titles as diverse as Médiation, figuration, traduction: trois conceptions de l’adaptation d’oeuvres littéraires en bande dessinée and De Marvel Comics à Marvel Studios : Adaptations, intermédialités et nouvelles stratégies hollywoodiennes. The table of contents is available through the publisher.

These three diverse resources (the graphic novel, the Karthala collection and the edited volume) are linked by a genre which has historically not been well-represented in our library. Hopefully these newly acquired works, along with other recent purchases, will help us to better serve our readers.

Josh Hutchinson

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