But not gone. That’s right.  Did you know we moved our Graphic Novels and Manga section? With our updated shelving, we had plenty of room to move Graphic Novels and Manga to the end of Fiction. It’s now located toward the back west wall after the Science Fiction and Fantasy sections. Head back there and check it out.

I don’t know about you, but I love superheroes. And villains. And Anti-heroes! But there’s more than just that; Salina Public Library has a rapidly growing Graphic Novel and Manga section that ranges from slice-of-life stories to full-on world building fantasy. There’s something for everyone and here are a few of my recommendations.

This one’s one of my all-time favorite authors: Neil Gaiman. He’s written some amazing books many of which have been turned into movies like the whimsical 2007 film Stardust to the quirky apocalyptic TV series Good Omens (available here at the Salina Public Library). But if you’re looking for something a bit dark and gritty, give  American Gods a read. It’s an urban fantasy novel in which the old gods of mythology must survive against the new gods just rising to power from the modern world. It’s a gritty weave between modernity and mythology. 

Not feeling like reading? Maybe you need a new show to binge. Lucky for you, it’s been made into a TV series too.
Give it a go and let me know how you like it.

“The Measure of a hero is always his nemesis-” David Lyons

Do you like anime? I like anime, but sometimes I want to dive a little deeper and read it straight from the source. Lucky for me, we have lots of my favorite anime in manga form. Here’s a personal recommendation: Death Note. Have you ever wondered what a regular (albeit intelligent) high school kid would do if he found a book that could control the life and (more importantly) the death of anyone whose name is written in it? Where would that kind of book come from? What would YOU do with it? Death Note is a great manga series with complex characters and a driving plot. It focuses on moral compasses and ethics: how one person’s attempt at being the good guy might be a little gray and how justice can mean many different things. Check it out and tell me whose side you fall on: Light’s or L’s.

Here’s a tip; SPL also has Death Note in anime form too if manga isn’t quite your thing.

“Comics are words and pictures. You can do anything with words and pictures-” Harvey Pekar

Now for my favorite part of the graphic novel section. Superheroes! I don’t think I’ll ever grow out of loving superheroes. Guys like Ironman, Loki, The Martian Manhunter and gals like Psylocke, Valkyrie and Poison Ivy! They sure do remind you how fun it is to be a normal human. One of my all-time favorite guys is Dr. Manhattan. Do you know him? He’s great. He was an atomic physicist who went through a massive accident in the lab and had to literally put himself back together one subatomic particle at a time! He even– Ok. Ok. Sorry. Got ahead of myself. The Watchmen is set in an alternate version of 1985 America where superheroes are a normal part of life. When one of the retired heroes is murdered, a plot to slander all past heroes is uncovered, it leads to even deeper conspiracies. If you want to check Dr. Manhattan and his team out, give The Watchmen a read.

Or watch the movie they made after the comic.
Or do me a favor and check out both then tell me which ending you liked: comic or movie; they are different after all. 

Ok, I have one more recommendation to Draw you back to the Graphic Novel and Manga section. Get it? Draw? Funny, eh? But seriously, not all comics have to be action-packed, funny or works of fiction. This graphic novel is called Pyongyang by Guy Delisle and is about his experiences visiting North Korea. He was one of the few Westerners allowed to enter the country and did so as a graphic artist working for a French animation studio. In a country where it’s illegal to take photos (of anything that isn’t tourist-approved), Guy Delisle manages to capture snapshots of the country as only a graphic artist can. It’s a poignant look at a secretive country and its little-understood culture. 

That’s it for now. I hope you check out and enjoy these novels (you can tell me how cool Dr. Manhattan is.) Until next time. Happy heroing!