Everybody knows you’d be hard pushed to find a librarian who couldn’t tell their Austen from their Elbow, but we wanted to find out how well these masters of literature stack up when faced with more alternative classics.
So, inspired by Kelvingrove’s Frank Quitely: The Art of Comics exhibition we’ve tasked four Glasgow librarians to turn their attention to the graphic novel and tell us which ones they think are worth picking up.
It turns out, not only are these librarians bona fide comic-geeks but the crafty quartet also manage to nab their copies for free.
So sit back, marvel at their comic-genius and find out how to get your hands on thousands of free comics too (hint: all you need is a library card).
Ian, Librarian for North West Glasgow, gets his teeth into 30 Days of Night by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith
“If you live in Barrow, Alaska where the sun doesn’t rise for 30 days, you really should expect vampires, although a 30 day feeding frenzy is maybe a little harsh on the townspeople. Sheriff Eben Olemaun and wife, deputy sheriff Stella Olemaun, try to save Barrow amid the bloodbath. This gory tale is elevated by the love it or hate it (I love it) art of Templesmith. His unique scratchy looking art perfectly depicts the horror of vampires rampaging through Barrow and the desperation of the locals trying to stay alive.”
School Librarian, Cat opens up Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft #1 by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez
“From acclaimed horror writer and New York Times best-selling author Joe Hill (Horns) and artist Gabriel Rodriguez (Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland) comes the six issue Eisner Award winning series, Locke & Key.
“Forced to move into the family's ancestral home with their mother and uncle after a shocking family tragedy, the Locke children start to experience strange goings on. The New England gothic mansion hides many secrets including a set of special keys that change whoever finds them – from shrinking to changing gender and unlocking your own head. The house also harbours a malevolent spirit that will stop at nothing to get its hands on all keys in order to open the worst door of all.
“Hill's writing and Rodriguez’ art come together to make Locke & Key an addictive story of suspense that will make you want to read all six in one sitting.”
Maryhill Library Assistant, Lorraine takes a trip to Concrete Park by Tony Puryear and Erika Alexander
“There’s a lot going on in Concrete Park, and I mean that in the best possible way. In the not-so-distant future, criminals are sentenced to hard labour in a penal colony on another planet. Violence is rife, and gang warfare the norm. The immersive story centres on Isaac, a new arrival from Earth, and Luca, the leader of an all-woman gang, but they are supported by a wide range of characters that allow the series to explore issues of race, sexuality and identity. So, if you’re looking for a diverse, violent, sci-fi epic this is the read for you!”
School Librarian, Alison joins the Hardcore Lady-Types in Lumberjanes by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Brooke A. Allen, Noelle Stevenson
“Lumberjanes is a story of friendship, adventure and mystery set in a summer camp for girls (or, as their sign says, Hardcore Lady-Types). The impromptu escapades and cute artwork are reminiscent of Adventure Time, with an added supernatural twist. The cast of characters is diverse and distinctive, with more than the usual token strong female character. I can’t get enough of the Lumberjane girls, and if you have enjoyed the coming-of-age exploits of Stranger Things or The Goonies then you’ll be hooked.”
If these reviews have whet your appetite, dust off your library card (or sign up for one) and download all these comics, plus thousands more, for free from the comfort of your own home. Simply visit Comics Plus at Glasgow Libraries – they’ve Gotham all.