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Kingsport library expands comic, Manga selection

Matthew Lane • Sep 21, 2015 at 1:45 PM

KINGSPORT – Good news, true believers. The Kingsport Public Library is expanding its comic book and Manga selection significantly, adding at least 50 books within the last couple of months with more Marvel, DC and Image titles on the way.

The library has offered a small selection of comic book graphic novels and Manga for years with the books being located in the children's department and the non-fiction sections of the building. When library officials relocated and expanded the teen area to the main floor, the graphic novels were moved there as well.

“When we shifted everything into our new teen area, we noticed the demand for graphic novels went up because they were more visual,” said Casey Applebaum, youth services librarian. “So, we went through and started ordering more of the New 52 series and realized our graphic novels were growing out of the area we had allotted for them.”

DC Comics rebooted its entire line of comics in 2011, branded under the “New 52” moniker. The reboot made it easier for new readers to jump into comics since the stories were starting from the beginning.

“It makes it easier for the library to buy into it because it's a blank slate for us,” Applebaum said. “If a series is at issue 200 and something, it's hard for us to order everything back and we'd hate to start at some mid-point.”

Within the last couple of months, the library has added about 50 titles to its graphic novel collection. Popular titles such as Batman, Superman, Batgirl, Spider-man, the Avengers, X-men, Ms. Marvel, Guardians of the Galaxy and Deadpool, along with more adult titles like the Walking Dead, Saga and Hellboy.

The books are currently located on some green carts outside the teen area on the main floor, partly to keep the books together and to bring some visibility to the selections. More titles are on the way and eventually the library will create its own adult graphic novel section, Applebaum said.

“We're in the process of doing some weeding out to make space to create a section just for adult graphic novels on the third floor,” Applebaum said. “Right now, we're just trying to meet patron demand. “Over the next year or two, we'll be massively expanding the adult collection along with the teen area.”

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