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Resources on banned/challenged books and intellectual freedom.
Last Updated: Sep 29, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Comics & Graphic Novels: An Ongoing Controversy

Cover of Vault of Horror #35, featuring a woman and her axe-wielding husband.

[Image: Cover of The Vault of Horror, issue 35, from EC Comics; shows a woman surprised by a Christmas gift of a coffin, presumably from her axe-wielding husband, who looms behind her.]

It's been a long time since comics were only about superheroes--not that they ever were!  Today's sequential art (a term coined by celebrated comics artist Will Eisner) is as likely to appear on the shelves of libraries and bookstores as it is on the racks of drugstores and comic shops.  The medium's association with youth still remains, however, despite the fact that comics and graphic novels have always been written for all age ranges--including works that would be considered "adult" not for their salacious content, but for their complexity and gravity.  Nevertheless, this association with children and teens causes (as it did during the great comics panic of the 1940s) the majority of challenges to and bannings of sequential art today.

The focus of 2014's Banned Book Week celebration is graphic novels; this guide will share resources about banned books and other intellectual freedom-related topics, with a special emphasis on sequential art, as well as highlights from Columbus State Library's own Banned Books Week activities.

Associated LibGuides

The CS Library's reference staff have been working hard to create great research guides for our students!  If you found this Banned Books guide helpful, you may benefit from visiting some of the following staff-created LibGuides:


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