According to Publishers Weekly graphic novels are the hottest section in the library right now. In this post Jonas Herriot, Customer Services Manager at Richmond Lending Library, writes about his participation in the  London Graphic Novel Network and his forthcoming appearance at the Barbican Library.

Saturday the 15th will see an exciting free event happen at the Barbican Library exploring the literature format that is Graphic Novels. This Symposium on Matters of Art, Storytelling and History (S.M.A.S.H.) will be made up of three different panels spread over the afternoon, with each of them dedicated to discussing the role that each of these themes (Storytelling, Art, and History) has in relation to graphic novels/comics (there isn’t space to talk about the juxtaposition of these two forms here, but if you want to come along and ask a question about it you know where we are…), and how they have helped develop and define the current market.

The event will start with the panel on Art at 12.30pm, this will be followed an hour later with the History panel, and finish with the Storytelling panel at 2.30pm. Each panel will be made up of a selection of experts in each field, including Illustrators, Artists, Editors, Academics, and Librarians (including me, on the History Panel).  Each of these panellists will be bringing their own views on the subject to bear, and debating with each other about what they feel are the important questions that need answering in this field.

The aim of the event is to make readers aware of the potential that this medium has in conveying information, and the exciting ways they are able to do this. With subjects ranging from historical fiction to biography, and from documentary journalism to superheroes, the width of genres and stories told through this medium is at the largest it has been, and as such it is the perfect time to try and broaden interest in it.

As part of the broader Comica series of events that are happening over a month long period, this event promises to be of interest to both those who are already ardent readers of these books, as well as providing a perfect starting point for those unsure of what to read. 


Comic event barbican poster