Comic books and graphic novels

Comic books at the Folger

Comic book versions of Shakespearean plays are generally added to the Sh.Misc. collection, although some have been cataloged as ART Vols. As of March 2015, the Folger has a little over 30 comic books/graphic novels in its collection. These can be found in Hamnet by searching for "Comic books" in the Form/Genre field. (Works which include comic-style drawings, but are not a cohesive whole - i.e., a collection of comics with captions - can be found by searching for "Cartoons" or "Caricatures" in the Form/Genre field.)

Cataloging comic books

  • Follow standard procedures for cataloging Vault materials, unless specified otherwise below.
  • Code the Content field 6 for Comics/graphic novels.
  • Since comics are a picture-heavy content form, make sure that the Illustration field is coded, and that the illustrative content is specified in the 300 ‡b
  • This also means you will typically have two 336 fields: one for still image and one for text
 336 ‡a text ‡b txt ‡2 rdacontent 
 336 ‡a still image ‡b sti ‡2 rdacontent 
 337 ‡a unmediated ‡b n ‡2 rdamedia 
 338 ‡a volume ‡b nc ‡2 rdacarrier 
  • Make a note on the nature of the comic book, unless this information is contained in the title or elsewhere in the record.
 500 Comic book adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth, with selections of original dialogue incorporated into the color-illustrated narrative. 
  • In the local record, add a genre term for Comic books. Do not subdivide by year or place of publication (standard practice for genre terms as of July 2014).
 655 7 Comic books. ‡2 rbgenr 
  • Do not add any subject headings for Shakespeare and/or the work, with or without the subdivisions ‡x Adaptations ‡v Comic books, strips, etc. As with other literary formats, remove any subject headings from the local record.
  • Comic books are considered an adaptation of the original work, even if dialogue from the original work is used. Include an added entry for the uniform title of the original work.
 700 10 Shakespeare, William. ‡t Romeo and Juliet 

"Comic books" vs. "graphic novels"

The terms "comic book" and "graphic novel" both denote some form of print narrative in which illustrative content is the central feature, and also a more-or-less consistent backdrop for any text that may be included (while most comic books/graphic novels do include varying amounts of textual content, a handful rely solely on images for their narrative). Though the terms are sometimes differentiated by the maturity level of their content, this is a steadily less useful metric. The LCSH terms for comic books and graphic novels differentiate them in terms of size, and the RBMS Genre Terms vocabulary, which the Folger prefers, includes only Comic books.