What’s happening at the Library: International Read a Comic Book in Public Day

Published 12:30 pm Tuesday, August 29, 2023

By James Gardner

Clark County Public Library

It may surprise people that I enjoy reading comics. However, people who know me and have seen my collection of superhero t-shirts, my queues on the various streaming services, or the large number of graphic novels I’ve checked out on Hoopla will not be surprised. In other words, I love comics, and International Read a Comic Book in Public Day is a holiday that is made for me. I could read a comic in public or even in the comfort of my own home, all thanks to the library.

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I started loving comics at the same time that many do: as a child. In the 1980s, I followed the adventures of many costumed superheroes watching shows on Saturday mornings like “Superfriends” (basically the Justice League before they called themselves the Justice League in movies and television) and “Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.” Also, in the ‘80s, many great comics were coming out like Frank Miller’s “Batman: Year One” (YA Batm/Graphic Novel) and Alan Moore’s “Watchmen” (741.5 Moor), which offered a more serious take on superheroes. In high school and in college, I was a pretty regular customer of the local comic shop. After many years of a life spent–some naysayers might say “misspent”–reading comics, I discovered there were many different stories told through the graphic novel medium, from realistic crime fiction like “A Righteous Search for Vengeance,” Volume 1 and Volume 2 (both in 741.5 Reme) to dystopian science fiction like Van Jensen’s “Arca” (741.5973 Jens).

I am now a man who’s barreled through most of his forties, yet I still love graphic novels, and not because they are easy to read. I can’t deny that they’re quicker to read than a book, but graphic novels provide the same enjoyment I get from watching a well-written television show, watching the scenes play out through multiple comic panels. As in a TV show or movie, writers and artists work together to make a scene and tell a story that resonates with people. It’s why I continue to enjoy graphic novels even though I have children who call me Dad and others who call me Pop Pop. I also know that I shouldn’t feel shame for liking graphic novels.

That is the best part about Read a Comic Book in Public Day. It gets people reading graphic novels and encourages them to read graphic novels in public, to share their love of the medium with others. The library is the best place to foster that love. We have a wide selection of graphic novels from our physical shelves and from Hoopla, a streaming service that lets you check out electronic graphic novels right on your phone or computer. You can access these great services if you’ve got a library card. Had fines in the past? We have forgiven all fines and no longer charge overdue fees on books, audiobooks, magazines or movies. There are plenty of opportunities to read a comic book in public, like there’re opportunities to relax and enjoy a movie at the library:

On Aug. 30 at 2 p.m., the Kentucky Picture Show features Priyanka Chopra Jonas as a young woman who tries to ease the pain of her fiancé’s death by sending romantic texts to his old cell phone number. She forms a connection with the man the number has been reassigned to. The film is rated PG-13. Popcorn and snacks will be provided.