On Display: Graphic Novels and Comic Books

Plus: Movies and TV Shows They’ve Inspired!

This display is brought to you by Craig Lordan ’93. When we were kids, my older brother and future Bentley graduate spent many hours reading comic books and drawing his own comic book characters. It was the dark ages, and we lived in the suburbs, so Craig got his comic books through mail order.

At some point, I started saving my allowance to buy my own comic books. Initially, all I wanted was Disney comic books, but I finally graduated to George Perez’s Wonder Woman. The year was 1987 and DC had “rebooted” the Wonder Woman series. I was hooked.

Since then, comic books have graduated to pop culture’s mainstream. Geek culture destination San Diego Comic-Con International has seen its attendance numbers rise to 130,000 for its annual event. Comic books are no longer the exclusive realm of the fanboy and fangirl.

Groundbreaking works such as Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi, give readers a glimpse into what life was like during the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Harvey Pekar’s autobiographical opus American Splendor was made into a movie starring Paul Giamatti. The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story, by Vivek Tiwary, Andrew Robinson and Kyle Baker, was a New York Times best seller and has been nominated for two 2014 Eisner Awards.

fifth beatle true blood Persepolis index

Comic books and graphic novels are being adapted into films and television shows with unprecedented alacrity and success. Hellboy300Ghost WorldThe Avengers, and many more have made the jump to the big screen.

On the small screen, DC has Arrow (CW) and Marvel has Agent Coulson and his Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC). Meanwhile, AMC brings viewers into an actual comic book store on the reality series Comic Book Men. Also on AMC, there are zombies galore on The Walking Dead and The Talking Dead. Yes-there’s a talk show about a television show based on a comic book!

Conversely, some TV shows are resurrected in comic books. True Blood, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and The X-Files are just a few of the shows that have found a second life in the pages of comics.

The Bentley Library has a wonderful and growing collection of these books and DVDs. Come in and check out the display in person, or browse online at Pinterest.

Photos by Amy Galante
Top row (L-R): Avengers director Joss Whedon, artists/writers Liam Sharp and Dave Gibbons, actor Steven Yeun and writer Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), Amy Galante and writer/artist Daniel Clowes. Bottom row (L-R): Arrow panel at New York Comic-Con, Steven Yeun and a fan, artist Dave McKean. Photos by Amy Galante


Amy Galante is the Interlibrary Loan Supervisor/Assistant Manager of Library Services. She uses her geek culture knowledge for the good of humankind as a freelance writer for Examiner.com, Library Journal, CBS Local, and more. Her favorite comic books include Dazzler, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Fray, DMZ, and pretty much anything by Neil Gaiman, Gail Simone, and Brian K. Vaughan. 


Interlibrary Loan Supervisor/Asst. Manager of Access Services @ Bentley University Library