Comic Book Documentaries

Stream the following comic book documentaries recently added to our Films on Demand collection to coincide with this year’s One Book One College. Each documentary presents a different aspect of comic book history.

  • The American Comic Strip surveys the history of comic strips with renowned artists Mort Walker, John Romita, Will Eisner, John Cullen Murphy, Sean Kelly, and Milton Caniff.
  • The Art of Spiegelman is a biographical film on Art Spiegelman, creator of popular comic strips Maus and In the Shadow of No Towers. The film features interviews of Spiegelman and his wife, Françoise Mouly.
  • In Search of Dan Cooper examines the creation of the French-Belgian Dan Cooper series, inspired by Canadian pilots stationed overseas, and how the comic strip evolved over time.

Want to learn more? Stream Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle. Season 1 and Dear Mr. Watterson: An Exploration of Calvin & Hobbes through Hoopla and browse our extensive graphic novel collection in person.

Hispanic Heritage Month: Frida Kahlo

NorthSouth Books

Commemorate National Hispanic Heritage Month by exploring our extensive collection of books, eBooks, and audiovisual materials on renowned Mexican painter and feminist icon, Frida Kahlo. Special mention to two award-winning picture books in our Juvenile Collection, Viva Frida! by Yuyi Morales and Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos by Monica Brown. Both books feature colorful illustrations that are sure to bring the artist’s creativity to life.

Also see the Huffington Post article, “19 Children’s Books to Read in Honor of Hispanic Heritage Month,” by Taylor Pittman for additional suggestions.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo

We finally have a print copy of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss. The book was announced (and released) on March 18th during an episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver with some controversy. Independent booksellers were blindsided by the release and questioned business ethics as the book was first made available to Amazon.¹ The larger conversation was around the fact that the book was published as a parody of Marlon Bundo’s A Day in the Life of the Vice President, written by Charlotte Pence and illustrated by Karen Pence. Both books star the Pence family pet, Marlon Bundo, but one is a biography of the Vice President, while the other is about same-sex marriage.

The release of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo was political, serving as Oliver’s response to Mike Pence’s indirect support of anti-gay organizations.² The plot is about gay marriage and pictures contain cues for adults. At the same time, the book introduces broader themes that go beyond this specific political situation. Twiss writes about the essentials of democracy and diversity, ideas that are universal regardless of who is in power. You can checkout the book in print or electronically from our library.

  1. Green, Alex. “Booksellers Outraged by Chronicle’s Rollout of John Oliver Book.” Publishers Weekly, 26 March 2018, https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/76440-booksellers-outraged-by-chronicle-s-rollout-of-john-oliver-book.html. Accessed 26 April 2018.
  2. “Mike Pence: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO).” YouTube, uploaded by LastWeek Tonight, 18 March 2018, https://youtu.be/rs2RlZQVXBU.

The Salesman

Are you familiar with Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman? Watch Forushande (The Salesman) for a spin on the classic. The Persian film is about the private struggles of a young couple in Tehran, who happen to be working on a theatrical production of Death of a Salesman. The film won an Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film of the Year in 2017.

While no background reading is required, the movie had me revisiting the 1949 play about Willy Loman and the end of his career as a salesman. You can find the original play and the following motion picture and television adaptations at our library:

  • Death of a Salesman: 1966 television film starring Stanley Adams, Edward Andrews, and Lee J. Cobb. Winner of three Primetime Emmy Awards in 1967.
  • Death of a Salesman: 1985 television film starring Dustin Hoffman, Charles Durning, and Kate Reid.
  • Salesman: 1968 documentary following door-to-door salesmen at work.

Female Superheroes in Comic Books

This Women’s History Month, get inspired by the strength and leadership of female superheroes. Our library offers a diverse collection of graphic novels, featuring new and old female superhero characters like Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel. Find a complete list of Women Superheroes in our catalog, or select popular characters from the list below.


Maggs, Sam. “A Feminist Ranking of Female Superheroes.” Marie Claire, 25 July 2017, www.marieclaire.com/culture/news/a13588/a-feminist-ranking-of-todays-female-superheroes/. Accessed 26 Feb. 2018.

Ostroff, Joshua. “15 Fantastic Female-Fronted Comic Books for Your Kids.” Huffington Post, 28 Mar. 2017, www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/03/28/female-comic-books_n_15494978.html. Accessed 26 Feb. 2018.

Cooking with Vegetables

Gnocchi image from Wikimedia Commons

Whether you are vegetarian or just looking for a vegetable side dish, be sure to check out our collection of cookbooks this holiday season. We have a great variety of print books, along with electronic books from EBSCO and eRead Illinois. Click on the following link to browse our collection of books on cooking vegetables or narrow your search to vegetarian cooking. Also, if I may recommend How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food by Mark Bittman for recipes ranging from gnocchi to preserved lemons. The tenth anniversary edition of Bittman’s book released earlier this month and will soon be available on our shelves.

Graphic Novels Guidebook

If you don’t know what graphic novel to read or are searching for more information regarding a particular comic book, we have the guide for you. Michael Pawuk and David S. Serchay’s Graphic Novels: A Guide to Comic Books, Manga, and More is a bibliography with a listing of 1,000 popular graphic novels. The book is easy to read, organized by genres and subgenres to help you find your next graphic novel. Click on the link above for direct access to the e-Book; off-campus users will be asked to login with their MVCC username and password.

Latin American Folktales

Read Latin American folklore and fairy tales for National Hispanic Heritage Month. You will find a variety, some just recently acquired, in our library collection. The following anthologies and picture book adaptations have stories that span from the Rio Grande Valley to Colombia and Bolivia.

Latin American Folktales

 

New EBSCO eBooks

We have added dozens of new eBooks and eAudiobooks to our collection this past month. The electronic books can be easily accessed via Web browser. You will be asked to enter your MVCC login information for off-campus access, and access is limited to one user per book, multiple users can’t access the same book at the same time. The eAudiobooks will need to be checked out through the EBSCO Audiobook app.

Browse the whole collection of EBSCO eBooks or sample one of my favorites below:

Transgender & Gender Identity

Explore our library’s collection of materials on transgender people, gender, and identity. You can browse the call number HQ77.95.U6 for materials on transgender people in the United States and HQ1075 for works on sex role and gender identity, located on the first floor of the library. Also, here is a list of five documentaries and motion pictures recently added to our collection to open the dialogue on transgender experiences, one of the current topics making headlines:

  • American Transgender originally aired on the National Geographic Channel in May 2012. This documentary follows the different lifestyles of three transgender individuals, addressing topics like identity and relationships.
  • Boy Meets Girl is a 2014 film regarding the changing relationship between Robby and his best friend, Ricky, a transgender girl.
  • The 2015 film by Tom Hooper, The Danish Girl, is based on the true life story of a transgender Danish painter, Lili Elbe.
  • I Am the Queen is a documentary examining the Vida/Sida Cacica Pageant in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood, where transgender participants compete in a pageant with support from the larger Puerto Rican community.
  • Sex, Lies & Gender is another National Geographic Channel documentary, originally broadcast in September 2009. The program explores how doctors and parents face gender decisions and the options in traditional and controversial therapies for transgender individuals.