This publication is created each year from the results of two polls administered through the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) listserv and the ARLIS/NA Graphic Novels Special Interest Group listserv. In February, active members of ARLIS/NA are asked to nominate graphic novels published in the previous calendar year that they believe are “innovative, memorable, or significant in the field, especially in terms of their artwork.” In March, ARLIS/NA members are then asked, via the listservs, to vote on their top ten from the nominees generated by the first poll. Reviews are solicited by the editors and written by volunteer ARLIS/NA members. Each year’s list is usually published by June or July and compiled alphabetically by title.
For the purpose of this publication, we define graphic novel as as a form of sequential art that typically integrates image and text in book form; genre and exact length vary. It can be a collection of comic issues originally published as comic books or a standalone publication.
The primary objective of this list is to acknowledge and celebrate the craft of sequential art from the last year by tapping into the experience and love of this medium from ARLIS/NA members. As a result, this annual publication can assist (art) library workers in improving their own institutional collections of graphic novels by providing summaries, critical evaluations, and informed recommendations.