This Associated Press story uses the recent debate in Marshall, Mo., as a news hook to examine the growth of graphic novels in school and public libraries, and the accompanying rise in parent complaints:
Sales of graphic novels have more than tripled from $75 million in 2001. Milton Griepp, chief executive of ICV2, which tracks pop culture retail, estimated libraries add 5 percent to 10 percent to those retail sales.
“The last two or three years’ growth has been pretty rapid in libraries, and that’s because graphic novels have started to be respected as legitimate literature,” Griepp said.
Maus, a Holocaust memoir by Art Spiegelman, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992, while Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese this year became the first graphic novel to be nominated for the National Book Award.
But some people who may have never heard of graphic novels are alarmed to see cartoon characters doing and saying very adult things.
“I think there’s still a perception in the general public that comics are just for kids, which isn’t true and hasn’t been true for years,” Griepp said.