Following the success of the “Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books and Graphic Novels” academic conference, Boston University doctoral student, comics scholar and comic creator A. David Lewis has been granted a Library Acquisitions Award to create a new “Religion and Graphica” collection at the university.
The collection, which will contain works like MAUS, Persepolis, and Sandman (and one assumes, Preacher and Testament, two of my personal favorites), will be part of the School of Theology Library (OK, maybe Preacher won’t be appropriate).
According to the press release, this will be the first library collection devoted exclusively to the study of comics, and it comes in a religion department. This might seem odd, though I’ve had conversations before about the similarity of comics to religion, particularly superhero comics. They’re fables, archetypal stories that give us advice on how to live our lives, as well as part of a weekly routine–the Wednesday trip to the comic shop. Comics are reassuring, and fans often are very resistant to change in their books or their routine.
Of course, there are many brilliant graphic works that deal very directly with religion. Which ones would you suggest the library, which has already started purchasing, not miss?