Creating a Pathfinder: Spooky Comics for Families

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The inspiration for my ‘pathfinder’ on Spooky Comics for Families was Emily Carroll’s exceptional comic, Through the Woods (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2014).  (See my post of May 5, 2016 and click here for the pathfinder brochure.)

It was easy to decide on the pathfinder’s audience (youth in grades K-12 and parents/caregivers) because at my chosen library, one department serves children and teens.  It was challenging, however, to serve this audience because of the wide range of ages/grades, reading abilities, and fright tolerance; possible experience or inexperience with comics; and the need for materials for families and individuals.

The audience largely determined the format: an introductory front cover, titles and annotations in age/grade order, complementary materials in other formats, and resources for parents/caregivers about comics-reading and comics-choices.

Catalog searching involved subjects and headings such as horror, horror comic books, strips, etc., witches, and vampires;  genres such as horror tales and graphic novels [although one title was catalogued as a picture book]; and keywords including spooky, ghosts, and nightmare.  Most book reviews consulted came from School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Hornbook [Guide and Magazine], and VOYA Magazine.  Other resources accessed were the Common Sense Media website, YALSA’s annual Great Graphic Novels for Teens (via the American Library Association), online information about the Eisner Award, and websites of ‘comic-cons’ such as Comic-Con International at San Diego.

The greatest joy in creating the Spooky Comics for Families pathfinder was reading through many titles as might a young reader, teen, or family.  Even a scaredy-cat (me!) purred away while poring over the comics.  And, it’s exciting to now have a brand new set of recommendations, in a genre that is new to me, for many types of readers!