Why curate graphic medicine? Why is it important to create a database of graphic medicine titles?
The simple answer is that there are so many comics about health available. It is hard to keep up with them all. Graphic medicine is a growing field, and that means an ever-expanding list of titles. On most counts, that is fantastic news. The difficulty lies in finding the right book for the right person at the right time. Imagine trying to find the one book you need from a library with no librarians, call numbers, or electronic catalogue resources. Sure, you might find it if the library is small enough, but if the library is large and growing larger every day? I am attempting to make it easier to discover new graphic medicine titles. I especially want to allow people to find books based on health issue and age appropriateness. Readers should also be aware of trigger warnings in each book to avoid undue harm.
It takes a lot of work to organize titles in such a way, to make them easy to find in multiple ways while including enough information that the reader can tell whether they might be interested in it.
I have entered important information into a spreadsheet, https://bit.ly/Gmdatabase/. Currently, the benefit is that every title I can find is in one place. You can use the Find capability of your browser to find a title or search for select subjects. Later, I will finish building a full database that people can browse for books, webcomics, comics, and zines. This scope, though, means this project will take immense time and effort to complete.
The database as it is now, while vastly better than nothing, is still short of what I hope it will become. To return to the library analogy above, it is only like adding a card catalog–not enough to ease the search in the way I would like. If graphic medicine is going to reach its full potential, resources like the database I am building will be necessary.
I have a full time job as an academic health sciences librarian, and I am not blessed with much time to do this on the side. That said, I am going to add additional titles this coming weekend. Please let me know if there are titles you feel should be included.
What are your thoughts about organizing graphic medicine? Questions? Comments?