Meanwhile, Back in the Library – this week’s picks

For this week’s choices, Meanwhile, Back in the Library brings you a nineteenth-century painter obsessed with birds; a young billionaire obsessed with justice (and bats!); and some women who escape all these male obsessions to have a good natter about sex.
Meanwhile, Back in the Library is a year-long exhibition about comics, graphic novels and cartooning: every week, our librarians will suggest three picks from the many comics in the library.
This week’s picks are:
  • Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi
    After a lunch with Marjane Satrapi’s Iranian family and neighbours, the men go off for an afternoon nap, while the women do the washing-up, before gathering around for a cup of tea and swapping stories about all the things they don’t talk about while the men aren’t around. This is a deft, economical, mordant, and filthily-funny series of tales about sexual mores and gender standards, ranging across marriage, virginity, and plastic surgery. And be warned: the ’embroideries’ of the title have nothing to do with cross-stitch or samplers…
  • Audubon: on the Wings of the World by Fabien Grolleau & Jérémie Royer
    Much like its subject’s own incredible paintings of birds, this is not a formal, forensic biography of naturalist and artist John James Audubon, but an evocation of his life, career, and passions. As well as recounting the story behind Audubon’s life’s work, the mammoth book ‘The Birds of America’, this comic also commemorates the splendid diversity of wildlife and native cultures of North America, which were already being rapidly destroyed in the early nineteenth century.
  • Batman: Year One by Frank Miller & David Mazzucchelli
    Following his work on the ageing Batman in The Dark Knight Returns, Frank Miller scripted this series looking at the beginning of the Caped Crusader’s career, with twinned narratives following Bruce Wayne and [future Commissioner] Jim Gordon, as they attempt to bring justice to a hopelessly corrupt, crime-ridden city. This is a very grounded take on the character- no magic, weird science, or murder clowns- and was a strong influence on Christopher Nolan’s films. David Mazzucchelli’s art evokes a suitably shabby, unglamorous Gotham, composed chiefly of back streets, shadows, and rain.
You can find more comics and graphic novels in stock at Sheffield Hallam on our exhibition reading list.