Meanwhile, back in the Library…

This week’s picks:  3rd December 2018
This week, Meanwhile, Back in the Library presents: a game spin-off about a young woman threatened by fungus-zombies; another young woman whose troubles are closer to home, but who finds solace in her favourite childhood books; and, amidst the fallout from the Iraq War, the story of how journalists choose and build their stories .
Meanwhile, Back in the Library is an 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:
  • The Tale of One Bad Rat by Bryan Talbot
    Bedevilled with feelings of guilt and worthlessness, a young woman, Helen, has fled a sexually abusive father, with only her imagination and pet rat for company on the streets: but as she follows the footsteps of her childhood hero, Beatrix Potter, from London to the Lake District, she finds the strength and opportunity to reclaim her self-worth. Grounded with the use of models and real-life locations, this is an accessible, engaging, and unsensational story, focusing on the emotional damage abuse and neglect can cause, but also on how recovery from such damage is ultimately possible. It also features an accomplished Beatrix Potter pastiche.
  • Rolling Blackouts by Sarah Glidden
In 2010, Sarah Glidden took a trip to refugee communities in Turkey, Iraq and Syria with two journalist friends. The journalists were there to record the stories of the refugees from the Iraq War, and of those that worked with the refugees; Sarah was there to get the story of how journalists work. So as well as recounting the experiences of those affected by the war- drawing from the original interview recordings- this book also looks at the journalistic process of selecting stories and deciding how to present them, and some of the ethical discussions involved, not least of which is whether their reporting can actually hope to achieve anything. It also looks at what happens when stories don’t develop as intended: the fourth member of their party is a former marine, and a planned story about his feelings around encountering the after-effects of the war he fought in does not work out as planned.
  •  The Last of Us: American Dreams by Faith Erin Hicks & Neil Druckmann
    There are an increasing number of video animators making their way into comics as artists; but this is a rather more unusual case, as it’s co-scripted by the game’s lead developer. It also uses a more distinctive, cartoony art style than many game adaptations, reflecting the youth of the teenaged characters. The story is about the life of Ellie, one of The Last of Us‘s protagonists, shortly before the events of the game: orphaned, frustrated and constrained by the militaristic society that has arisen in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse, she and a friend seek an escape from their rule-bound lives. Naturally, there are consequences…
 You can find more comics and graphic novels in stock at Sheffield Hallam on our exhibition reading list.