Friday, January 6, 2012

Case Study No. 0155: "The portrayal of librarians in comic strips"

The portrayal of librarians in comic strips (Part I)
The title pretty much says it all ... Part 2 coming soon!
Tags: librarians comic strips
Added: 2 years ago
From: ComixLibrary
Views: 246


"Off the Mark" by Mark Parisi

An old lady is yelling at a man and woman as the exit the door, "I expect her home at nine, young man ... It'll be a nickel for every hour after that!"

The caption reads "Dating the Librarian's Daughter"



Dave Coverly, "Speed Bump". 5 February 2001.

In a rather welcoming looking reference area, a woman sits at a desk. The old job title plaque, reading "Librarian," is in the trash behind her. The new plaque proclaims that she is a "Search Engine."



"Shoe" by Jeff MacNelly
Sunday, Jun. 29th, 2008

Professor Cosmo Fishhawk sits in front of a laptop and says to his nephew Skylker, "You kids today have it so easy. When I was your age and needed to look something up ... I had to go all the way to a library."

His nephew Skyler turns to a younger duck sitting next to him (also using a laptop) and says "You kids today have it so easy. When I was your age and needed to look something up ... I had to use dial-up!"



Ruben Bolling, "Tom the Dancing Bug". 24? 26? August 2000. 510.

"Library System Terrorizes Publishing Industry"

Caption: A book locating/lending phenomenon known as the "Dewey Decimal System" - enabling users to get access to copyrighted text material for free - has sent shockwaves through a panicked publishing industry.
Drawing: A man identified as Publishers Spokesman Brent Aullett asking, "Why would anyone pay for a book once it's accessible for free?!" as, in the background, people search a card catalog, and browse the stacks of a library.

Caption: The plan is as complex as it is diabolically clever. A "library" buys books, users find them through Dewey's classification system, and borrow them for free!
Drawing: A diagram of the interrelationships between a publishing company, a book, a library, a card catalog, a user, a borrower's card, and an easy chair.

Caption: The inventor of the system is Melvil Dewey, a plucky 149-year-old who's been dead for 69 years, so his business plan is unclear.
Drawing: A man, bespectacled, balding, and bearded.

Caption: But he's got readers giddily borrowing books, to be consumed at leisure, and free of charge!
Drawing: Two people on a porch saying, "Screw Updike! I'm beating the system!" and "Power to the people!"

Caption: Established writers like Tom Clancy have stopped producing their output.
Drawing: A man on a lounger saying, "What's that you say? Libraries? For free?! Denise, get me Ovitz! I'm packing it in!" as he tosses his laptop computer into the pool.

Caption: Young writers have also given up. Brad McClatchen has ceased work on his collection of poems entitled "Of an Oleander, Recriminate."
Drawing: Young goateed man in front of a typewriter saying, "Obviously, my dream of making millions through poetry is dust. I'm calling my brother about that tire sales job."

Caption: Publishers of course are suing, but they are not optimistic.
Drawing: Brent Aullett pointing and saying, "Mark my words: this "Dewey Decimal System" will be the death of literature!"

Caption: Next: Shower-Singing Threatens Music Industry!
Drawing: Suds-covered naked man singing, "I wanna know what love is..." as people in suits gather outside the shower door.



Cartoonist(s): Hilary Price
Comic/Cartoon: Rhymes with Orange
Viewable Date: 2009-03-06

Entitled "Librarians Go Shopping", the strip shows a stereotypical librarian at a gun shop, asking the man behind the counter "You can get the gun without the silencer, but can you get the silencer without the gun?"



Editorial Cartoon - November 19, 2007

ISSUE 43*47 | 11.19.07 | Editorial Cartoon by Kelly (i.e. Ward Sutton)

A parody of conservative political cartoons, this strip is entitled "Who Says Legalized Torture Doesn't Exist in the US?" A man (identified as "Innocent Borrower" on his shirt) is strapped to a torture rack, while a grotesque witch (identified as "Typical Librarian" with an arrow reading "Friendless Old Hag" to really get the point across) hovers over him with a giant knife in one hand and a piece of paper marked "OVERDUE NOTICE" in the other. The man pleads "B-But I was only one day late ...!" while his wife and child are standing at the door (labelled "Local Library") looking horrified. Undeterred, the "librarian" screams "PAY UP!!", as a caricature of the artist in the bottom right-hand corner remarks "They're bleeding us dry."



"Six Chix"

Panel 1: A woman explains "In these dark economic times, I've had to scale back!"
Panel 2: While the words "MUSIC", "BOOKS", and "MOVIES" hover around her, the woman continues "I've cancelled Netflix, cut back on Amazon.Com, and iTunes!"
Panel 3: The woman (who was looking frazzled but now has a smile on her face) is carrying a book bag at the library checkout desk - "And discovered a hip hangout where I can get all that stuff for free! My public library!"



Tom Batiuk, "Funky Winkerbean." February 18, 1999.

The librarian tells Les, "We had to install blocking software because the people trying to access the more provocative sites were creating a nuisance!"

"Say no more... I teach high school!"

"Actually, the kids weren't the problem... It was all the concerned parent groups trying to find sites that offended them!"



Cartoonist(s): Berkeley Breathed
Comic/Cartoon: Opus
Pub. Date: 2008-04-06

Opus the Penguin is cowering in his bed, as another apparation has emerged from his "Anxiety Closet" to torment his dreams ... This time, it's the visage of an old woman with a score to settle.

"Mrs. McGreeble! My 3rd-Grade librarian!", Opus exclaims.

The librarian informs him, "'Green eggs and Ham' is still overdue, dear."

"What do I owe?", Opus nervously asks.

"$32,367.98" is the reply.

A single bullet suddenly fires from the direction of the closet (barely missing the librarian), as Opus calls out "You in there! The competition for my worse anxiety is over. Please be gracious in defeat."

The unseen assailant's response is more gunfire, as Opus tries to lay down the law: "Now stop that!!! You've been very competitive but Mrs. McGreeble clearly won the contest--"

This strategy fails to work, as a taser gun is shot into the librarian's posterior (immediately electrocuting her), followed by the elderly woman being consumed in fire (Opus: "No! Not napalm!").

As the librarian lays sprawled out on the bed, a charred mess, the perpretrator comes out of the closet brandishing a blowtorch (the face is obscured by an oxygen helmet).

Opus decides introductions are in order, and says "Mrs. McGreeble, Sen. Clinton. Senator Clinton, Mrs. McGreeble." Miss Clinton responds by shaking (what's left of) the librarian's hand and enthusiastically says "Honored! I am HONORED!!"



"Unshelved" by Bill Barnes
Thursday, June 27, 2002

[Dewey approaches Tamara and holds out a flyer with a picture of a giant beaver head, captioned "Buddy says READ".]
Dewey: Why is our library covered with these?
Tamara [cheerfully]: That's the new summer reading mascot!
Dewey [looking at the flyer in disbelief]: "Buddy the Book Beaver"?
Tamara [off-screen]: Isn't he CUTE?
Dewey [off-screen]: Um...
Tamara: He's a BEAVER who likes BOOKS!
Dewey [deadpan]: I believe I can grasp that subtle point.
Tamara [proudly]: The glasses were MY idea.



Gary Larson, "Night of the Crash-Test Dummies" (Kansas City: Andrews and McMeel, 1988) 52.

"Far Side"
Caption: Hell's library
Drawing: In a room with flaming floors, and a horned man in the background, a bespectacled man looks at a bookshelf. The books all have similar titles:

Big Book of Story Problems
Story Problems Vol. 3
Story Problems
Even More Story Problems
Story Problems Galore
Story Problems
Story Problems Vol. 1
Story Problems Vol. 2
More Story Problems
Story Problems Galore and More
Story Problems
et cetera ...



Scott Adams, "Shave the Whales" (Kansas City: Andrews and McMeel, 1994) 58.

Dilbert is adjusting his tie. He tells Dogbert, "I've got a blind date with the lady who works at the library reference desk."

"What if she's ugly?" Dogbert wants to know.

Dilbert turns to Dogbert and says, "Looks aren't important. She sounded very smart over the phone, and I'm attracted to intelligent women."


We then see Dilbert sitting across from his date, a woman with an overdeveloped cranium (straight out of Altered States, I believe), and saying, "Uh...Should I talk, or will you be reading my thoughts directly?"



Cartoonist(s): Bob Thaves, Tom Thaves
Comic/Cartoon: Frank and Ernest
Pub. Date: 2005-05-04

Two men are standing in a library. One says "The books on magic disappeared, the speed-reading manuals are all overdue, the geography books are in the wrong locations, and now I can't find the books on reincarnation!" The other replies, "I know where those are -- At the 'Returns' counter!"



Bill Watterson, "Something under the Bed Is Drooling" (Kansas City: Andrews and McMeel, 1988) 60.

"Calvin and Hobbes"

Calvin looks at a book and gasps, "Omigosh! This library book was due two days ago! What will they do? Are they going to interrogate me and beat me up?! Are they going to break my knees?? Will I have to sign some confession???"

His mother quite calmly informs him, "They'll fine you ten cents. Now go return it."

His fears allayed for the moment, Calvin comments, "The way some of those librarians look at you, I naturally assumed the consequences would be more dire."

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