The portrayal of librarians in comic strips (Part II)
It took awhile, but the second part in the series is finally uploaded ...
At this rate, I'm sure I'll get Part 3 up by around 2025 ;)
Tags: librarians comic strips
Added: 7 months ago
The strip is called "Pearls," although it used to be called "Pearls Before Swine," and the cartoonist is Stephan Pastis. Monday's strip has Pig, a rather sweet, hapless, and innocent character, standing at the Circulation Desk of the public library. He says to the prim and stern librarian, replete with a bun in her hair and tiny glasses perched on her nose and attached to a neck cord, "Hi. I need to return a book that's eleven days overdue. Will the fine be large?" The librarian, looking at her computer screen rather than at Pig, replies, "Oh we stop adding to the fine after ten days. Otherwise it gets too big." Pig looks relieved and says, "Oh good. So what happens when it's over that?" In the final panel, Pig is hung by his arms high on the wall of a dungeon, and that same librarian, wearing a black hood and holding a cat-o-nine-tails, stands before him. Pig comments, "This seems excessive." While I cringed when I read the strip, a small part of me was exhilarated at the power the librarian had. Does that make me a bad person?
Cartoonist(s): Greg Evans
Viewable Date: 2009-08-15
The first panel shows the outside of the public library, as Quinn says "Thanks for meeting me here, Luann." She replies "Always happy to show off the library, Quill. So, this report you're doing ... "
The second panel shows Quinn taking to her, saying "'American Libraries.' I thought you could show me around, I'll take notes." She replies "I'm here to please you. Serve you. Help you. As an official librarian."
The third panel shows Quinn writing in his notepad, saying out loud "'The librarian is quite ... ' Hm ... What's the word?" She looks over his shoulder, saying "Appealing?"
Cartoonist(s): John Deering
Comic/Cartoon: Strange Brew
Viewable Date: 2010-09-10
Clint Eastwood (dressed as the Man With No Name from Sergio Leone's "Dollars Trilogy") is standing in front of the returns desk, as the female librarians says "What about this application process do you not understand?"
The caption reads "The Man With No Name Goes for a Library Card."
I spent some time talking to the Unshelved guys in the airport after the convention, mostly about Lois McMaster Bujold and Gene Wolfe, who are people I have very little opportunity to discuss in the space of a day. When I meet a person who wants to discuss books at length, I'm sure they can sense my desperation. They may even be able to smell it. My first thought is to cripple them, so they can't escape.
I told Gabriel that I thought one of them was still a librarian, and after a pause of indeterminate length we had the following conversation.
Gabe: Wait a second ... So you're saying MEN can be librarians?
Tycho: Yes. That's what I'm saying.
Gabe: Well, what do they call them?
Gabe: I thought "librarian" implied gender, like ... like "sorceress."
Gabe: I don't know. It just seems like they should have another name.
Tycho: I like "Libratorr."
Gabe: No, I've got it! Librarymans!
Seriously, in one go. This is a transcript.
We had other librarians approach us during the convention as well, presenting robust plans for maintaining the relevance of the public library in a time when you can know almost anything in the space of a minute. I have a soft spot for such places, having retreated to them as a young man, and also having serviced instructional technology professionally before I hung it up to devote myself to this ridiculous adventure. The librarians that approached us seemed to believe that digital culture was the answer, the alchemical social aspects of gaming. I doubt these rogues have the support of the infrastructure, but it's exciting to imagine the institution transformed.
Close to Home
by John McPherson
A group of librarians (all wearing white lab coats) are performing scientific experiments on books, i.e. a male librarian is examining a book under a microscope, a female librarian is lifting a book out of a vat of liquid, and other librarians are looking at a blackboard with books mixed into mathematical equations.
The caption reads "Library Scientists."
Cartoonist(s): John Hambrock
Comic/Cartoon: The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee
Viewable Date: 2010-04-19
Young Edison Lee is holding a globe and asking his grandfather Orville "Hey, Grandpa, what's big, round, over 4.5 billion years old, and getting hotter?"
Orville (who is staring at the television and doesn't see the globe) replies "That head librarian Maude Kravitz. Although I seriously question the 'hotter' part."
First panel: Hammie is taking some books from a librarian who is behind a desk. She says, "There you are. These are due back in 21 days." Hammie says, "Okay."
Second Panel: Hammie is carrying his stack of books and walking next to Zoe who has none. Hammie says, "I hope I can finish all these by then." Zoe tells him, "You have to."
Third panel: Hammie says, "What?" Zoe says, "Your library card states that you must read every word of every book by the due date.... or else!" Her eyes are closed, the image of a knowledgeable person.
Fourth panel: Hammie's eyes are huge. He protests, "But these are CHAPTER BOOKS!" Zoe, looking up and away, as if at an adult, asks, "Have you ever seen such huge biceps on a librarian?"
For the record, I never believed this. I frequently check out stacks of books and sometimes go through them outside and turn them back in (the drive-up box). But I had my first encounter with late fees a couple years and I was so freaked out, a day late, and it was 25 cents. That's it?
This made me laugh.
Source: Dave Coverly, Speed Bump (Kansas City: Andrews McMeel, 2000) 86.
Description: In room full of computers, a librarian explains: "Sir, this is a library. If you want a book, go to a bookstore..."
Cartoonist(s): Mike Peters
Comic/Cartoon: Mother Goose and Grimm
Viewable Date: 1987-09-07
A female librarian is whispering into the phone, as a male vampire stands in front of her. She says "He says he wants a book he can sink his teeth into."
In a March 1, 2001 "Blondie" strip, Dagwood and his wife are sitting at a library table. Quite aware of the smiling young librarian, Dagwood says, "Wow, librarians sure have changed over the years." The librarian immediately frowns and yells, "You!! Quiet!!" Dagwood finishes his thought: "Gulp, maybe not."
"Librarian Fear Factor"
An elderly female librarian is shaking and sweating while holding a book towards the shelf, as a game show host says "You saw it here first, folks! Dorothy is about to misshelve a book!"
Another female librarian is hiding behind the bookshelf, covering her eyes and saying "I can't look!"
Mrs. Hickson is the school librarian at P.S 38. She is 39 years old, born on September 9, 1971.
* She has a nickname of Hickey, as said in Big Nate Strikes Again.
* Nate also states that "If you're in the library, she wants to see you doing something".
* She never forgets a name, a face, or an overdue book, as stated by Nate.
* She also is not into "hanging out", and it was probably not her idea to put in the bean bags in the library.
* It is interesting to note that in one of the puzzles in Boredom Buster, Mrs Hickson was one of Nate's favourite teachers. This is opposed to in Strikes Again, as seen in the pictures on the right.
* Mrs. Hickson appears to be heavier in Big Nate Flips Out.
* (from "Big Nate", February 26 2013) - Nate Wright walks up to his friends Teddy Ortiz and Francis Pope in the school library. He says "I had a brainstorm, boys! I know exactly what we should call ourselves! We'll combine the first letters of our last names: Pope, Ortiz, Wright! Get it?" He then yells out "POW!" and that makes Mrs. Hickson kick them out of the library for noise. Francis says "We get it", Teddy says "Nice move dorkus" and Nate says "Some brainstorms are stormier than others."
Artist: Baldwin, Mike
A female librarian is sitting at the returns desk, holding a gun. A male patron is on the floor, apparently shot dead. The caption reads "She vowed to put an end to overdue books and unpaid fines. It was the right thing to do ... Even used a silencer."
McHumor.Com by T. McCracken
Reference Book Cartoon 9062: A woman carrying a stack of books in a library has her back popping out. "Mrs. McWit, reshelving encyclopedias, slips a disk, proving again that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing."
"Drive-by shushing" by Randall McIlwaine
Two ancient-looking librarians drive the bookmobile past two teenagers standing on the sidewalk; one of the women leans out the window and shushes them.
Cartoonist: Martha Campbell
A female librarian is standing behind a desk with a "Quiet Please" sign, holding a remote control and saying "My job's been a lot easier since I thought of using the mute."
by Bill Amend
Andy is sitting at her computer, while her husband Roger stands behind her drinking his coffee; she says "Google's putting a bunch of libraries online", to which he replies "Wow!" The computer then chimes in with a "Shhh!"; she whispers "Clearly, they're sparing no details", and he replies "I can see."
Cartoonist(s): Alex Hallatt
Comic/Cartoon: Arctic Circle
Viewable Date: 2013-07-16
Oscar the Penguin is walking with Frank the Polar Bear, saying "I'm helping Snowpeak library with their seed-lending scheme." Frank asks "Which part are you involved in?" They then stop in a room filled with full-grown vegetables, and Oscar replies "Overdue returns."
For Better or For Worse
Publication Date: 2013-03-27
First Published On (if retro): 1984-03-28
Collection Book: Just One More Hug
Treasuries: Making Ends Meet
Description: Elly Patterson shows her husband John around the library where she will be working part-time as the childrens' program coordinator. The books, records, magazines, and the children's corner. When she asks him if there's anything he'd like to take out, his eyes latch on to Susan.
Caption: Over here, we have the children's corner... Besides books, we've got records, films, magazines... see anything you'd like to take out?
Lynn's Notes: In order to inject a bit of jealousy between my two main characters, I showed John firing off a definite ogle in the direction of Elly's shapely co-worker, Sue. I planned to take this farther and have something of a relationship evolve between John and Sue resulting in a serious exchange amongst all three. As in other attempts to show some "straying from the fold," I lost my nerve and never continued with the storyline.
All It Takes To Be A Librarian...
January 27, 2007 - 5:54pm
The Family Circus cartoon for Jan. 27 is another classic. Since FC isn't online until a month after the comic appears in print (just open up the newspaper folks) here's the gist of the cartoon. Billy and Dolly are coming out of the library. Dolly says to Billy "To be a librarian, all you have to learn is how to say "SHH!". We all know Dolly isn't the brightest light on the comics page, but now she's spreading that old librarian stereotype. I think this calls for Leslie Burger to lay the smackdown on Bill Keane. It could be worse. Maybe next month Dolly will touch off a real firestorm by telling Jeffy "I may be dumb, but I'm a lot smarter than all those librarian bloggers."