The portrayal of librarians in comic strips (Part IV)
Monique Prescott, Fillmore, The Evolving Librarian, et al.
Tags: librarians comic strips
Added: 9 months ago
by Tom Wilson & Tom II
Ziggy is taking a book and leaving the library, when the female librarian at the "Library Checkout" desk holds up a ankle bracelet and says "Wait a minute! I have to attach this monitor to your ankle!"
by Doug Savage
Labelled "Librarian Hell", the strip shows a chicken librarian looking at a bookshelf and saying "These books aren't in alphabetical order!", to which the chicken devil replies "And they never will be!"
Publication Date: 2011-03-13
First Published On (if retro): 1982-03-14
Treasuries: In The Beginning, There Was Chaos
Description: Michael and Elizabeth watch the rain. Michael tried to lose his math book at the library but Monique Prescott found and returned it because Michael's name and address are pencilled in. Michael asks her for an eraser. This is the second time. Elly.
Caption: There's only one good thing about rain, Lizzie... Mud. Look, a strange car! I wonder who's coming here. Hi, I'm Monique Prescott from the library. Your son left his math book and homework on one of our tables... If his name and address hadn't been pencilled in the cover, I wouldn't have known where to find him! Michael, this is the same book you left at the park... and at Lawrence's house last week! Honey, what are we going to do about other people bringing home your math work? Got an eraser?
Lynn's Notes: During the 80's there was a Canadian television "reality" type show called "Thrill of a Lifetime". A young woman from Montreal had written to the producers to say that her thrill of a lifetime would to be to appear as a character in For Better or For Worse. I thought it was a fun idea and agreed to participate. The TV crew contacted me and asked if it would be possible for her to visit me at home and to watch me draw the comic strip in which she appeared. This was OK, too!
Monique was a librarian, and so a scenario involving the local community library was concocted. Travelling all the way to Lynn Lake Manitoba was quite a hike from Montreal and when she arrived with camera crew in tow, she was exhausted, nervous and wired. She was to come to the door, wait for me to open it and then the two of us had to be surprised and happy to see each other. This we did many times! Finally, they allowed us to hug and laugh and enjoy the fun of connecting for the first time.
I thoroughly enjoyed meeting this sweet, enthusiastic young woman. With her ready smile, thick hair and glasses, she made a fine cartoon character! She stayed for the day, I drew the strip, we had dinner together and she left the following morning. We promised to keep in touch - which we did for awhile. I later met her for dinner in Montreal, but our time together was interrupted and I regret not being able to get to know her better.
So, you have the real story behind this strip...and, Monique, if you're still in Montreal, I'd love to hear from you and find out what you've been doing after all these years!
One classic cartoon by Tom Stratton shows a goggle-eyed little boy bound and gagged in a chair beside a desk. Behind the desk is a battleaxe librarian talking into the phone: "We aren't fooling around anymore, Mrs. Sharp. You have our book. We have your son."
"Garfield" by Jim Davis (May 6th, 2010)
Jon: I asked that cute librarian out again today.
Jon: She told me to be quiet and fined me.
Garfield: I'm sure it was long overdue.
Artist: Bacall, Aaron
A female librarian is telling the customer "You borrowed 'How to write effective lesson plans' back in September. You're returning it now in June. The late return penalty is more than the cost of the book. I'm guessing you're not a math teacher."
Good news, that is, until March 30th of this year when I opened my newspaper to the comics page and found a Hi and Lois cartoon, usually a benign take on suburban life, set in a busy public library. In the first of two panels, Lois says, "More people are using the library these days," to which a happy elderly librarian responds, "that's because it's free". In the second panel, Lois and the twins are walking by "The Corner Bookstore" which has an "Out of Business" sign in its window. Lois, looking glum as are the twins, remarks "Everything has a cost." Wow, a family cartoon with a negative remark about libraries!
Comic #280 (June 22, 2007)
Original URL: xkcd.com/280/
Cueball is pressing on Megan for stopping her idea to visit her family. While Megan is fully convinced that this visit will happen, Cueball takes advantage of her love of books. He starts to open up a brand-new hardcover book much farther than it was made to open, ruining the spine, and then mistreats it some more. Megan cannot take this anymore, and gives up on the family visit.
The title text goes on with the inflexible stereotype, as librarians will not make exceptions for or give reductions to their romantic partners' overdue fees.
The humor comes from the stereotype of librarians as very sensitive to proper treatment of books and inflexibility with rule-breaking.
Advantages to dating librarians.
Megan: We're stopping in Baltimore to visit my family, and that's final.
Cueball: Oh yeah?
[Reaching inside paper bag.]
Cueball: Hey, look, it's a new hardback book!
[Holds book in hands.]
Megan: You wouldn't.
[The book is twisted and crinkled.]
[The book's spine is broken.]
Megan: OKAY! You win!
Brady Callan, Untitled cartoon, "American Libraries" (April 1979).
A police officer is interviewing a female librarian in the catalog department, while the body of a male librarian (with a card catalog rod sticking out of his back) lies dead on the floor.
Policeman: Then what happened? I mean after he dropped your Arabic card file.
Cartoonist(s): Jim Toomey
Comic/Cartoon: Sherman's Lagoon
Viewable Date: 2006-06-26
Fillmore the Turtle is in the Kapupu Lagoon Library (sitting behind a desk labelled "Librarian"), when Hawthorne the Hermit Crab walks up and says "Fillmore, I need a book on avoiding debt collectors." He replies "Uh, sure."
They walk over to a bookshelf, as Fillmore says "We have a couple of legal self-help books in non-fiction."
He then points down the hall and says "Just go to the third rack, take a right and go all the way to the back."
The crab replies "Can I stay there for a couple weeks?", as Fillmore asks "Is there more I should know?"
This comic is from July 28th, 2003!
T-Rex sighed as he stood alone. 'I am tired of things not getting done my way,' he said quietly. Suddenly, he came to a realization. 'Therefore, I am going into politics!'
He travelled over to see his good friend Dromiceiomimus, to explain his recent conclusion. He explained, 'As a politician, I will have power and influence! Things will get done, and they will get done my way! Finally, I will be the person making all the important decisions!'
Satisfied with his reasoning, he turned to begin his quest to become a politician, when, suddenly, his friend, Utahraptor, interposed. 'T-Rex, we live in a democracy of dinosaurs! You'll have to get elected if you wish to have power!' he argued.
'I see,' said T-Rex, with disappointment. 'Will you vote for me,' he asked with a glimmer of hope in his eye.
Cautiously, Utahraptor questioned his dear friend. 'Well, um, what's your platform? What issues are you concerned about? My mom works at the library, and there have been cutbacks lately, so that's a concern for us.'
Excited, T-Rex exlaimed, 'You're mom's a librarian?! That's AWESOME!'
by Rina Piccolo
Panel 1: Two librarians are sitting at the "Library Information" desk, as a female student looks at her phone and says "I'm having trouble downloading the third floor ... "
Cartoonist(s): Mike Peters
Comic/Cartoon: Mike Peters' Editorial Cartoons
Viewable Date: 2005-04-08
A female librarian is flanked by two Secret Service officers, with a sign reading "New Patriot Act Rules" sitting on the desk next to her. She addresses a female patron (with her hands tied behind her back), saying "Sorry, your book is overdue. We're sending you to Abu Ghraib for questioning."
Library Cartoon #6386
(c) Mark Anderson
School Librarian: [answering a little boy's book request] Ninja-bots from Mars - fiction or non-fiction?
Similar evolutionary progress appears on a T-shirt sold by the student association of the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin.
First pictured is an ape, "informationus primatus," with a pair of glasses hanging from his neck. He is followed by "informationus scriptor," a monk inscribing a manuscript. Next comes the stereotypical bunhead librarian, "informationus shushimus," a conservatively dressed middle-aged female with glasses holding a book and holding her finger to her lips in a shushing gesture. Last depicted is "informationus professionus," a young woman with long hair and a headband, wearing boots, jeans, and a T-shirt, listening to an iPod and carrying both a book and a handheld computer.
Cartoonist(s): Jim Borgman, Jerry Scott
Viewable Date: 2013-01-11
Jeremy Ducan and his girlfriend Sara Toomey are standing in the library, when she says "Oh, really?" She then bends him over a bookcart and plants a big "SMOOCH!" on his cheek; as she fixes her lipstick, she casually tells him "Try Googling that!", to which he replies "Okay, maybe libraries aren't totally obsolete."
In support of libraries
I believe passionately in libraries and have been horrified by the prospect of closures throughout the system as part of local government cuts. I tried to make a useful comic to help but it wound up being a bit... flawed?
First Panel: What do you think that you know about your local librarian?
Second Panel: [librarian is carrying a large stack of books] Put upon! Obsessed with silence! Myopic! Angry! Spinsterly!
Third Panel: Yes. She is all these things, but...
Fourth Panel: Years of hefting hardbacks has given her the wiry strength...
Fifth Panel: [librarian is shelving books while balancing on one foot] Of a prima ballerina!
Sixth Panel: [librarian is saying "Shh!" to someone] In the library she is part of a delicate ecosystem.
Seventh Panel: [librarian is reshelving a box of bran flakes in the supermarket, saying "Not Dewey Decimal... grrr"] But outside her domain, a librarian is a dangerous creature!
Eighth Panel: [building are labelled "Young Adult", "Adult Fiction", "Self Help"] The release of hundreds of librarians into society would be CATASTROPHIC...
Ninth Panel: Fight government cuts... Support your local library!
Posted by John A at 5:54 PM
Artist: Baloo -Rex May-
A man walks up to the "Library Information" desk and asks the female librarian "I can't find the books on information retrieval."
Artist: Fishman, Loren
Two men are loitering in the library, staring at two female librarians working behind the front desk. A policeman says "Alright guys, move along ... Those librarians are here for reference. You're not allowed to check them out."
The first panel shows a librarian talking to a young kid.
"Just remember kids, Wikipedia is not a reliable source of information. You're better off learning how to use the shelves of antique reference books here at the library."
The second panel shows the librarian folding his arms and looking nervous.
"The problem with this Wikipedia is that any regular person can write an article on it. Not like books, which are written by, um, special book people."
The third panel shows the kid talking to the librarian.
"But Wikipedia is written and moderated by thousands. I mean, who do you know that would waste their time just writing lies that would just quickly get deleted anyway?"
The fourth panel shows a closeup of Wikipedia.
"From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia"
"For other uses, see The Librarian (disambiguation)."
"A librarian is a person who works professionally in a library. It is a completely necessary position that has totally not been already made obsolete by the internet. Library science is also a totally legitimate study and those who know how to use card catalogs will always be superior to those who don't. This is not superlative language. It has been confirmed by several reliable sources such as myself and my colleagues. (I forget how to do hyperlinks.) Also, as several credible films have shown, we are really quite attractive when we choose to take off our glasses and let our hair down."