I handed in the proposal for my final paper for my reference services class tonight. We're supposed to develop a bibliographic essay, which is basically an annotated bibliography with a two page intro, around a particular theme or subject area.
I proposed one for graphic novels for use in academic libraries, particularly libraries that support art programs. A number of college art programs are starting to offer comics as a class, and some like the Savannah College of Art and Design even offer it as a track for a thesis project. Oh sure, they try to hide it by calling it things like Sequential Art, but it's all comics. You can't fool me.
There's a lot of literature out there on how to use comics with teens in public libraries, but not much of anything yet for academic libraries. Seems like a tiny piece of territory that's just slightly unexplored, which is something I'm usually good at. Plus it will allow me to justify reading things like the new Jack of Tales trade.
I'll look at works of criticism, history books, how-to books, library-specific books, and kick ass comics. There aren't many professors that would let you get away with a graduate level paper on comic books, but I think this one just might. With his Asian-European heritage, slight southern twang, and constant references to Jane Austen, he's pretty cartoony himself. I have a backup plan just in case, but I hope I don't have to use it. I'm actually looking forward to this (unlike my group presentation on library catalogs...bleh).