In 1995 I published Graphic Novels: A Bibliographic Guide to Book-Length Comics. I got some nice notices in library journals, but it didn't exactly become a bestseller. In fact, the whole experience, coupled with a disastrous visit to the San Diego Comics Con and a fairly embarrassing paper I gave at the Popular Culture Association convention in 1996, convinced me to drop out of the comics scene altogether.
Flash forward to 1999. My book had seemed to be dead in the water, with sales of one or two copies a month, but all of a sudden it started to sell again, possibly because it became available through NetLibrary. I was also contacted by Kris, a graduate student in library science, who asked me if I was going to write the sequel I'd mentioned in the book. Her enthusiasm for the sequel, the relative lack of reviews of graphic novels, and my desire to increase the size of my graphic novel collection convinced me to start reviewing again.
You can go to the About the Editor page to read about my formal credentials as a writer and editor. To these I would add that I bring a slightly different perspective to a graphic novel review than that held by, say, the average person who reviews for Comics Journal. First of all, I'm a woman--a fairly rare animal in the field. Second, I spent five years writing and editing book reviews for American Reference Books Annual, so I know the form pretty darn well. Third, my writing background gives me a big set of tools to evaluate stories. I'm perhaps less tolerant of inferior stories than other reviewers would be--and I'm much less tolerant of the atrocities perpetuated by "storytellers" within the superhero genre.
D. Aviva Rothschild
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