Comics/Graphic Novels

Read Harder Recommendations: A Comic from the Library

Chris M. Arnone

Senior Contributor

The son of a librarian, Chris M. Arnone's love of books was as inevitable as gravity. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Missouri - Kansas City. His novel, The Hermes Protocol, was published by Castle Bridge Media in 2023 and the next book in that series is due out in winter 2024. His work can also be found in Adelaide Literary Magazine and FEED Lit Mag. You can find him writing more books, poetry, and acting in Kansas City. You can also follow him on social media (Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, Twitter, website).

The Panels 2015 Read Harder Challenge consists of 26 challenge categories spanning the breadth and depth of all things that may be considered comics. Every week we’ll give you reading recommendations from one of the categories.

When Andi and I came up with this category for the Panels Read Harder Challenge, we were both stumped as to how we would give people recommendations. What’s new to you? What will you local library have in stock? Then it hit me: I would scour my local libraries and take picture of cool new-to-me things I found. I also got a little help from my fellow Panelteers.

I began my spelunking with the Waldo branch of the Kansas City Public Library, which is only a couple blocks from my house. I hadn’t really read anything from The New 52, so I snagged the first volume of Justice League of America: World’s Most Dangerous when I saw it.

Justice League New 52 World's Most Dangerous

I also found Tom Strong Deluxe Edition Volume 1, which I didn’t check out, but may come back for later.

Tom Strong Library

The Waldo branch is pretty small, so I didn’t see a lot new-to-me that I wanted to read, but I did grab Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me by Harvey Pekar and JD Waldman. I’ve never heard of it, but it sounds fascinating.

Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me

My next stop was the Plaza branch of the Kansas City library. This one is certainly bigger, though the manga and graphic novel selection was in the “Teen Corner” and was disappointingly small. Still, I found both volumes of March, which I still haven’t read.

March Library

My wife accompanied me on this adventure and is a big Buffy: The Vampire Slayer fan, a show I’ve just never gotten into (I know, I know). So when we found the first three volumes of Buffy, we snagged them.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Library

Again, I found more stuff that I may come back for later, such as multiple volumes of Mike Carey’s The Unwritten.

Unwritten Library

Finally we meandered to the Central branch of the Kansas City library, where my wife and I did our engagement photo shoot. It’s gorgeous enough that Rebecca Schinsky did a piece on it on our sister site, Book Riot, a couple years back.

I grabbed a copy of Morning Glories as soon as I saw it.

Morning Glories Library

I also discovered the Kansas City Public Library and likely many other libraries across the country are now using a service called Comics Plus Library Edition. Hello, new digital comics!

ComicsPlus Library Edition

Caroline Pruett managed to find several volumes of The Sixth Gun at her local library.

The Sixth Gun Library Pruett 2

Rebecca Sexton also wandered to her local library and found several volumes of Aquaman from The New 52.

Aquaman Library Sexton

What did you find at your local library?