Where to find Free Comics in Davis
The public library has a huge collection and the Teen Center has a small collection of paper comics, the Teen Center is only for teens.
There is lots of public access in Davis where you can read comics on the Internet. This link goes to a web page with links to more than two hundred free high quality newspaper comics which you can read at public access terminals without being embarrassed if someone looks over your shoulder. It is all there, popular hits like Dilbert, old classics like Dick Tracy, and many talented newcomers which maybe the hits of tomorrow. Anotherpage provides links to hundreds of cartoonists who are producing net comics that have not made it into syndication.
The public library has free comics in several places.
The new graphic novel section is located in the young adult fiction section. The on line catalogue brings back more than a 1,000 titles in the Davis library and more than 1,600 titles for the Yolo library system with a search on the key words graphic novels. This means that there are probably a thousand graphic novels you can check out of the Davis library, and another six hundred that you can easily get for free from the other libraries.
In some cases the operative word in young adult is young, in others adult. Tintin and Akiko are particularly appropriate for younger readers.
In fact the Tintin collection has been moved from children's to young adult. Why? Because it was too controversial for children's. Some of the books written back in the fifties are not politically correct today, even though the writer, Herge, probably wanted to be liberal. Some of the last books in the series teach tolerance. Perhaps, the library assumes that older readers can understand the standards change over time and ideas that were appropriate in the 50's are not appropriate now. At any rate, if you think you have read them all you haven't, go get them.
A warning to the mothers of Tintin readers, many of the other graphic novels are not mom friendly. Particularly avoid Sandman. Sandman is an award winning book, it won an award in competition with ordinary text literary works, but it is not for children, not even close.
The Star Wars graphic novels are more adult than Tintin but are good options for the careful mother with a little older children. The Star Wars people have really kept their act clean.
The graphic novels collection has many styles. You can find fantasy comics: Elf Quest, Bone, The Book of Magic and more.
There are also sophisticated superhero comics: Astro City, The Dark Knight Returns, The Watchmen and many more.
There is also a lot of Manga from Japan, but in English. Manga means Japanese comics. Most of the Manga is checked out at any one time so you have to keep checking to find it.
There are also comics on history, particularly the horrible events of history, like Hitler's Final Solution for the Jews, and the dropping of the Atomic Bomb on Japan. Pedro and Me is a comic book about Aids. And there are many others.
Many, perhaps most, of the graphic novels in the collection are the recognized classics of the field. The collection provides an excellent review of the best in adventure and dramatic comics.
There is a collection of comics that do not circulate in a box right next to graphic novel collection. These are mostly superhero comics.
In the adult comics section you will mostly find humorous comics: "The Far Side," "Dilbert" and other classics from the newspapers.
There are also four collections of superhero comics, most about 200 pages long, in the adult section. These are older stories, mostly from Marvel. Parents who are looking for superhero comics for their younger children should use the ones in the adult section, not the young adult section. The comics in the adult section were included because of their historical value, not their literary value, but because they were written in an era when comics companies felt a strong sense of responsibility to produce comics for children, they are a lot more mom friendly than the one's in the young adult collection.
In the young adult section there are a couple of historical super hero books: The Essential Fantastic Four and The New Gods. These are mom friendly.
The adult section of the library has the Judge Dread Mega Collection. These are the Sunday newspaper comics on Judge Dread from England. They are real Judge Dread, not like the movie. Judge Dread is not really a hero and the comic is satire not action.
There are also some unusual cutting edge collections which look very sophisticated, but not much fun. Recently there has been some controversy over a gay comic.
If you are looking for "Garfield" or "Calvin and Hobbes" check the children's comic section at the same call number as the adult comics section. I have noted that the adult collection now has a fair amount of "Calvin and Hobbes," so you can get this classic in both collections.
In the rest of the library there are a number of non-fiction comics: at least one of the "Big Book" series.
The Bible in comic form is available in three forms, one in children's, one in children's Spanish, and one in young adult, the one in young adult is for teens or older people, I suggest the one in children's for children, many older people may prefer it also. All Bible comics take the Bible seriously.
There are several other comics that might interest religious people. Creature Tech is a very intelligent science fiction comic with a strong pro-religious message. There are several volumes of Astro City in the young adult section. This is a sophisticated superhero comic which has positive values and treats religion in a sophisticated but friendly manner. Visitations is another sophisticated comic with religious themes.
There are a number of graphic novels in the adult fiction section, these were to adult for the young adult section. They are not mom friendly.
There are also many books at the public library that are about comics, but are not comics. You can find these in the adult comic section, 741.59 and in the adult reference section also at 741.59. There are several reference works that will tell you about various comics, artists, writers, etc. and many of the heros and villains from the comics. In addition to this there is an illustrated history of the X-Men.
The adult reference also has guides to the prices on old comics. This can tell you which comics to save and which to share with your friends, like me. This last little humorous aside about lending me your comics is a bit dated. I have not gotten any where near reading all the comics in the library that I am interested in, I may never catch up.
In addition to the graphic novels in the local library you can get graphic novels from other libraries in the Yolo County system. The librarians want you to freely barrow books within the Yolo system. As graphic novels are a big trend in libraries in the last few years you might find some that Davis does not have, or you might find them in the future if you keep checking. As most of the other libraries in the Yolo system are more traditional you are even more likely to find traditional newspaper comics that Davis does not have. You might want to get these after you have read your favorites from the Davis collection.
If you wish to know what the Yolo County system, particularly Davis has here is a link to the Yolo Library catalogue.
Other Library Systems
The Yolo county system has so many comics now that you probably do not need to worry about other systems. But the Sacramento library system, which includes the Woodland public library and other libraries outside of Sacramento, is a few hundred shy of six thousand titles. Even if you are a Davis resident you can get a Sacramento card. If you get to Woodland or Sacramento regularly you can use their books. I think you can reserve their books on line and then pick them up at a library that is convinent for you. The check out period is 21 days and fines are 25 cents a day for books from the adult section.
Teen CenterThere also are about eighty mostly 20 page comic books, or comic magazines at the teen center. The teen center is restricted to teens.
The teen center welcomes donations for their collection.
The Teen Center Web Page.
The University of California at Davis library has over 200 titles under graphic novel. You can read the material in the library for free even if you are not a student or staff member. Naturally these tend to be the more serious graphic novel titles. Many of the books are non-fiction books about graphic novels.
A Davis Comics StoresAs Davis Virtual Market plays a big role in providing public access and Bizarro World is a supporter of Davis Virtual Market I thought it appropriate to give Bizarro World a link.
If you are looking for comics on the cheap and you have read the ones at the library that you were interested in, Bizarro World has lots of back issues at really cheap prices. The difficulty is it can be hard to read a whole story. But if you search through the hundreds of old issues you can find many series. It is sort of a treasure hunt.
Bizzaro World also has many long runs which are I believe quite frequently cheap. You might find these a really good deal. I do not know anywhere that you can buy so many old paper comics for as cheap as Bizarro World.
If even this is not cheap enough, there is usually a long half price sale most years, it often lasts months.
Still not cheap enough, they have comics on DVD's. I think the DVD's are about 50 dollars, but you get about 500 comics on one, about 10 cents a comic.
Beyond this, for the true fan there are lots of new comics and more expensive old comics.
There is also a new comics shop, Drom's Comics and Cards. They are near G and Third at the back of the little quartyard that is opens on to G just south of Third. It is a wonderful place to play fantasy card games, and they have new and used comics.
Borders has a huge collection of graphic novels and Newsbeat has some new comics.
There are also many good clean comics that you can read on the Internet at one of our many public access computers in Davis. Here is a collection of links to public Internet access safe free comics.
Tips for suggesting graphic novels and comics for your public library. I have experience helping to put together the Davis collection and successfully suggesting comics to 12 other branches. Adding graphic novels to library collections is a big trend. You might well be able to get your library started.
This page like the public access page on this site is based on a paid article I wrote for the Davis Enterprise. Through these web pages I am keeping you updated on the topics.
This web page is written by Richard Bruce. You can leave a note in my guest book.
The web space and web access were provided by Davis Community Network, DCN.
This page was last updated on October 23, 2009.