Something’s funny in Fine Arts

What do Charles Addams, George Booth and Roz Chast all have in common? They all created well-known cartoons and their books are found in our Fine Arts collection!

You might wonder why the Fine Arts collection has books like What it Is by Lynda Barry, The Golden Age of Wonder Woman, and volumes of Edward Gorey cartoons. The answer is: Dewey (specifically, the Dewey Decimal Classification system). The Dewey system assigns a number classification to a subject. A general number series, like 100 (Philosophy and Psychology) is then broken down more specifically by subject: 101 is Theory of Philosophy, 110 is Metaphysics, and so on.

The 700 section in Dewey covers the general subjects of Arts and Recreation. 741 is the classification for Drawing and Drawings, and 741.5, where you’ll find the above-mentioned books, covers the subjects of cartoons, caricatures, comics and graphic novels.  In our library, you will find graphic novels in the Fiction and nonfiction collections but the cartoons, comics and caricatures are shelved under the 741.5 classification. Curious about older cartoons? We have books like
Krazy & Ignatz : "A mice, a brick, a lovely night" which contains the complete full-page comic strips from 1929-30 by George Herriman and My Crowd by Charles Addams.  We also have plenty of  books by more contemporary cartoonists like Lynda Barry, Scott Adams, Roz Chast and many more. Love the cartoons in The New Yorker? We have collections of those, too.  We also have books like How to Read Nancy: The Elements of Comics in Three Easy Panels and How to Read Superhero Comics and Why.

Mr. Clean Enough by Roz Chast
Mr. Clean Enough by Roz Chast

We invite you to explore our collections and are always happy to help you find items or pull items from the Stacks.  If you are interested in learning more about comics from the editorial and creator sides, our series of Comics University programs begins in June.

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