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And so it begins.

In March I attended Portland State University’s Manga Mania talk, presented by Dark Horse Comics‘ manga editor and guru, Carl Horn. I arrived early to an empty room but it was not long before the room was packed with faculty members, students, cosplayers, manga fans, and even a few dispossessed souls that roam the campus at all hours of the night. It made me nostalgic for my public library days working the Readers’ Advisory desk and arranging Anime Club events. The meetings were always well-attended by students and cosplayers alike. We provided bibliographies for members just in case they were not informed of the manga much of the anime they watched was based on [I’m sure most were, these kids were no rookies], and although I enjoyed seeing members rush to the stacks after meetings, I have to admit I was not the biggest fan of their manga choices. While they went gaga for Naruto and Oh My Goddess! I found myself pushing Osamu Tezuka titles, Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira series, and Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaa. Well, not pushing so much as gently nudging. And sometimes they investigated my suggestions but many times they did not, and that’s OK. In fact, that’s great. Librarians aren’t there to pout and tug on your pantleg with one hand while waving the comic book/manga/book they think you may be into with the other. They are there to remind you have options but ultimately, the choice…is yours. Librarians and libraries are sort nice like that.

So this website, retrobacklore.net, is going to be a virtual, gentle nudge of the things I am interested in, and perhaps you or your library may be interested in as well. As the title indicates comic books [from all countries], librarianship, and, that’s right, WHITE-HOT DATA ON DATA ACTION [I am starting a campaign to have this phrase replace ‘metadata.’ JOIN ME.] will be discussed. I hope you will stay awhile to see what adventures await us but again, the choice is yours.

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