Latin America and Caribbean

More on 741.5 Cartoons, caricatures, comics, graphic novels, fotonovelas

Why are we still considering how best to develop 741.5 Cartoons, caricatures, comics, graphic novels, fotonovelas?

We received a mixture of negative and positive responses to our most recent discussion paper ( Supplement to Draft schedule 741.5), in which we proposed to divide the 741.5 material into two categories. We also received mixed responses to our earlier discussion papers. All these discussion papers are available online.

Although we continue pondering what development would be best, the time has come to make a decision and adopt a new schedule. We plan to prepare a draft schedule for consideration by the Decimal Classification Editorial Policy Committee (EPC) at its October 2005 meeting, to be mailed to EPC September 6, 2005.

The primary topic of this report is the responses to our most recent proposal, to divide cartoons, caricatures, comics, graphic novels, fotonovelas into two categories: (A) graphic works with narratives longer than jokes or anecdotes and (B) graphic works with no narrative or extremely short narratives. Of the 19 respondents who addressed this proposal, 7 favored it, 10 opposed it, and 2 gave mixed responses. Some respondents felt that dividing comic strips into two categories based on length of narrative would be too difficult for catalogers to do consistently. Some felt that it would not be difficult. Some felt that it would be difficult, but could be managed, and the results would benefit users. Some felt that dividing comic strips into two categories would be confusing to users and not benefit them at all. Some argued that it would be most beneficial for the user to arrange all comic strips, comic books, and graphic novels, regardless of length of narrative, by some combination of series, hero, or author. (That last suggestion could be implemented only by alphabetic arrangement. Alphabetic arrangement is always available as a local option: libraries may truncate Dewey numbers at an appropriate place and arrange alphabetically according to their needs.) We are giving a link to an extended selection of the responses ( ResponsesCategories).

We are leaning against dividing 741.5 material into two categories, and leaning toward our original proposal, to treat everything from single-frame caricatures to three-frame newspaper comic strips to comic books to graphic novels all in the same way. We are still open, however, to comments and suggestions.

Some respondents expressed concern about the proposal that 741.59 be subarranged by country of original publication. One objection was that this would artificially separate French and Belgian works that really should be considered together. Another concern was that preferring country of original publication over nationality of author would often not reflect the cultural viewpoint of the work. Again, we provide a link to sample responses ( ResponsesGeographicTreatment).

Other areas of concern that we are trying to address are provisions for genres and for works about how to write graphic novels.

We invite you to read the sample responses and to send comments and suggestions by August 19, 2005. We recommend that you join in a discussion via the Dewey Blog, which will be launched July 1, 2005. Alternatively, you may send your response to:

Julianne Beall

Assistant Editor, DDC