Print

Print


I think at the very least we should be recording a 5XX link to the creator of the fictitious character if we know it. We’ve proposed a relationship designator two or three times for this but it hasn’t been approved, but this relationship can still be recorded without a designator.

 

Bob

 

Robert L. Maxwell
Ancient Languages and Special Collections Librarian
6728 Harold B. Lee Library
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
(801)422-5568

 

From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Netanel Ganin
Sent: Thursday, August 9, 2018 4:33 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Of superheroes and 368/374 in NARs

 

All,

 

I love this conversation especially having made several NARs for superheroes—with a comics cataloging best practices forthcoming, I hope the working group tackles the fundamental question of “are we describing these people as fictitious characters created by creators” or “in universe”

 

Sometimes I see Heroes in a 374 which LCSH restricts to real people, there’s the common discussion about 046 $f/$g for fictitious birth/death dates but I’ve also seen 046 $d for date of creation of the character (or first publication of comic, etc). Should fictitious birthplaces be recorded in 370? Or the real place from which a character emanates? 

 

It’s what Stepheb (I think) mentioned earlier in the thread about treating characters like works.

 

I hope we can get consensus around these issues particularly with an eye towards what helps our users find a specific resource, collocate resources about characters, both group and individual, and differentiate similarly named characters.

 

On Thu, Aug 9, 2018 at 4:57 PM Hostage, John <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

For me, the most important part is this paragraph:

 

However, this debate does reinforce, for me at least, the notion that we need to perhaps rethink how we’re crafting authority records for fictitious characters, and what we realistically should put in them, and the functions that they serve. For graphic novels, at least, the volatility of the medium means that it’s impossible to truly force these characters to have the characteristics of “real” people for the purposes of crafting NARS (they can get killed and reborn repeatedly, their backstories get rewritten with every reboot the publishers do, sometimes there are multiple characters with the same name but different stories at different times—or, as with Wally West, at the same time). So honestly, I don’t think we can or should shoehorn them into “real” categories.

 

 

------------------------------------------

John Hostage

Senior Continuing Resources Cataloger

Harvard Library--Information and Technical Services

Langdell Hall 194

Harvard Law School Library

Cambridge, MA 02138

[log in to unmask]

+(1)(617) 495-3974 (voice)

+(1)(617) 496-4409 (fax)
ISNI 0000 0000 4028 0917

 

From: Program for Cooperative Cataloging [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Adam L. Schiff
Sent: Thursday, August 09, 2018 16:21
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [PCCLIST] FW: Of superheroes and 368/374 in NARs

 

Fowarded with permission…

 

From: Deborah Tomaras [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Thursday, August 09, 2018 6:33 AM
To: Adam L. Schiff <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Of superheroes and 368/374 in NARs

 

Adam:

 

A colleague forwarded me your recent opening salvo on the PCC list regarding superhero NARs and where to indicate their superhero status. I don’t get the PCC list, but I just joined the ALA graphics roundtable, and am hopefully in the group of folks who’ll be drafting a comics best practices cataloging document, so I’m interested in all such debates.  

 

For what it’s worth, I favor the 374 for “Superheroes”. In part, because for certain superheroes (say Captain Marvel, or the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) superheroing appears to be all they do, with no day job in sight. And for those superheroes who don’t do it full-time (leaving aside any comic book geekery that would make one know things like the above), the level of commitment to their task, which imperils their loved ones and paying employment, would seem to me to lean superheroing toward an avocation, and the very least. Or, to make a common-sense argument, from a practical standpoint relating to patrons and comic book fans, the only profession that they really care about when reading about superheroes is their superheroing. (I’ve never had anyone say to me: “I wish they would include more of Clark Kent’s journalism!”)

 

However, this debate does reinforce, for me at least, the notion that we need to perhaps rethink how we’re crafting authority records for fictitious characters, and what we realistically should put in them, and the functions that they serve. For graphic novels, at least, the volatility of the medium means that it’s impossible to truly force these characters to have the characteristics of “real” people for the purposes of crafting NARS (they can get killed and reborn repeatedly, their backstories get rewritten with every reboot the publishers do, sometimes there are multiple characters with the same name but different stories at different times—or, as with Wally West, at the same time). So honestly, I don’t think we can or should shoehorn them into “real” categories.

 

Best,

Deborah

 

Deborah Tomaras  | Technical Services Library Technician

Lewiston Public Library | 200 Lisbon St. | Lewiston, ME 04240

(207) 513-3004 x3513 | [log in to unmask]

 

 

 

Adam:

 

I think the trouble with trying to imagine superheroing as a profession is that we’re trying to fit it into our (non-super) reality, and make it conform to ideas about professions that exist in the real world. Which of course it can’t do.


But for what it’s worth, in the superhero universe there are places where one can study to be a superhero, depending on what series you’re reading. Spider-Man and his wife debate sending their super-daughter to the X-Men’s academy instead of public school, for instance, so that she can learn to control her powers. And I think the Inhumans under Medusa also have training facilities (Ms. Marvel used them to improve her speed and accuracy.) And likely S.H.I.E.L.D has something as well; but I don’t read those. I’d call any of those—roughly speaking, of course—a course of study leading to a terminal (sometimes QUITE terminal) outcome.

 

But see—now I feel silly again arguing these things. I think perhaps that splitting hairs about definitions in superhero NARs and making fictitious characters play at being real people isn’t the best use of our time and energies. I wonder if there’s a way to rethink this exercise, and what we think we’re offering patrons/users by creating these, and what purposes they can and should serve, etc. Hmmm.

 

Best,

Deborah

 

 

Adam:

 

Some further musings, because apparently I can’t help myself.

 

There are some superheroes who are under quasi-governmental control, or are on official retainer to negotiate with other countries and heroes/villains of those countries because of their superhero status (consultants, maybe?).

 

And at least one plot where superheroes had to register officially with the government (“real” and “hero” identities, I think it was?), which I don’t imagine is ever done for hobby quilters or other non-professionals.

 

And one could even argue (if one were in the mood to) that institutions like the Justice League or the Avengers are professional organizations for superheroes akin to the ALA, there for professional development support, networking and to ensure that their members live up to the standards set for the profession.

 

In all—superhero = profession = 374. Do you give up yet? :}

 

Best,

Deborah

 

--

best,

 

Netanel Ganin

 

he/his/him

 

Any opinions in this email are solely those of Netanel Ganin and not to be construed or represented as those of any institution.