Print

Print


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]
> <[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
> <https://maps.google.com/?q=200+Lisbon+St.+%7C+Lewiston,+ME+04240+%0D%0A+(207&entry=gmail&source=g>
> “real” categories.
>
>
>
> Best,
>
> Deborah
>
>
>
> Deborah Tomaras  | Technical Services Library Technician
>
> Lewiston Public Library | 200 Lisbon St. | Lewiston, ME 04240
> <https://maps.google.com/?q=200+Lisbon+St.+%7C+Lewiston,+ME+04240+%0D%0A+(207&entry=gmail&source=g>
>
> (207
> <https://maps.google.com/?q=200+Lisbon+St.+%7C+Lewiston,+ME+04240+%0D%0A+(207&entry=gmail&source=g>)
> 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.*