This was an open letter to the NYTimes asking them to verify the removal of graphic novels from the best-selling listing category.
Unfortunately, while I have been posting humor this morning, this is deadly serious. Attacks on the availability of comics have been one of the ways a more conservative society prevents or controls the spread of ideas.
Look up: Seduction of the Innocent for an earlier time where this was considered an acceptable practice.
You know what you have to do: firstname.lastname@example.org
(VERIFIED. See Below)
Bombshell: Graphic Novels no longer worthy of a NY Times Bestseller List? [RUMOR]
Like the death of a warrant canary, sometimes the most notable news stories stem from absence rather than presence…
From the article: Asked for comment, the New York Times provided the following response:
Beginning February 5, The New York Times will eliminate a number of print but mostly online-only bestseller lists. In recent years, we introduced a number of new lists as an experiment, many of which are being discontinued.
We will continue to cover all of these genres of books in our news coverage (in print and online). The change allows us to devote more space and resources to our coverage beyond the bestseller lists.
Our major lists will remain, including: Top 15 Hardcover Fiction, Top 15 Hardcover Nonfiction, Top 15 Combined Print and E Fiction, Top 15 Combined Print and E Nonfiction, Top 10 Children’s Hardcover Picture Books, Top 10 Children’s Middle Grade Hardcover Chapter Books, Top 10 Children’s Young Adult Hardcover Chapter Books and Top 10 Children’s Series. Several more including Paperback Trade Fiction, Paperback Nonfiction, Business, Sports, Science and Advice Miscellaneous will remain online.
Readers will be notified that individual lists will no longer be compiled and updated by The New York Times on the relevant article pages.
To the New York Times:
In order to prevent the spread of rumors and to be able to focus our letters more directly, I am inquiring into a post on Twitter which indicated graphic novels would no longer be included in the NY Times Bestsellers List.
If this is a misunderstanding please forgive the interruption. We would simply like to know who we can direct our information requests toward to ensure such a thing, the censoring of graphic novels, their art and story, from the public mindspace.
If this is indeed the case, and graphic novels will no longer be allowed entry into this space, it is another great loss for our nation, one we cannot easily afford.
My favorite graphic novels are Maus, Mage and the Death of Captain Marvel. These have seen me through some of the darkest times in my life. For some people, the urge toward heroism, toward the public good, to sacrifice for a higher calling starts in the pages of a comic or graphic novel.
But, I am certain I don’t need to tell you about the quality and importance of graphic novels in recent years, your list does that more than adequately enough. At this moment, Octavia Butler’s Kindred (by John Jennings) is in the #1 slot.
The New York Times bestsellers list is one of the benchmarks which allows such work to come to the visibility of the general public, our educators and most importantly, our students.
As a teacher who uses comics to expand literacy, explain scientific principles and expound on narrative storytelling, the loss to literacy could be catastrophic. Graphic novels and comics, in general, may be one of the best things about narrative storytelling in the history of the world.
Do not allow forces who would silence such amazing creativity this insidious victory. Thank you for your time and consideration.
If you have any further questions, you may respond to this email email@example.com.
Thaddeus Howze, The Answer-Man
Thaddeus Howze — The Answer-Man
Thaddeus Howze is a writer, essayist, author and professional storyteller for mysterious beings who exist in non-Euclidean realms beyond our understanding. Please follow me on Twitter or support my writing on Patreon.