Librarian. Cuyahoga County Public Library, OH, public services librarian, c. 1997—.
Graphic Novels: A Genre Guide to Comic Books, Manga, and More, foreword by Brian K. Vaughan, Libraries Unlimited (Westport, CT), 2007.
Michael Pawuk is a librarian. He began working as a public services librarian in the mid to late 1990s at the Cuyahoga County Public Library in Northeast Ohio. His particular focus is in the teens collection. He is a big fan of graphic novels and comic books, and owns a large collection himself. His experience has led to him being considered one of the nation's leading librarians for graphic novels. He chaired the YALSA preconference "Get Graphic @ Your Library" event in 2002 of the American Library Association, where Neil Gaiman, Art Spiegelman, Jeff Smith, and Colleen Doran were invited speakers. Pawuk himself speaks and lectures on graphic novels and collections at a number of venues.
Pawuk published his first book, Graphic Novels: A Genre Guide to Comic Books, Manga, and More, in 2007. The book contains information and summaries on nearly 2,400 comic book and graphic novel titles. This bibliographic guide covers a number of genres, including fantasy, superheroes, action and adventure, humor, crime and mysteries, horror, contemporary life, and nonfiction, as well as breaking some of these into subgenres. Each is annotated with its bibliographic information, a summary of the story, and age rating for the series. Pawuk made the selections for his book based on a number of factors, including genre, age level, popularity, suitability, reputation, writing quality, artistic style, artistic quality, format, and awards and recognition. The guide is intended for both individual users and for librarians.
Eugene G. Schwartz, reviewing the book in Foreword Magazine, found that this book could help "rescue … those not immersed in its traditions and conventions, familiar with its literary and artistic classics, understanding of its collaborative mode of development, its frequent reliance on long-term serial characters, and its varieties of imaging techniques." Schwartz lauded the account as "comprehensive," and its narrative introduction as "immensely valuable," adding that it "provides a key to the book's organization, to its scope, its selection criteria, and the methodology used in listing and describing" its contents. Booklist contributor Kathleen McBroom suggested that readers should consider this book if they have "any doubts that graphic novels and manga have crossed over into the realm of mainstream literature." McBroom concluded that "this timely and helpful resource will be a welcome addition to public- and secondary-school collections." Cara von Wrangel Kinsey, reviewing the book in School Library Journal, called the writing "accessible," noted that it covers a "broad age range," and contains "good documentation and summaries" on the 2,400 works included. Kinsey also remarked that the "books are well chosen," adding that the most user-friendly aspect of the book is its "genre-based organization." Martha Cornog and Steve Raiteri, reviewing the book in Library Journal, "highly recommended" the book to readers and library collections, adding that more experienced graphic novel readers could "use it to broaden their reading." Cornog and Raiteri summarized that "anyone doubting the wide, wild variety in graphic novels will be set straight" by Graphic Novels.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 15, 2007, Kathleen McBroom, review of Graphic Novels: A Genre Guide to Comic Books, Manga, and More, p. 79.
Foreword Magazine, May 16, 2007, Eugene G. Schwartz, review of Graphic Novels.
Library Journal, July 1, 2007, Martha Cornog and Steve Raiteri, review of Graphic Novels, p. 64.
Library Media Connection, August, 2007, Caroline Geck, review of Graphic Novels, p. 60.
Reference & Research Book News, February, 2007, review of Graphic Novels.
School Library Journal, June 1, 2007, Cara von Wrangel Kinsey, review of Graphic Novels, p. 184.
Voice of Youth Advocates, June 1, 2007, Kristin Fletcher-Spear, review of Graphic Novels, p. 187.