Why is this site here?

Original creator Robin B. here.  I just want to broadcast my opinions to the world! Actually, no — I decided to create a page devoted to graphic novel reviews specifically for those who read them the most — mainly teens — and for those who might be involved in distributing them to teens — namely teachers, librarians, and parents.

I currently work as a teen librarian at the Brookline Public Library in Brookline, Massachusetts. I am also the resident comics and graphic novel enthusiast. Over almost 20 years of working in libraries, I’ve had a lot of informal questions from and discussions with my peers about graphic novels and comics. This site started as a place for me to share my expertise with whoever is curious and hopefully provide some clarification about what comics and graphic novels are. Now, the site boasts over 45 staff members including dedicated reviewers and editors, all of who work in libraries and are volunteers. This site couldn’t exist today without the enthusiasm and dedication to comics that everyone here exemplifies.

What’s the history of the site?

No Flying No Tights began as a class project, for my Young Adult Literature class at the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science and the inspirational professor Christine Jenkins way back in 2002.  It soon grew to be one of the first in-depth resources for librarians about comics and graphic novels.  In 2002, No Flying No Tights was cited by School Library Journal as one of the top sites on graphic novels.  In 2006 the Association for Library Service to Children recognized the site.

In terms of my credentials, I have been recognized a national expert on comics: serving as an Eisner Award judge in 2007, speaking at national library and comics conventions, and writing an Eisner-nominated guide called Understanding Manga and Anime. I helped create the Great Graphic Novels for Teens selection list for YALSA and served on the committee for its first three years, the final year as Chair.  I have reviewed for Library Journal, School Library Journal, and Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) to name but a few. Whenever I can contribute writing to the world of comics and libraries, I am happy to do so.

What’s with the title of the site? I see some suspicious capes flapping around here.

The title of the site comes from a quote from the producers of the television show, Smallville. In order to revamp the Superman mythology for the new show, the producers and writers came up with one unbreakable rule: no flying, no tights. I’ve adopted that as a kind of motto. Though it’s not strictly true that there is no flying or tights in the graphic novels I review, I am going at it with the idea that graphic novels can be a whole lot more than what a regular joe might expect from them.