Thursday, December 20, 2007

UNSHELVED-Comic Relief

Unshelved is the world's only daily comic strip set in a public library! Writer Gene Ambaum (the made-up name of a real-life librarian) and co-writer and artist Bill Barnes have been publishing since February 16, 2002. Some of the stories are made up, some of them are based on real life, and some are absolutely true stories sent to us from our readers. And the stranger the story, the more likely it is to be true.

Here's a quick primer about the library and the people who work there and frequent it.

The Mallville Public Library

Most of the action in Unshelved takes place in or near the Mallville Public Library, a branch library in the same system as Outlet City. Recently the library underwent a significant (and unusually rapid) remodel.

Our hero, the determinedly ironic young adult librarian who would rather read comic books or play games than work the reference desk, or indeed do any kind of work at all.
First appearance: February 16, 2002

Beleaguered branch manager trying to keep the chaos to a minimum. Mel’s great passions in life are fly-fishing and office supplies. It is Mel’s fate that she can’t state an opinion that isn’t immediately contradicted by the events around her.
First appearance: February 16, 2002

Children’s librarian. Cheery and idealistic, but don’t cross her. Tamara’s favorite letter is “T.”
First appearance: March 4, 2002

Cranky, old-fashioned, computer-illiterate reference librarian who late in life surprised everyone by adopting baby Doreen from China. (“I wanted a clone but the technology wasn’t there.”)
First appearance: February 19, 2002

Twelve-year old who spends a lot of time in the library for someone who doesn’t like to read. He enjoys action figures, web surfing, and video games. Dewey is either his idol or the only person who will talk to him, or both.
First appearance: February 16, 2002

Buddy the Book Beaver
Former library mascot turned library page who still wears his costume for reasons that aren’t entirely clear. His colorful past is slowly being unearthed.
First appearance: June 26, 2002

Mallville’s media-savvy attorney is also a civil libertarian who exercises his freedom of expression in a unique way.
First appearance: March 14, 2002

Click the link below to read the continuing saga of Unshelved.

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