#7 “…if only we really had super-guys in skin-tight outfits to clean things up for us.”

The title above was taken from “The ‘Nam” # 41 (Marvel Comics, Feb. 1990). Chosen because of the interesting juxtaposition; “The ‘Nam,” as the name suggests, focuses on the Vietnam War – and, for an interesting issue, the soldiers daydream about what would happen if Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man came along to help.

This has been a get-stuff-done kind of week. My “cataloger’s judgment,” as Steven is fond of saying, has developed – at least a little. That means that I’m more confident making quick decisions about whether a subject matters or if what I have is good enough, that I’m no longer second-guessing myself about how to record character names or what historical notes might be important. In a perfect world of infinite descriptive ability, and in a world in which I could know this collection impossibly well (not unlike how well Brian Flota knows it!), I’d do a lot of things different. But that’s not where I am, nor is that what I’m here to do.

I mentioned in the last few posts that I need to fix some things about what I’ve done so far. I need to fill in historical notes for past issues (I do those last, since Brian comes by a few times a week to help me and to discuss a few of the more interesting comics with me); I need to correct a few misinterpreted comics and subjects; and (the big one) I need to check over all of my name authority list.

Part of my project has been collecting Library of Congress name authorities for the comic book creators – the writers, pencillers, inkers, colorists, letterers, cover artists, and editors. Many – most – of these individuals have authority records in place, so I’ve been inputting them into a separate spreadsheet so I can formalize the main comic metadata later. The problem: Excel and I have had a few fights (The Epic Battle Continues! The Kaiser vs. Excel-sior, Master of Spreadsheets! Who Will Win?!) and it’s managed to mix up records; I have no idea why, but I really don’t think it’s user error; I’m generally confident with my spreadsheet skills. So I get to slowly go through all of my records and make sure that I’ve labeled everyone correctly.

On a different note, I had digitization training on Monday with Mark Purington, digital content coordinator. He introduced me to our digitization lab (it’s just across the hall from my own workroom), walked me through the workflow, and let me practice using the overhead scanner to digitize Jungle Action #7 and then helped me explore Photoshop tools to fix some errors (my fingers holding the pages down), crop the scans, and merge pages together. I really enjoyed that; there’s something calming about creating digital records, and digitizing the comics would be a next-step goal for our comic book collection here.

I also met with Malia Wiley, another IU ILS alumna and a humanities liaison librarian. Our conversation focused on balance: between the needs of her different communities and between the time of year and how that brought along different projects and work requirements. We also discussed the eternal topic, committee work, and what she was doing for her service and scholarship aspects for her job.

That’s all for now; I have more meetings tomorrow before rounding out another week. I plan to finish my cataloging early next week so I can have plenty of time to work on importing items onto the Omeka site, to check my work, and to see if I accomplished what I wanted to – and if I didn’t, to see what I can do to amend that.

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