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Watchmen Who Knew?

In an alternate history, as the United States and the Soviet Union teeter on the edge of a nuclear war and being a superhero is illegal, who will save the world? Enter the Watchmen…

As graphic novel readers and teen librarians know, Watchmen delivers a complex plot that goes far beyond deconstructing the idea of a superhero. Here are some tidbits to help the rest of us understand the cult phenomenon that is Watchmen.

The Graphic Novel
o Watchmen is not only in Time magazine’s top 10 graphic novels list, it is included in Time magazine’s 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to Present.

o The original 12 issues of the Watchmen comic book series were published by DC Comics in 1986-87.

o After two decades the graphic novel is still selling. In 2007 about 100,000 copies were sold, but when the trailer for the “Watchmen” movie was shown before “The Dark Night” in July 2008, sales skyrocketed. By mid-August DC put another 900,000 copies into print to meet demand (over 62,500 copies sold in July/August 2008). “Watchmen” became the top selling graphic novel in 2008.

o In 2008 Warner Bros. Entertainment released a narrated version of the original comic called Watchmen: Motion Comics. The first chapter sold on iTunes and other digital stores for the 1986 cover price of $1.50. The Complete Motion Comic was released March 3, 2009.

The Movie
Opening night midnight viewings of the “Watchmen” generated $4.55 million in sales. The film opened in 1,595 theaters across the country and spread to 3,611 around the world, the most theaters ever to show an R-rated movie.

“Watchmen” was directed by Zack Snyder, and has been compared to Snyder’s 2007 feature film “300”, here are a few comparative stats from each opening weekends:
o While “Watchmen” brought in a total of $55.7 million in opening weekend tickets sales, “300” had a much stronger opening weekend with $70 million in tickets sales.
o The movie-goer’s desire to see action films on IMAX screens brought in $5.5 million in IMAX ticket sales for “Watchmen” during its opening weekend; “300” reached 65% of that mark with $3.6 million.
o Snyder’s “300” opened on 62 domestic IMAX screens and “Watchmen” opened on 124.
o “Watchmen” is 45 minutes longer than “300”, making it hard for theaters to have more than one showing per evening. “300’s” shorter running time gave theaters the opportunity to play two showings per evening, which likely had an affect on ticket sales.
o “300” had a production budget of $60 million. “Watchmen’s” budget is reported to be between $120 and $150 million.

Intrigued? Learn more at the following websites.

Watchmen movie and graphic novel:
www.afterwatchmen.com

DC Comics:
http://www.dccomics.com/dcu/

Watchmen writer Alan Moore:
http://www.alanmoorefansite.com/

Comic and graphic novel sales/ trends:
http://www.icv2.com/index.php

Movie box office data:
http://www.the-numbers.com/

-R. Sean Lamborne
sean@lrs.org

References

Gustines, G.G. (2008, August 13). Film trailer aids sales of ‘Watchmen’ novel. The New York Times Online. Retrieved on March 7, 2009 from http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/14/arts/14arts-FILMTRAILERA_BRF.html?_r=1&ref=arts&oref=slogin

ICV2. Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual – August 2008 [Data File]. March 10, 2009 from http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/13297.html

ICV2. Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual – July 2008 [Data File]. March 10, 2009 from http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/13104.html

Michael White. (2009, March 6). ‘Watchmen’ may open with $70 million, lift box office. Bloomberg.com Retrieved on March 7, 2009 from http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601088&sid=aiiSmRwjr8lQ&refer=muse

Paul William Tenny. (2009, March 10). Watchmen experiences mass walkouts in new york city. Newsvine.com. Retrieved on March 10, 2009 from http://pwtenny.newsvine.com/_news/2009/03/10/2527065-watchmen-experiences-mass-walkouts-in-new-york-city

The Numbers: Box Office Data, Movie Stars, Idle Speculation. Watchmen [Data File]. Retrieved March 10, 2009 from http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/2009/WATCH.php

Watchmen (2004, July 22). In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved March 7, 2009 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watchmen#cite_note-57

New Field Initiated Study

A new field initiated study was just posted. Therapeutic Reading Programs and Reading Education Assistant Dogs is a compilation of responses received from Samantha Hagar’s inquiry to the Libnet listserv on how libraries use dogs in therapeutic reading programs.

For more information, click the title above or visit our Field Initiated Studies section.

-Jamie

New Fast Facts: Book, Newspaper, and Periodical Prices, 2004-2010

Take a leisurely look at the new Fast Facts! “Book, Newspaper, and Periodical Prices, 2004-2010″ examines past pricing for library materials and includes calculations for future pricing if the current pricing trends continue.

Read the complete report on the Fast Facts page.

-Sean
sean@lrs.org

New Fast Facts: Colorado Public Librarian Salaries

LRS has published a new Fast Facts, “Colorado Public Librarian Salaries Keeping Pace with National Averages.” The report compares salary data collected by LRS to national averages reported by the American Library Association.

Read the full text on our Fast Facts page.

-Briana

2008-09 School Library Profiles Now Available

The 2008-09 School Library Profiles have been created and are now available for all school libraries that responded to this year’s survey. To access them, go to http://www.lrs.org/school/profiles08/index.php.

Thank you to all 830 schools who responded.

-Zeth
lietzau_z@cde.state.co.us

Reference Service – Where is it Going? Survey Results

In December 2008, we launched the 60-second survey, “Reference Service – Where is it Going?” The survey was prompted by a discussion on a listserv for librarians working on virtual reference desks around the country. (Thanks Kris Johnson for the tip!)

Clearly a hot topic, we received 1,500 responses from library staff and others reading library blogs, listservs, etc.

Not surprisingly, respondents indicated that reference services are important to both the public and the library itself.

(Click on a chart for a larger, more detailed image.)

When asked “how great is the need for librarian-assisted search services in today’s information environment,” nearly everyone (99%) said it was needed or greatly needed.


Detail

Similarly, respondents thought reference was vital to the library as an institution. 98% of respondents indicated important or very important when asked “how critical are reference services to the survival of libraries?”



Detail

Respondents widely believed that virtual reference will play a big part in the future of library services. Asked “do you think virtual reference services are the future of library reference” nearly 9 out of 10 respondents said “yes.” However, most did not believe it would replace in-person reference.


Details

In spite of its importance, respondents felt reference was not promoted adequately. 9 out of 10 indicated “the library profession should do more to promote reference services.”


Detail

Recently there has been discussion among librarians about establishing a national effort to promote reference services at libraries. For example, an “ASK” campaign that would be similar to ALA’s “Read” campaign. The majority of respondents (83%) thought “a professional organization should launch a national campaign promoting reference services at libraries.”


Details

More detail about the results of this 60-second survey will be published in an upcoming edition of Fast Facts. Let us know what you think about reference services in libraries by leaving a comment below.

-Zeth & Nicolle

Interlibrary Loan Among Colorado Academic Libraries

A new Fast Facts has just been published. Interlibrary Loan Among Academic Libraries – Ups and Downs in Colorado, examines interlibrary loan trends. Find out what is increasing and what is decreasing.

Read this Fast Facts and more at our Fast Facts page.

-Jamie

School Library Survey Preliminary Results

The 2008-09 School Library Survey closed a few weeks ago, and preliminary results are now available on our school library stats page — http://www.lrs.org/school_stats.php

If you completed the survey, please take the time to review our data and let us know if you find any discrepancies. We’re still working on the 2008-09 School Library Profiles, and will release those in January.

Zeth
lietzau_z@cde.state.co.us

New on LibraryJobline.org!

LibraryJobline.org has something new to check out! We have added links to other websites that could be useful resources to the library job hunter. The categories for the links included are Professional Resources and Organizations, Education, Colorado Resources, Other Library Job Searches, Job Hunting Help, and Suggested Reading.

Some examples of the websites that we have linked to are the Colorado Association of Libraries website, the Colorado Department of Education webpage on the process for educator licensing for K-12 librarians, and ALA’s webpage on accredited library and information science programs. Other useful links include examples of possible library interview questions, blogs about library job hunting, and tips for cover letters, resumes, and interviews.

So, stop by the new page to check out the resources we have compiled, or look for the link “Resources for Job Seekers” on the home page of LibraryJobline.org.

Who Knew?… Twilight Fun Facts

In recognition of the highly anticipated Twilight film, here are some fun facts about the series.

Twilight is the story of 17-year-old Bella Swan, who moves to a small town in Washington State and falls in love with a vampire named Edward Cullen. Published in 2005, the book was followed by New Moon in 2006 and Eclipse in 2007. The books have sold 8.5 million copies in the U.S., according to Publisher’s Weekly.

Author Stephenie Meyer, a Phoenix housewife with a degree in English from Brigham Young University, based the first novel on a vivid dream she had in 2003 (Stephenie.Meyer.com).

Breaking Dawn, the fourth book in the Twilight saga, sold 1.3 million copies on its publication date, August 2, 2008. Little, Brown reported it as the highest single-day sales in the company’s history (Publisher’s Weekly).

The Twilight books have been translated into 37 languages and sold more than 14 million copies worldwide, according to the Daily Telegraph (UK).

The Twilight series has drawn frequent comparisons with the Harry Potter series in terms of its cultural impact. Eclipse knocked the last installment of J.K. Rowling’s series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, to the #2 spot on the Barnes and Noble Fiction Bestseller’s list when it was published, and the series has made Meyer a millionaire many times over. The Twilight film was be released on Nov. 21, the same date the next Harry Potter film was originally going to be released (Wall Street Journal).

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows sold 8.3 million copies in its first 24 hours, according to the New York Times. The Potter books have been translated into 67 languages and sold 400 million copies worldwide (BBC). And while the four books in the Twilight series weigh in at 2,458 pages, the seven-part Harry Potter series breaks the scales at 4,100 pages (Wall Street Journal).

The series’ has not escaped controversy. Citing concerns about age-appropriate content, the Capistrano Unified School District in California banned the books from middle school libraries in September 2008 – only to reinstate the books four days later without explanation (Orange County Register).

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