12.07.2006

GovDoc Bestsellers

NPR broadcast a story yesterday morning on the publication of the Iraq Study Group Report, which is anticipated to be a bestseller along the lines of the 9/11 Commission Report (if not nearly so compelling).I had to laugh--ruefully--when the reporter referred to these as anomalies in the "often stodgy" field of government publications.

Here's more on the sales of the Iraq report (from CNN). Now, wait a minute... didn't the public pay for this report? Isn't it government information? And now it's a best-seller on the private market--again, just like the 9/11 Commission Report. I opened my messages from GovDoc-L this morning, and found that Daniel Cornwall had the same feelings:

"First off, I'm disappointed that once again the private sector is going to benefit from the sale of a popular government document while GPO is still looking for nickels to rub together. First the 9/11 Commission, now the Baker/ISG Commission. While I doubt it is a conscious conspiracy, it is unfortunate that the hottest potential sellers are being diverted away from the government's official printer."

All this talk of hot GovDocs got me to start a reading list of some of the best-selling ones:

I'm thinking about reading the 9/11 report in graphic novel form, then comparing it with the text form and with Art Spiegelman's 9/11-themed graphic novel, In the Shadow of No Towers.

Which brings me to my latest research project... GovDoc comics! I'm interested in any government comic in any form, digital or print--if you know of any, please let me know. I don't know if this will turn into a digital collection, a presentation, or an article, but it combines three of my interests in one.

6 comments:

Daniel said...

I think of a few govdoc comics:

1) Supercrat(?), appeared on the inside back covers of State Magazine (S 1.118) during the early to mid 1990s. Don't have any at my library to confirm name. He ever fought Saddam during Gulf War I with pencils and invoices.

2) Protocol Boy - Appeared on the inside back cover of the one State Magazine we do have - S 1.118:427 (July/August 1999)

3) From my home state of Alaska we have "The Invisible O" also known as the Sixth Report of the Ombudsman 1980 State of Alaska. The first ten pages of the report chronicle the efforts of heroes such as the Invisible O, Captain Adminstration and Wonder Person against villans such as Cratman, Flackman and Blind Referral.

Infozo said...

Sinclair Library's Government Documents Art and Design exhibit features a cover scan of one of my personal favorites,
D 101.22:20-13
Invisible Weapon,
a gorgeous War Department piece promoting the lend-lease programs of World War II.

Infozo said...

The Navy Aviation Training Division has a number of documents titled _[Something] Sense_ that are both funny and well illustrated. Right now, I've got
D 202.2:SH 2
Shark sense
on my desk... and I know what to do if my plane goes down over the ocean and I need to fend off the circling sharks.

Infozo said...

The seventies are always good for a laugh.
HE 20.3002:B 73/2
Discovering yourself in the brain age
is a *very* colorful illustrated piece.

Infozo said...

OK, one more and I really should get back to work...

I'd hate not to mention the Evergreen State College Coloring Books page.
EP 1.2:C 44
A world fit for chipmunks and other living things
holds a special place in my heart. Evergreen makes a scan of this coloring book available online.

Starrlett said...

Thanks, all--these are great!! And a perfect source for a chuckle on a Monday! :)