From my cataloguing courses I always understood that if a work had an artist and an author the cataloguer should make a main entry (tag 100) for the person chiefly responsible for the work. The other person would be entered as an added entry (tag 700).
For instance if you are cataloguing a children’s storybook that has illustrations, the author would get the main entry and the illustrator the added entry.
However… in the case of graphic novels, the illustrations make up the bulk of the work. The artist’s contribution to graphic novels overshadows that of the writer.
My personal opinion is that when dealing with graphic novels one should be consistent and always use the artist as the main entry, providing an added entry for the author of the text. Anyone searching for copy lately will realize that there seems to be no consistency whatsoever. Some give the main entry to the author, some to the artist. To my horror, I have found copy that names only the author and the artist is not even given an added entry. This practice is in direct violation of AACR2 rule 21.30K2.
To further muddy the argument, we must remember Rule 21.24 Collaboration between Artist and Writer. Rule 21.24 states that ‘collaboration’ in this case means that the artist and the author have worked jointly to produce the work. The rule states that if collaboration exists then the main entry is entered under the person named first on the title page, with an added entry provided for the second named person. A further obstacle to consistent cataloguing is that many graphic novels do not have title pages, and often the publisher gets very creative with the cover. Another question that arises is What sort of access is given to pencillers, colorists and letterers? I consider the pencillers to be the artists, while the colorists and letterers play an inferior role.
I would be very interested in hearing how others face these cataloguing challenges.
Remember the cataloguer’s mantra…. I will be consistent, I will be consistent, I will be consistent, I will be consistent…