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Graphic Novels and Comics
A guide for students and researchers interested in comics and graphic novels.
Keeping up with journal literature is the best way to stay up-to-date on the current research trends in the field.
Because the study of Graphic Novels and Comics encompasses other fields, such as art and film, you may want to target a few journals and set up RSS feeds or alerts for others. Google Scholar is a great place to begin with alerts.
Here are a few journals you may want to take a look at:
The Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics is a peer reviewed journal covering all aspects of the graphic novel, comic strip and comic book, with the emphasis on comics in their cultural, institutional and creative contexts. Its scope is international, covering not only English language comics but also worldwide comic culture. The journal reflects interdisciplinary research in comics and aims to establish a dialogue between academics, historians, theoreticians and practitioners of comics. It ther
Studies in Comics aims to describe the nature of comics, to identify the medium as a distinct art form, and to address the medium’s formal properties. The emerging field of comics studies is a model for interdisciplinary research and in this spirit this journal welcomes all approaches. This journal is international in scope and provides an inclusive space in which researchers from all backgrounds can present new thinking on comics to a global audience.
International and multidisciplinary in scope, IJOCA aims to publish scholarly and readable research on any aspect of comic art, defined as animation, comic books, newspaper and magazine strips, caricature, gag and political cartoons, humorous art, and humor or cartoon magazines.
The Journal of Popular Culture continues to break down the barriers between so-called "low" and "high" culture and focuses on filling in the gaps that a neglect of popular culture has left in our understanding of the workings of society.
Image & Narrative is a peer-reviewed e-journal on visual narratology and word and image studies in the broadest sense of the term. It does not focus on a narrowly defined corpus or theoretical framework, but questions the mutual shaping of literary and visual cultures.
SANE journal publishes peer-reviewed articles from researchers and practitioners from a variety of disciplines seeking to add significantly to the global knowledge associated with all aspects of graphica (comics, graphic novels, and its related forms) and education.
Broken Pencil is one of the few magazines in the world devoted exclusively to underground culture and the independent arts. Broken Pencil reviews the best zines, books, websites, videos and music from the underground and reprints the best articles from the alternative press.
Anthologies and scholarly treatments devoted to the work of women in the medium of comics are not new, yet women remain a minority in the field, and as a minority we have a presence that is less visible; a voice that is less heard; our work carries themes that are less critically explored, and we inherit and continue to shape a politics of representation that is weighted differently in the historically male-dominated field of image and text. This is not a journal whose goal is female empowerment; instead, its purpose is intellectual and aesthetic edification: we hope to expose comics creators, scholars, and readers of all genders to ideas and art, and ideas about art.
The Comics Grid is a collaborative, peer-edited online academic journal dedicated to comics scholarship. Its purpose is to make original contributions to the field of comics scholarship and to advance the appreciation of comic art within academia and the general cultural mediascape. This journal seeks to function as an online laboratory where different critical approaches to comics are publicly and collectively put to test. Though our scope wants to be as diverse as possible, our initial aim is to focus on the analysis of specific comics page layouts and panels.
ComicsResearch.org primarily covers book-length works about comic books and comic strips, from "fannish" histories to academic monographs, providing detailed information and guidance on further research.
Comics Forum aims to increase the visibility and accessibility of comics scholarship through an academic conference that brings together scholars, artists and fans in a spirit of mutual cooperation and development.
The Comics Research Bibliography is an international bibliography of comic books, comic strips, animation, caricature, cartoons, bandes dessinees, and related topics. It is divided into four sections, arranged alphabetically by author, for ease of use. Last updated in 2009.
The Grand Comics Database (GCD) is an ongoing international project to build a detailed comic-book database that will be easy to use and understand, and also easy for contributors to add information to it. This fully searchable and sortable database includes information on creator credits, story details, and other information useful to the comic-book reader, fan, collector, and scholar.
The mission of The Digital Comic Museum is to provide as close to a free resource as possible where users can easily download public domain golden age comics without the need to ask or worry about searching the net for them.
The Bonn Online Bibliography for Comics Research is an international bibliographic database for scholarly literature about comics, graphic novels, manga and related fields. Not included so far (with a few exceptions) are articles from fan magazines, newspapers and blogs. The Bonn Online Bibliography for Comics Research sees itself as a complement and supplement to similar undertakings that have a different (wider or narrower) approach, such as ComicsResearch.org or the comics research bibliography.
The Caroline and Erwin Swann Collection of Caricature and Cartoon contains 2,085 drawings, prints, and paintings that span the years 1780 to 1977. Most of the images are cartoons, comic strips, and periodical illustrations drawn by American artists between 1890 and 1970. The Creator/Related Name Index provides a full list of the more than 500 represented artists and illustrators. A generous gift and bequest from Caroline and Erwin Swann brought their collection to the Library of Congress in 1974 and 1977.
The exhibit, “‘Help Is On The Way!’ Comic Books and Superheroes in Special Collections,” features comics selected from the Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature. The focus is mainly on popular superheroes/comic books that appeared in DC comics published during the so-called “Silver Age” (roughly from the late 50s through the early 70s). This is an “era” of increasing interest in collecting and scholarship. - Robert Shaddy
Comic Book Resources (CBR) is the premier online comics magazine. Renowned for it's high quality and diverse content and active community, CBR draws the most loyal audience of users. Contains lots of resources including: blogs, reviews, videos and lots more.
The online exhibition "Wonderfully Vulgar" presents a selection of British comics from the 1870s (the Ally Sloper era) to the 1930s (knockabout comics). The phrase "wonderfully vulgar" used in the exhibition title is taken from an interview in which Charlie Chaplin recalled his pleasure in reading comics as a boy in 1890s London. The exhibition is based on a collection of around 5000 historical British comics housed in the Library (BIS) of the University of Oldenburg in Germany.
Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art is incorporated into of the Society of Illustrators. The purpose of MoCCA is the collection, preservation, study, education, and display of comic and cartoon art. Every genre of the art is represented: animation, anime, cartoons, comic books, comic strips, gag cartoons, humorous illustration, illustration, political illustration, editorial cartoons, caricature, graphic novels, sports cartoons, and computer-generated art. Further, the museum's rigid collection policy ensures that the art collections are maintained in an environment of the highest integrity.