Comics Scholars Recommend...
Possible 'Core' Texts
There was a suggestion that new readers would benefit from starting with the following titles. These should be considered alongside texts which offer material relevant to individual interests (such as British comics or fandom).
- Heet, Jeer and Worcester, Kent (eds.) (2009) A Comics Studies Reader. University Press of Mississippi
- McCloud, Scott. (1993) Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. Harper Perennial.
- Groensteen, Thierry (2007) The System of Comics. University Press of Mississippi
- Duncan, Randy and Smith, Matthew J. (2009) The Power of Comics: History, Form and Culture, Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.
The next two sections can, of course, be considered to be interlocking, as suggested above.
- Baetens, Jan (1998) Formes et Politiques de la Bande Dessinée Uitgeverij Peeters
- Barker, Martin. (1989) Comics: Ideology, Power and the Critics. Manchester University Press.
- Beaty, Bart (2007) Unpopular Culture: Transforming the European Comic Book in the 1990s. University of Toronto Press.
- Blanchet, Évariste (1996) 'L'ombre d'un trouble' in Critix, 2, Hiver 1996-1997
- Cohn, Neil (2005) 'Un-Defining 'Comics': Separating the Cultural from the Structural in Comics' IJOCA 7:2, Fall, pp 236-248 (See also Neil Cohn http://www.emaki.net/)
- Eisner, Will (1985) Comics and Sequential Art Poorhouse Press
- Gordon, Ian (2008) 'Nostalgia, Myth, and Ideology: Visions of Superman at the End of the American Century,' in Ryan, Michael (ed) Cultural Studies. Blackwell,
- Gordon, Ian (ed.) (2007) Film and Comic Books. University Press of Mississippi
- Gravett, Paul (2005) Graphic Novels: Stories to Change Your Life Aurum
- Heer, Jeet (2004) Arguing Comics: Literary Masters on a Popular Medium (Studies in Popular Culture) University Press Of Mississippi
- Kuskin, William (ed) (2008) 'Graphia: The Graphic Novel and Literary Criticism' English Language Notes 46.2 (Fall/Winter 2008)
- Magnussen, Anne & Christiansen, Hans-Christian (2000) Comics & Culture: Analytical and Theoretical Approaches to Comics. Museum Tusculanum Press
- McAllister, Matthew. P., Sewell Jr., Edward. H., & Gordon, Ian. (eds.) (2001). Comics and ideology. Peter Lang.
- McCloud, Scott. (2000) Reinventing Comics. Harper Perennial.
- Miller, Ann (2007) Reading Bande Dessinée: Critical Approaches to French-language Comic Strip Intellect Books
- Newgarden, Mark and Karasik, Paul. How to Read Nancy
- Reynolds, Richard. (1992) Superheroes: A Modern Mythology. Batsford.
- Varnum, Robin and Gibbons, Christina T. (eds.) (2001) The Language of Comics: Word and Image. University Press of Mississippi.
- Versaci, Rocco (2007) This Book Contains Graphic Language: Comics as Literature. Continuum.
- Witek, Joseph (1989) Comic Books as History: The Narrative Art of Jack Jackson, Art Spiegelman, and Harvey Pekar. University Press of Mississippi.
- Wolk, Douglas (2007) Reading comics: how graphic novels work and what they mean. Da Capo Press
Historical and Cultural Approaches
- Gravett, Paul (2006) Great British Comics. Aurum Press Ltd
- Gravett, Paul (2004) Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics. Laurence King Publishing.
- Harvey, Robert C. (1996) The Art of the Comic Book: An Aesthetic History University Press of Mississippi
- Hatfield, Charles (2006) Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature University Press of Mississippi
- Jones, Gerard (2005) Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book Basic Books
- Ndalianis, Angela (2008) The Contemporary Comic Book Superhero Routledge
- Pustz, Matthew J. (1999) Comic Book Culture: Fanboys and True Believers University Press of Mississippi
- Robbins, Trina. (1992) A Century of Women Cartoonists. Kitchen Sink.
- Robbins, Trina. (1996) The Great Women Superheroes. Kitchen Sink.
- Robbins, Trina. (1999) From Girls to Grrrlz. Chronicle Books.
- Robbins, Trina. & Yronwode, Cat. (1985) Women and the Comics. Eclipse.
- Sabin, Roger. (1993) Adult Comics: An Introduction. Routledge.
- Sabin, Roger. (1996) Comics, Comix and Graphic Novels. Phaidon.
- Schelly, Bill (2001) Sense of Wonder. TwoMorrows Publishing
- Wright, Bradford W. (2001) Comic Book Nation: The Transformation of Youth Culture in America. John Hopkins University Press
- Smith, Matthew and Duncan, Randy (2009) The Power of Comics: History, Form and Culture. Continuum
- Wertham, Fredric. (1954) The Seduction of the Innocent. Rinehart.
- Dooley, Michael and Heller, Steve (eds.) (2005) The Education of A Comics Artist. Allworth Press
- Hignite, Todd (2006) In The Studio: Visits with Contemporary Cartoonists. Yale
Grounding in visual theory
- Barthes, Roland (1993) Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography. Vintage
- Barthes, Roland. (1972) Mythologies. Jonathan Cape.
- Benjamin, Walter (1999) 'Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction' in Illuminations. Pimlico (see also http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/ge/benjamin.htm)
- Berger, John (1990) Ways of Seeing. Penguin
- Burnett, Ron. (2005) How Images Think. MIT.
- Manguel, Alberto (2001) Reading Pictures: A History of Love and Hate. Bloomsbury
- Mirzoeff, Nicolas. (1998). 'The subject of visual culture'. In N. Mirzoeff (Ed.) The Visual Culture Reader (2nd ed) Routledge, pp. 3-23
- Mitchell, W.J.T. (1986). Iconology: Image, text, ideology. University of Chicago Press.
- Sturken, Marita. and Cartwright, Lisa. (2001). Practices of looking: An introduction to visual culture. Oxford University.
Academic Periodicals specifically focused on comics
- Neuvième Art - French language comics journal
- European Comic Art
- International Journal Of Comic Art
- Studies in Comics
- SIGNs Studies in Graphic Narratives. International Journal for the History of Early Comics and Sequential Art
- ImageTexT is a peer-reviewed, open access journal dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of comics and related media.
- SANE journal (Sequential Art Narrative in Education) publishes research- and practioner-based articles covering all intersections of comics and education, from pre-kindergarten to post-secondary studies, from a variety of disciplines.
- Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
Academic Periodicals that feature work on comics
- Mechademia English-language academic journal on Japanese popular culture products and fan practices
- Journal of Popular Culture
- Image & Narrative
- Storyworlds: A Journal of Narrative Studies
- Early Popular Visual Culture (EPVC) is a peer-reviewed, academic journal dedicated to stimulating research and interdisciplinary studies in relation to all forms of popular visual culture before 1930.
- Word & Image "concerns itself with the study of the encounters, dialogues and mutual collaboration (or hostility) between verbal and visual languages, one of the prime areas of humanistic criticism".
- Media, Culture & Society provides a major international forum for the presentation of research and discussion concerning the media, including the newer information and communication technologies, within their political, economic, cultural and historical contexts.
- Journalism Studies Affiliated with the Journalism Studies Division of the ICA: Visit the organisation site
- Narrative is the official journal of the International Society for the Study of Narrative.
- American Periodicals: A Journal of History, Criticism, and Bibliography
- English Language Notes.
- Modern Fiction Studies
- PS: Political Science and Politics
- SCAN: Journal of Media Arts Culture