Comics Scholarship

on the Net: A Brief Annotated Bibliography

There are huge numbers of websites devoted to comics. This listing indicates some key sites that take an academic perspective on comics.

Online Bibliography of Anime and Manga Research (AMWESS)
This site highlights announcements and news relevant to the anime/manga studies community, provides commentary on new trends, new issues, and new publications, and presents resources such as the Annual Bibliography of Anime and Manga Studies.
The Bonn Online Bibliography of 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.
Studies in Comics
The journal aims to describe the nature of comics, to identify the medium as a distinct art form and to address the medium's formal properties.
International Journal of Comic Art
International and multidisciplinary in scope, IJOCA aims to publish scholarly and readable research on any aspect of comic art. A typical issue includes about 500-700 pages, averaging 30 articles and more than 200 illustrations, plus editorials, book and exhibition reviews, bibliographic essays, resource columns, a portfolio of cartoons worldwide, and interviews.
European Comic Art
is the first English-language scholarly publication devoted to the study of European-language graphic novels, comic strips, comic books and caricature. Published in association with the American Bande Dessinée Society and the International Bande Dessinée Society.
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 practitioner-based articles covering all intersections of comics and education from a variety of disciplines.
The Comics Grid
Journal of Comics Scholarship
Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
Publishes research on all aspects of the graphic novel, comic strip and comic book focusing primarily, but not exclusively, on the 20th and 21st centuries.
Comics Research Bibliography
Comics Research Bibliography. This is the daily update page for an international bibliography of articles on comic books, comic strips, animation, caricature, cartoons, bandes dessinees, and related topics. The list incorporates newspaper and other articles on comics alongside more scholarly works. It can be a useful starting point.
Comics and Comic Art Area of the Popular Culture Association.
This is part of the annual PCA conference which offers a venue for comics scholars from across the globe to share their research and exchange ideas on the growing field of comics scholarship. Papers on all aspects of the medium are invited and they accept undergraduate submissions. Membership of the PCA is required to attend, as is a registration fee.
Sign-up for Comics Scholars' Discussion List
This list offers an academic forum for those involved in research and teaching related to comics. It is possible to discuss all aspects of comics and cartooning and the list is open to theoretical and critical perspectives from all academic fields. As the list introduction says, "the list's common ground is its foundation in scholarship and its willingness to examine all the givens of comics form, history, fandom, etc. ...It is a place to debate theoretical and historical issues; course syllabi and assignments; call attention to potentially useful scholarship and other resources; and call for submissions for books, journals, and conferences. It is also a place to discuss job searches, pedagogy, library acquisitions, conferences, financial resources, and other institutional factors that affect comics scholarship". It also offers examples of online syllabi and links to other academic sites.
Comics Forum website
This was established in 2009 as part of Leeds' annual sequential art festival Thought Bubble, which takes place at various venues across the city every November. Taking the festival's emphasis upon the educational value of comics as its starting point, 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.
International Comic Arts Forum (ICAF)
One of the longest-lived and most respected annual conferences in Comics Studies
Lambiek Comiclopedia
Resource for material on specific artists, offering brief biographies, and, where available, websites that give further details and contact information.
A resource for comic book circulation and other data gathered by John Jackson Miller and other comics history archaeologists. (Previously The Comics Chronicle).
Comics Research Libraries
The site introduction says that, "The libraries in this list all have some special collecting interest in the area of comics or cartoons. Many of the collections listed here fit into related but more general collections. Therefore, each entry begins by describing the part of each collection that makes it of special interest to comics researchers, and then, if appropriate a few words are given about the scope of the general collection at that institution". Again, the list is international, incorporating some of the key European collections. featuring The Comics Scholarship Annotated Bibliographies
A gem. As the introduction says the bibliography "covers book-length works about comic books and comic strips, from 'fannish' histories to academic monographs. This site was designed to provide more information and guidance on such books than you'd normally find in a library catalogue entry. The goal for each entry is to include the book's Table of Contents as well as (if applicable) a list of comics works reprinted in it (and their sources, sometimes undocumented), other general notes on content and organization, ISBN numbers, and reviews - either included on these pages (*R*), listed from print sources (*P*), or linked to from on-line sources (*O*). Books in any language, about comics from any country, are included". This really helps to take wondering if a book may be useful on title alone out of the equation. However, it isn't the only use of this site, which has an extensive list of links included in the bibliography. Further, it has a selection of links through the Other Links section, mostly to popular sites dealing with specific creators, genres, publishers and national schools, and one to the contents pages of the International Journal of Comic Art, a key periodical in the field. It has not been updated for a while, but is still a hugely useful site.
Online Essays on Comics
A bibliography which largely consists of scholarly essays about comics. As these are all online the bibliography offers direct links to the original work. Not been updated for several years, but gives a good coverage of the period it focuses on.
European Comics on the Web
If trying to find information on specific European creators and titles, this is a useful site that attempts to gather both fan and other sites together.
The Grand Comics Database
An ambitious attempt to create an online catalogue including as many comic books from around the world as possible. The aim is to include "key story information, creator information, and other information which is useful to readers, fans, hobbyists, researchers". Most entries about specific comic books give contents information at the very least and some include scans of covers.
The British Cartoon Archive
Website of the Centre for the Study of Cartoons and Caricature established in 1973 at the University of Kent at Canterbury. The aim of the collection is to, "collect and preserve British cartoons of social and political comment, and make them freely available for study" and it contains a huge electronic archive of cartoons. It does not focus on comic books, but offers a superb resource in a related field.
The Comics Chronicles
offers information on sales and other statistics in relation to comics in the USA.
Comics-Related Dissertations & Theses.
Whilst not an exhaustive list, this gives a flavour of who is working in the field and their main areas of interest. In addition it has links to other, similar, listings.
The IBDS (International Bande Dessinée Society)
is a forum for scholarly exchange on all aspects of the bande dessinée, or French-language comic strip. It welcomes all critical approaches, be they historical, sociological, political, literary, linguistic or other.
The International Association of Word and Image Studies / Association Internationale pour l'Etude des Rapports entre Texte et Image (IAWIS/AIERTI)
seeks to foster the study of Word and Image relations in a general cultural context and especially in the arts in the broadest sense.
The British Library main catalogue
Collection includes comics as well as books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound.