Graphic Novels: Research: Getting Started

In the online catalog

  • Many of the same Library of Congress Subject Headings mentioned under the "Finding titles in CLIO" tab may be used to find secondary material as well. The sub-headings History and criticism or Congresses, used after the main headings suggested on that page, will often provide useful results.
  • Monographic series -- there are some series that may be of general interest to students of comics and graphic novels.  Search for titles in CLIO under these series names:
    • Conversations with comic artists
    • Great comics artists
    • Studies in popular culture (selected volumes)

Electronic resources

  • MLA International Bibliography 
    Coverage: 1963 onwards; updated 9 times a year
    This bibliographic tool indexes books, dissertations, journals and essay collections on modern literature, language, and linguistics. The MLA refers to subject terms as “descriptors,” and the descriptor for graphic novels is comic book. Search also by individual writer or artist name.
  • Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature: ABELL
    Coverage: 1920 onwards
    This bibliographic database indexes books, book reviews, dissertations, journals, and essay collections on English and American literature. ABELL’s subject term for graphic novels is comic books. Search also by individual writer or artist name.
  • Art Full Text
    Coverage: 1929-1984 with citations only; 1984-1994 with citations plus abstracts, 1994 onward with abstracts and some full-text.
    This database indexes journals, yearbooks, and museum bulletins.  Art Full Text uses the subject term graphic novels, but not widely. Users will have better success searching under individual writers’ or artists’ names as a subject term.
  • ProQuest Direct
    Coverage: varies by publication title.
    This database indexes newspapers, journals, mainstream periodicals, trade publications, dissertations, and websites. ProQuest uses the subject term graphic novels. Users can click the box next to "Scholarly journals, including peer-reviewed" to get academic articles.
  • comics research bibliography
    Coverage: varies by publication title.
    This free database indexes a wide variety of books and both mainstream and trade newspapers and journals.  Complex searching is not possible; single search terms return the best results.  Try browsing the topical bibliographies also.  The main page includes many links of interest.

Print resources

Comic books and comic strips in the United States: an international bibliography (1994).  John A. Lent.  Butler Reference: R016.7415 L5493.

Comic books and strips : an information sourcebook.  Randall W. Scott.  Off-site: Z5956.C6 S37 1988.

Bibliographie zur Comic-Sekundärliteratur (1987).  Renate Neumann.  Butler Reference: R016.8087 N39.

International bibliography of comics literature. Bibliographie der internationalen Literatur über Comics.  Wolfgang Kempkes.  Butler Reference: R016.8087 K32; Off-site: Z5956.C6 K45 or Z5956.C6 K45 1971c.