Comics Studies: Researching Comics

A guide to comics studies resources at UNT for research, teaching, or creating comics.

Thoughts on comics

BAM! Comic Art "The format of the comic book presents a montage of both word and image, and the reader is thus required to exercise both visual and verbal interpretive skills. The regimens of art (eg. perspective, symmetry, brush stroke) and the regimens of literature (eg. grammar, plot, syntax) become superimposed upon each other. The reading of the comic book is an act of both aesthetic perception and intellectual pursuit."--Will Eisner


These are just a few of the comics-related books in the UNT Library. Please try the "Suggested Subject Headings" in the right-hand column to search for other comics studies materials in our library.


Databases at UNT Libraries

Note: See a recent blog post about "Researching Comics at UNT Libraries" for more tips on using our resources.

A few of the more popular comics studies databases are linked below. View a complete list of research databases available through the UNT Libraries under the "Comics Studies" subject heading.

  • Within each database, try starting with the "Advanced Search" option, if available.
  • Start with broad subject terms like "comic books," "graphic novels," "cartoons," or "comic strips" to get a sense of the range of articles available on your topic. You can also try some of the subject headings listed in the right hand columng of this page.
  • Use the filters (usually on the left hand side of the search page) to narrow your results by date, subject, language, or other search parameters
  • Select any articles that seem to be relevant and view their records. Check their lists of Subject terms to identify other words or phrases that might be useful to use in your own searches, and add some of those to your original search query for even more relevant results.

Also check out the guide below for an overview of the contents of some of our Adam Matthew archival collections and links to search results for historic cartoons & comics in each of those databases.

Free Online Resources

You can also try some of these free online resources for more information:

  • Comic Book+: Offers downloadable digital, public domain copies of Golden and Silver Age comic books for reading or research.
  • Comichron: A Resource for Comics Resarch: sales chards, market shares, industry analysis

  • Comics Research Bibliography: This is an international bibliography of comic books, comic strips, animation, caricature, cartoons, bandes dessinees, and related topics.
  • Comics scholarship annotated bibliographies. 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.
  • Digital Comic Museum--an online archive of public domain Golden Age comics
  • Don Markstein's Toonopedia: An online encyclopedia of cartoon and comic characters, including those in comic books, newspaper strips, magazine cartoons, and animated cartoons.

  • Grand Comics Database: The Grand Comics Database (GCD) a nonprofit, internet-based organization of international volunteers dedicated to building a database covering all printed comics throughout the world
  • The Internet Archive: a free online collection of digitized comics and graphic novels.
  • Lambiek Comiclopedia: Illustrated Artist Compendium: an illustrated compendium of over 14,000 comics artists from around the world.
  • Latin American Comics Archive: The Latin American Comics Archive, hosted by the Modern Language Resource Center at Carnegie Mellon, is a curated exhibit of comic strips and comic books created in Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico between the 1920s and the present. 
  • Neil Cohn's Visual Language Lab: Research on visual language, cognitive science, and linguistics.
  • Stripper's Guide: Comic strip historian Allan Holtz's blog discusses the history of the American newspaper comic strip.
  • Derick Badman, Comics studies: resources for scholarly research, College & Research Libraries News 70(10): 574-582.


Other Comics Studies Resources

Citing & Writing

Additional Links