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Comics and Graphic Novels ("Sequential Art"): Getting Started

German/Lit 388S, VMS 339S


 Comics versus Graphic Novels

Comics and Comic Books are a form of sequential art where a story is portrayed though a use of image panels implying the elapse of time. 

  • Comics are nearly always serially issued, i.e., appearing periodically and intended for mass consumption.  
  • Graphic novels, while they can be in some cases indistinguishable from comics, adhere more to the art/literature mode seeking to appeal to a discriminating audience with esthetic or political sensibilities.

First Places

Oxford Art Online

- Dictionary of Art and the Encyclopedia of Esthetics (and two smaller dictionaries) searchable at once.  The major beginning point for art history research.

Oxford Reference Online - Art and Architecture
- group of electronic dictionary sources published by Oxford U Press.  Basically short definitions.


Rubenstein Library, Duke University.  Guide to Comics and Graphic Novels in the Collection

Thanks to

Images details on this libguide courtesy of Paul Ottiger, flickr

Surveys Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Surveys, Encyclopedias, and Dictionaries

Encyclopedia of comic books and graphic novels. 2 vols.
Santa Barbara, Calif. : Greenwood, c2010.
Lilly Library Reference PN6707 .E49 2010

The world encyclopedia of comics. 4 vols.
Philadelphia : Chelsea House, c1999.
Lilly Library Reference PN6710 .W6 1999

Dictionnaire encyclopédique des héros et auteurs de BD, [i.e., bande dessinée].  
Filippini, Henri.
Grenoble : Glénat ; [S.l.] : Opera mundi, c1998.
Lilly Library Reference PN6707 .F56 1998

The Encyclopedia of American comics
New York : Facts on File, c1990.
Lilly Library PN6725 .E64 1990



THEORY         [subject heading:] Comic books, strips, etc. -- History and criticism

Critical approaches to comics : theories and methods
New York : Routledge, 2012. 
Lilly Library PN6710 .C75 2012


Comics and sequential art : principles and practices from the legendary cartoonist
Eisner, Will.

New York : W.W. Norton, 2008.
Lilly and Perkins NC1764 .E47 2008


The art of comics : a philosophical approach.
Chichester, West Sussex ; Malden, MA : Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.
Lilly Library PN6710 .A86 2012

Comics & ideology.
New York : P. Lang, c2001.
Lilly Library  PN6714 .C645 2001 c.1




Theme Books

Comic book nation : the transformation of youth culture in America
Wright, Bradford W., 1968-
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001.
Lilly PN6725 .W74 2001


Seal of approval : the history of the comics code.
Jackson : University Press of Mississippi, c1998.
Lilly Library PN6725 .N953 1998

Lee Sorensen
Box 90727
Lilly Library
Website / Blog Page

Don't forget to browse!

Lilly PN6725-6757

"graphic novels"; German PN6757


"German graphic satire"


"German visual satire"