Comics is an medium of expression which uses images, often with text or other forms of visual information, to communicate ideas. Comics frequently takes the form of juxtaposed sequences of panels of images. Often textual devices such as speech balloons, captions, and sound effects ("onomatopoeia") indicate dialogue or other information. Elements such as size and placement of panels control narrative pacing. Cartooning and similar forms of illustration are the most common image-making means in comics; fumetti is a form which uses photographic images. Common forms of comics include comic strips, editorial and gag cartoons, comic books, graphic novels and webcomics.
The history of comics has followed divergent paths in different cultures. American comics emerged as a mass medium in the early 20th century with the advent of newspaper comic strips; magazine-style comic books followed in the 1930s. By the mid-20th century, comics became popular in periodical and book form, especially in the US, western Europe (particularly France and Belgium), and Japan. Since the late 20th century, bound volumes such as graphic novels, comics albums, and tankōbon have become increasingly common. Comics has had a lowbrow reputation for much of its history, but towards the end of the 20th century began to find greater acceptance with the public and within academia.
The English term comics derives from the humorous (or "comic") work which predominated in early American newspaper comic strips; usage of the term has become standard for non-humorous works. It is common in English to refer to the comics of different cultures by the terms used in their original languages, such as manga for Japanese comics, or bandes dessinées for French-language comics. There is no consensus amongst theorists and historians on a definition of comics; some emphasize the combination of images and text, some sequentiality, and others historical aspects such as mass reproduction or the use of recurring characters.
Origins and traditions 
|Early comics in the Japanese, European, and American traditions|
Rodolphe Töpffer's Histoire de Monsieur Cryptogame (1830)
The European, American and Japanese comics traditions have followed different paths. Europeans have seen their tradition as beginning with the Swiss Rodolphe Töpffer's comic strips of the 1830s, while Americans have seen the origin of their tradition in Richard F. Outcault's 1890s newspaper strip The Yellow Kid, though many Americans have come to recognize Töpffer's precedence. Japanese comics had a long prehistory of satirical cartoons and comics leading up to the World War II era. Manga, the Japanese term for comics and cartooning, was first popularized by the artist Hokusai in the early 19th century. It is in the post-war era modern Japanese comics began to flourish, when Osamu Tezuka produced a prolific body of work. Towards the close of the 20th century, these three traditions have converged in a trend towards book-length comics: the comics album in Europe, the tankōbon[a] in Japan, and the graphic novel in the English-speaking countries.
Outside of these direct genealogies, comics theorists and historians have seen precedents for comics in the Lascaux cave paintings in France (some of which appear to be chronological sequences of images), Egyptian hieroglyphs, Trajan's Column in Rome, the 11th-century Norman Bayeux Tapestry, the 1370 bois Protat woodcut, the 15th-century Ars moriendi and block books, Michelangelo's The Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel, and William Hogarth's 17th-century sequential engravings, amongst others.[b]
American comics 
American comics first became a mass medium with the spread of newspaper comic strips following the success of Outcault's The Yellow Kid. Early Sunday strips were full-page and in colour, and soon after their initial popularity cartoonists experimented with sequentiality, movement, and speech balloons. Shorter, black-and-white daily strips began to appear early in the 20th century, and became established in newspapers after the 1907 success of Bud Fisher's Mutt and Jeff. Humour strips predominated at first, but in the 1920s and 1930s strips with continuing stories in genres such as adventure and drama also became popular. Thin periodicals called comic books appeared in the 1930s, at first reprinting newspaper comic strips; by the end of the decade, original content began to dominate. The 1938 success of Action Comics and its lead hero Superman marked the beginning of the Golden Age of Comic Books, in which the superhero genre was most prominent.
The popularity of superhero comic books declined following World War II, while comic book sales continued to increase as genres such as romance, westerns, crime, horror, and humour proliferated. Following a sales peak in the early 1950s, the content of comic books (particularly crime and horror) was subjected to scrutiny from parent groups and government agencies, which culminated in Senate hearings which led to the establishment of the Comics Code Authority self-censorship body. The Code has been blamed for stunting the growth of American comics and maintaining its low status in American society for much of the remainder of the century. Superheroes reestablished themselves as the primary comic book genre by the early 1960s. Underground comix challenged the Code and readers with adult, countercultural content in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The underground gave birth to the alternative comics movement in the 1980s and its mature, often experimental content in non-superhero genres.
Comics in the US has had a lowbrow reputation stemming from its roots in mass culture; cultural elites sometimes saw popular culture as threatening culture and society. In the latter half of the 20th century, popular culture won greater acceptance, and the lines between "high" and "low" culture began to blur. Comics, however, continued to be stigmatized, as the medium was seen as entertainment for children and illiterates.
The graphic novel—book-length comics—began to gain attention after Will Eisner popularized the term with his book A Contract with God (1978). The term became widely-known with the public after the commercial success of Maus, Watchmen, and The Dark Knight Returns in the mid-1980s. The 21st century saw graphic novels become established in mainstream bookstores and libraries, and webcomics became common.
European comics 
The francophone Swiss Rodolphe Töpffer produced comic strips beginning in the 1830s, as well as theories behind the form. Cartoons appeared widely in newspapers and magazines from the 19th century. Franco-Belgian comics began to dominate, first following the success of Zig et Puce in 1925, which popularized the use of speech balloons in European comics. The Adventures of Tintin, with its signature clear line style, began in 1929, and became an icon of Franco-Belgian comics, first serialized in newspaper comics supplements.
Following the success of Le Journal de Mickey (1934–44), dedicated comics magazines and full-colour comics albums became the primary outlet for comics in the mid-20th century. Similar to the US, at the time comics were seen as infantile and a threat to culture and literacy, with commentators saying that "none bear up to the slightest serious analysis",[c] and that they were "the sabotage of all art and all literature".[d]
In the 1960s, the term bandes dessinées ("drawn strips") began to be widely used in French to describe the medium. Cartoonists began creating comics for mature audiences, and the term "Ninth Art"[e] was coined, as comics began to attract public and academic attention as an artform. Creators such as René Goscinny and Jean Giraud (a.k.a. "Mœbius") published their work in magazines such as Pilote (1959–59) and Métal Hurlant (1974–87). Towards the end of the 20th century, magazine serialization became less common as comics magazines became fewer, and many comics began to be published directly as comics albums. Smaller publishers such as L'Association publishing longer works in non-traditional formats by auteur-istic creators also became common. Since the 1990s, mergers resulted in fewer large publishers, while smaller publishers proliferated. Sales overall continued to grow despite the trend towards a shrinking print market.
Japanese comics 
Japanese comics and cartooning ("manga"),[g] have a history that has been seen as far back as the anthropomorphic characters in the 13th-century Chōjū-jinbutsu-giga, 17th-century toba-e and kibyōshi picture books, and woodblock prints such as ukiyo-e which were popular between the 17th and 20th centuries. The kibyōshi contained examples of sequential images, movement lines, and sound effects.
Illustrated magazines for Western expatriots introduced Western-style satirical cartoons to Japan in the late 19th century. New publications in both the Western and Japanese styles became popular, and at the end of the 1890s, American-style newspaper comics supplements began to appear, as well as some American comic strips. 1900 saw the debut of the Jiji Manga in the Jiji Shinpō newspaper—the first use of the word "manga" in its modern sense, and where, in 1902, Rakuten Kitazawa began the first modern Japanese comic strip. By the 1930s, comic strips were serialized in large-circulation monthly girls' and boys' magazine, and collected into hardback volumes.
The modern era of comics in Japan began after World War II, propelled by the success of the serialized comics of the prolific Osamu Tezuka, and the comic strip Sazae-san. Genres and audiences diversified over the following decades, with comics aimed at shōnen ("boys") and shōjo ("girls") audiences making up the most significant markets. Comics are usually first serialized in magazines which are often hundreds of pages thick and may over a dozen stories; they are later compiled in tankōbon-format books. At the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries, nearly a quarter of all printed material in Japan was comics. translations became extremely popular in foreign markets—in some cases equalling or surpassing the sales of domestic comics.
Forms and formats 
Comic strips are generally short, multi-panel comics that traditionally most commonly appeared in newspapers. In American comic strips, daily strips have normally occupied a single tier, while Sunday strips have been given multiple tiers. In the early 20th century, daily strips were typically in black-and-white, while Sundays were usually in colour and often occupied a full page.
Specialized comics periodicals formats vary greatly in different cultures. Comic books, primarily an American format, are thin periodicals usually published in colour. European and Japanese comics are frequently serialized in magazines—monthly or weekly in Europe, and usually black-and-white and weekly in Japan. Japanese comics magazine typically run to hundreds of pages.
Book-length comics take different forms in different cultures. European comics albums are most commonly printed in A4-size colour volumes. In English-speaking countries, bound volumes of comics are called graphic novels, and are available in various formats. Despite incorporating the term "novel"—a term normally associated with fiction—"graphic novel" also refers to non-fiction and collections of short works. Japanese comics are collected in volumes called tankōbon following magazine serialization.
Gag and editorial cartoons usually consist of a single panel, often incorporating a caption or speech balloon. Definitions of comics which emphasize sequence usually exclude gag, editorial, and other single-panel cartoons; they can be included in definitions that emphasize the combination of word and image. Gag cartoons first began to proliferate in broadsheets published in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries, and the term "cartoon"[h] was first used to describe them in 1843 in the British humour magazine Punch.
Webcomics are comics that are available on the internet. They are able to reach large audiences, and new readers usually can access archived instalments. Webcomics can make use of an infinite canvas—meaning they are not constrained by size or dimensions of a page.
Some consider storyboards and wordless novels to be comics. Film studios, especially in animation, often use sequences of images as guides for film sequences. These storyboards are not intended as an end product, and are rarely seen by the public. Wordless novels are books which use sequences of captionless images to deliver a narrative, normally one image to a page.
Comics studies 
Similar to the problems of defining literature and film, no consensus has been reached on a definition of the comics medium, and attempted definitions and descriptions have fallen prey to numerous exceptions. Theorists such as Töpffer, R. C. Harvey, Will Eisner, David Carrier, Alain Rey, and Lawrence Grove emphasize the combination of text and images, though there are prominent examples of pantomime comics throughout its history. Other critics, such as Thierry Groensteen and Scott McCloud, have emphasized the primacy of sequences of images.
European comics studies began with Töpffer's theories of his own work in the 1840s, which emphasized panel transitions and the visual–verbal combination. No further progress was made until the 1970s.
The first historical overview of Japanese comics was Seiki Hosokibara's Nihon Manga-Shi[i] in 1924. Early post-war Japanese criticism was mostly of a left-wing political nature until the 1986 publication for Tomofusa Kure's Modern Manga: The Complete Picture,[j] which de-emphasized politics in favour of formal aspects, such as structure and a "grammar" of comics. The field of manga studies increased rapidly, with numerous books on the subject appearing in the 1990s. Formal theories of manga have focused on developing a "manga expression thoery",[k] with emphasis on spatial relationships in the structure of images on the page, distinguishing the medium from film or literature, in which the flow of time is the basic organizing element.
Coulton Waugh attempted the first comprehensive history of American comics with The Comics (1947). Will Eisner's Comics and Sequential Art (1985) and Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics (1993) were early attempts in English to formalize the study of comics. David Carrier's The Aesthetics of Comics (2000) was the first full-length treatment of comics from a philosophical perspective.
Prominent attempted definitions of comics include Eisner's, McCloud's, and Harvey's. Eisner described what he called "sequential art" as "the arrangement of pictures or images and words to narrate a story or dramatize an idea"; Scott McCloud defined comics "juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer", a strictly formal definition which detached comics from its historical and cultural trappings. R. C. Harvey defined comics as "pictorial narratives or expositions in which words (often lettered into the picture area within speech balloons) usually contribute to the meaning of the pictures and vice versa".
Each definition has had its detractors. R. C. Harvey and others saw McCloud's definition as excluding single-panel cartoons, and de-emphasizing the importance of verbal elements. Aaron Meskin saw it as McCloud's artificial attempt to legitimize the place of comics in art history.
Vocabulary and idioms 
Panels are individual images containing a segment of action, often surrounded by a border. Prime moments in a narrative are broken down into panels via a process called encapsulation. The reader puts the pieces together by using background knowledge and an understanding of panel relations to combine panels mentally into events, in a process called "closure". The size, shape, an placement of panels affect the timing and pacing of the narrative. The contents of a panel may by asynchronous, with events depicted in the same image not necessarily occurring at the same time.
Text is frequently incorporated into comics via speech balloons, captions, and sound effects. Speech balloons indicate dialogue (or thought, in the case of thought balloons), with tails pointing at their respective speakers. Captions can give voice to a narrator, convey characters' dialogue or thoughts, or indicate place or time. Speech balloons themselves are strongly associated with comics, such that the addition of one to an image is sufficient to turn the image into comics. Sound effects mimic non-vocal sounds textually using onomatopoeia sound-words.
Cartooning is most frequently used in making comics, traditionally using ink (especially India ink) with dip pens or ink brushes; mixed media and digital technology have become common. Cartooning techniques such as caricature, motion lines, and abstract symbols are often employed.
While comics are often the work of a single creator, the labour of making them is frequently divided between a number of specialists. There may be a separate writer and artist, or there may be separate artists for the characters and backgrounds (as is common in Japan). Particularly in American comic books, the art may be divided between a penciller, who lays out the artwork in pencil; an inker, who finishes the artwork in ink; a colourist; and a letterer, who adds the captions and speech balloons.
The English term comics derives from the humorous (or "comic") work which predominated in early American newspaper comic strips; usage of the term has become standard for non-humorous works as well. The term "comic book" has a similarly confusing history: they are most often not humorous; nor are they books, but rather periodicals. It is common in English to refer to the comics of different cultures by the terms used in their original languages, such as manga for Japanese comics, or bandes dessinées for French-language Franco-Belgian comics.
Many cultures have taken their words for comics from English, including Russian (Russian: Комикс, komiks) and German (German: comic). Similarly, the Chinese term manhua and the Korean manhwa derive from the Chinese characters with which the Japanese term manga is written.
The French term for comics, bandes dessinées ("drawn strip") emphasizes the juxtaposition of drawn images as defining factors, which can imply the exclusion of even photographic comics, while the Japanese term manga is used to indicate all forms of comics and cartooning.
See also 
See also lists 
- tankōbon (単行本, translation close to "independently appearing book")
- David Kunzle has compiled extensive collections of these and other proto-comics in his The Early Comic Strip (1973) and The History of the Comic Strip (1990).
- French: "... aucune ne supporte une analyse un peu serieuse." — Jacqueline & Raoul Dubois in La Presse enfantine française (Midol, 1957)
- French: "C'est le sabotage de tout art et de toute littérature." — Jean de Trignon in Histoires de la littérature enfantine de ma Mère l'Oye au Roi Babar (Hachette, 1950)
- French: neuvième art
- Tagosaku and Mokube Sightseeing in Tokyo (Japanese: 田吾作と杢兵衛の東京見物 Hepburn: Tagosaku to Mokube no Tokyo Kenbutsu )
- "Manga" (Japanese: 漫画) can be glossed in many ways, among them "whimsical pictures", "disreputable pictures", "irresponsible pictures", "derisory pictures", and "sketches made for or out of a sudden inspiration".
- "cartoon": from the Italian cartone, meaning "card", which referred to the cardboard on which the cartoons were typically drawn.
- Hosokibara, Seiki (1924). 日本漫画史 [Japanese Comics History]. Yuzankaku.
- Kure, Tomofusa (1986). 現代漫画の全体像 [Modern Manga: The Complete Picture]. Joho Center Publishing. ISBN 4575710903.
- "Manga expression theory" (Japanese: 漫画表現論 Hepburn: manga hyōgenron )
- Couch 2000.
- Grove 2005, p. 43.
- Gabilliet 2010, p. xiv; Beerbohm 2003; Sabin 2005, p. 186; Rowland 1990, p. 13.
- Petersen 2010; Power 2009, p. 24; Gravett 2004, p. 9.
- Couch 2000; Petersen 2010, p. 175.
- Gabilliet 2010, p. xiv.
- Gabilliet 2010, p. xiv; Beaty 2012, p. 61; Grove 2010, pp. 16, 21, 59.
- Grove 2010, p. 79.
- Beaty 2012, p. 62.
- Weiner 2003, p. 1.
- Nordling 1995, p. 123.
- Harvey 1994, p. 11.
- Rhoades 2008, p. 2.
- Rhoades 2008, p. x.
- Gabilliet 2010, p. 51.
- Gabilliet 2010, p. 49.
- Gabilliet 2010, p. 66.
- Hatfield 2005, pp. 20, 26; Lopes 2009, p. 123; Rhoades 2008, p. 140.
- Lopes 2009, pp. xx–xxi.
- Petersen 2010, p. 222.
- Kaplan 2008, p. 172; Sabin 1993, p. 246; Stringer 1996, p. 262; Ahrens & Meteling 2010, p. 1; Williams & Lyons 2010, p. 7.
- Gabilliet 2010, pp. 210–211.
- Lopes 2009, p. 151–152.
- Thorne 2010, p. 209.
- Harvey 2010.
- Lefèvre 2010, p. 186.
- Vessels 2010, p. 45; Miller 2007, p. 17.
- Screech 2005, p. 27; Miller 2007, p. 18.
- Theobald 2004, p. 82; Screech 2005, p. 48; McKinney 2011, p. 3.
- Miller 2007, p. 17.
- Grove 2005, pp. 76–78.
- Petersen 2010, pp. 214–215; Lefèvre 2010, p. 186.
- Petersen 2010, pp. 214–215.
- Grove 2005, p. 46.
- Grove 2005, pp. 45–46.
- Grove 2005, p. 51.
- Miller 1998, p. 116; Lefèvre 2010, p. 186.
- Miller 2007, p. 23.
- Beaty 2007, p. 9.
- Lefèvre 2010, pp. 189–190.
- Grove 2005, p. 153.
- Miller 2007, pp. 49–53.
- Karp & Kress 2011, p. 19.
- Gravett 2004, p. 9.
- Johnson-Woods 2010, p. 22.
- Schodt 1996, p. 22.
- Mansfield 2009, p. 253.
- Petersen 2010, p. 42.
- Johnson-Woods 2010, pp. 21–22.
- Petersen 2010, p. 128; Gravett 2004, p. 21.
- Schodt 1996, p. 22; Johnson-Woods 2010, pp. 23–24.
- Gravett 2004, p. 24.
- MacWilliams 2008, p. 3; Hashimoto & Traphagan 2008, p. 21; Sugimoto 2010, p. 255; Gravett 2004, p. 8.
- Schodt 1996, p. 28.
- Schodt 1996, p. 23; Gravett 2004, pp. 13–14.
- Gravett 2004, p. 14.
- Brenner 2007, p. 13; Lopes 2009, p. 152; Raz 1999, p. 162; Jenkins 2004, p. 121.
- Lee 2010, p. 158.
- Orr 2008, p. 11; Collins 2010, p. 227.
- Orr 2008, p. 10.
- Schodt 1996, p. 23; Orr 2008, p. 10.
- Schodt 1996, p. 23.
- Grove 2010, p. 24; McKinney 2011.
- Goldsmith 2005, p. 16; Karp & Kress 2011, pp. 4–6.
- Poitras 2001, p. 66–67.
- Harvey 2001, p. 76.
- Harvey 2001, p. 77.
- Petersen 2010, pp. 234–236.
- Petersen 2010, p. 234; McCloud 2000, p. 222.
- Rhoades 2008, p. 38.
- Beronä 2008, p. 225.
- Groensteen 2012, pp. 128—129.
- Groensteen 2012, p. 124.
- Groensteen 2012, p. 126.
- Thomas 2010, p. 158.
- Beaty 2012, p. 65.
- Groensteen 2012, pp. 126, 131.
- Grove 2010, pp. 17–19.
- Thomas 2010, pp. 157, 170.
- Miller 2007, p. 101.
- Johnson-Woods 2010, p. 23.
- Kinsella 2000, pp. 96–97.
- Kinsella 2000, p. 100.
- Inge 1989, p. 214.
- Meskin & Cook 2012, p. xxix.
- Yuan 2011; Eisner 1985, p. 5.
- Kovacs & Marshall 2011, p. 10; Holbo 2012, p. 13; Harvey 2010, p. 1; Beaty 2012, p. 6; McCloud 1993, p. 9.
- Beaty 2012, p. 67.
- Chute 2010, p. 7; Harvey 2001, p. 76.
- Harvey 2010, p. 1.
- Lee 1978, p. 15.
- Eisner 1985, pp. 28, 45.
- Duncan & Smith 2009, p. 10.
- Duncan & Smith 2009, p. 316.
- Eisner 1985, p. 30.
- Duncan & Smith 2009, p. 315; Karp & Kress 2011, p. 12–13.
- Lee 1978, p. 15; Markstein 2010; Eisner 1985, p. 157; Dawson 2010, p. 112; Saraceni 2003, p. 9.
- Lee 1978, p. 15; Lyga & Lyga 2004.
- Saraceni 2003, p. 9; Karp & Kress 2011, p. 18.
- Forceville, Veale & Feyaerts 2010, p. 56.
- Duncan & Smith 2009, pp. 156, 318.
- Markstein 2010; Lyga & Lyga 2004, p. 161; Lee 1978, p. 145; Rhoades 2008, p. 139.
- Bramlett 2012, p. 25; Guigar 2010, p. 126; Cates 2010, p. 98.
- Goldsmith 2005, p. 21; Karp & Kress 2011, p. 13–14.
- Lyga & Lyga 2004, p. 161.
- Markstein 2010; Lyga & Lyga 2004, p. 161; Lee 1978, p. 145.
- Duncan & Smith 2009, p. 315.
- Lyga & Lyga 2004, p. 163.
- Groensteen 2012, p. 131 (translator's note).
- McKinney 2011, p. xiii.
- Alaniz 2010, p. 7.
- Frahm 2003.
- Wong 2002, p. 11; Cooper-Chen 2010, p. 177.
- Johnson-Woods 2010, p. 301.
- Cooper-Chen 2010, p. 177.
- Groensteen 2012, p. 130.
- Johnson-Woods 2010, p. 336.
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- Lyga, Allyson A. W.; Lyga, Barry (2004). Graphic Novels in Your Media Center: A Definitive Guide. Libraries Unlimited. ISBN 978-1-59158-142-0.
- MacWilliams, Mark Wheeler (2008). Japanese Visual Culture: Explorations in the World of Manga and Anime. M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 978-0-7656-1602-9.
- Mansfield, Stephen (2009). Tokyo: A Cultural History. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-538634-9.
- McCloud, Scott (1993). Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. Kitchen Sink Press. ISBN 978-0-87816-243-7.
- McCloud, Scott (2000). Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology Are Revolutionizing an Art Form. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-095350-8.
- McKinney, Mark, ed. (2011). History and Politics in French-Language Comics and Graphic Novels. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 978-1-60473-761-5.
- Meskin, Aaron; Cook, Roy T., eds. (2012). The Art of Comics: A Philosophical Approach. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-4443-3464-7.
- Miller, Ann (1998). "Comic Strips/Cartoonists". In Hughes, Alex; Reader, Keith. Encyclopedia of Contemporary French Culture. CRC Press. pp. 116–119. ISBN 978-0-415-13186-5.
- Miller, Ann (2007). Reading Bande Dessinée: Critical Approaches to French-language Comic Strip. Intellect Books. ISBN 978-1-84150-177-2.
- Nordling, Lee (1995). Your Career In The Comics. Andrews McMeel Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8362-0748-4.
- Orr, Tamra (2008). Manga Artists. Rosen Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4042-1854-3.
- Petersen, Robert (2010). Comics, Manga, and Graphic Novels: A History of Graphic Narratives. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0-313-36330-6.
- Poitras, Gilles (2001). Anime Essentials: Every Thing a Fan Needs to Know. Stone Bridge Press. ISBN 978-1-880656-53-2.
- Power, Natsu Onoda (2009). God of Comics: Osamu Tezuka and the Creation of Post-World War II Manga. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 978-1-60473-478-2.
- Raz, Aviad E. (1999). Riding the Black Ship: Japan and Tokyo Disneyland. Harvard University Asia Center. ISBN 978-0-674-76894-9.
- Rhoades, Shirrel (2008). A Complete History of American Comic Books. Peter Lang. ISBN 978-1-4331-0107-6.
- Rowland, Barry D. (1990). Herbie and Friends: Cartoons in Wartime. Dundurn Press. ISBN 978-0-920474-52-5.
- Sabin, Roger (1993). Adult Comics: An Introduction. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-04419-6.
- Sabin, Roger (2005). "Some Observations on BD in the US". In Forsdick, Charles; Grove, Laurence; McQuillan, Libbie. The Francophone Bande Dessinée. Rodopi. pp. 175–188. ISBN 978-90-420-1776-4.
- Saraceni, Mario (2003). The Language of Comics. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-41521-422-3.
- Schodt, Frederik L. (1996). Dreamland Japan: Writings on Modern Manga. Stone Bridge Press. ISBN 978-1-880656-23-5.
- Screech, Matthew (2005). Masters of the Ninth Art: Bandes Dessinées and Franco-Belgian Identity. Liverpool University Press. ISBN 978-0-85323-938-3.
- Stringer, Jenny, ed. (1996). "Graphic novel". The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Literature in English. Oxford University Press. p. 262. ISBN 978-0-19-212271-1.
- Sugimoto, Yoshio (2010). An Introduction to Japanese Society. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-87956-9.
- Theobald, John (2004). The Media and the Making of History. Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7546-3822-3.
- Thomas, Evan (2010). "10: Invisible Art, Invisible Planes, Invisible People". In Aldama, Frederick Luis. Multicultural Comics: From Zap to Blue Beetle. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0292737433.
- Thorne, Amy (2010). Weiner, Robert G., ed. Graphic Novels and Comics in Libraries and Archives: Essays on Readers, Research, History and Cataloging. McFarland & Company. pp. 209–212. ISBN 978-0-7864-5693-2.
- Vessels, Joel E. (2010). Drawing France: French Comics and the Republic. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 978-1-60473-444-7.
- Weiner, Stephen (2003). Faster Than a Speeding Bullet: The Rise of the Graphic Novel. NBM Publishing. ISBN 978-1-56163-368-5.
- Williams, Paul; Lyons, James (2010). The Rise of the American Comics Artist: Creators and Contexts. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 978-1-60473-792-9.
- Wong, Wendy Siuyi (2002). Hong Kong Comics. Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN 978-1-56898-269-4.
Academic journals 
- Couch, Chris (December 2000). "The Publication and Formats of Comics, Graphic Novels, and Tankobon". Image [&] Narrative (1). ISSN 1780-678X. Retrieved 2012-02-05.
- Frahm, Ole (October 2003). "Too much is too much. The never innocent laughter of the Comics.". Image [&] Narrative (7). ISSN 1780-678X. Retrieved 2012-02-05.
- Yuan, Ting (2011). "From Ponyo to 'My Garfield Story': Using Digital Comics as an Alternative Pathway to Literary Composition". Childhood Education 87 (4).
- Beerbohm, Robert (2003). "The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck Part III". The Search For Töpffer In America. Retrieved 2012-07-23.
- Harvey, R. C. (2010-12-20). "Defining Comics Again: Another in the Long List of Unnecessarily Complicated Definitions". The Comics Journal. Fantagraphics Books. Archived from the original on 2011-09-14. Retrieved 2013-02-06.
- Markstein, Don (2010). "Glossary Of Specialized Cartoon-related Words and Phrases Used in Don Markstein’s Toonopedia™". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on 2013-02-05. Retrieved 2013-02-05.
Further reading 
- Carrier, David (2002). The Aesthetics of Comics. Penn State Press. ISBN 978-0-271-02188-1.
- Dowd, Douglas Bevan; Hignite, Todd (2006). Strips, Toons, And Bluesies: Essays in Comics And Culture. Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN 978-1-56898-621-0.
- Eisner, Will (1995). Graphic Storytelling. Poorhouse Press. ISBN 978-0-9614728-3-2.
- Estren, Mark James (1993). A History of Underground Comics. Ronin Publishing. ISBN 978-0-914171-64-5. M!-- Estren 1993 -->
- Fielder, Leslie (2004) . "The Middle Against Both Ends". In Heer, Jeet; Worcester, Kent. Arguing Comics: Literary Masters on a Popular Medium. University Press of Mississippi. p. 132. ISBN 1-57806-687-5.
- Gombrich, E.H. (1972). Art and illusion: A study in the psychology of pictorial representation. Phaidon Press. ISBN 0-691-01750-6.
- Groensteen, Thierry (2000). "Why are Comics Still in Search of Cultural Legitimization?". In Magnussen, Anne; Christiansen, Hans-Christian. Comics & Culture: Analytical and Theoretical Approaches to Comics. Museum Tusculanum Press. ISBN 87-7289-580-2.
- Groensteen, Thierry (2007) [originally published in French in 1999]. The System of Comics. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 978-1-57806-925-5.
- Groth, Gary; Fiore, R., eds. (1988). The New Comics. Berkley Books. ISBN 0-425-11366-3.
- Heer, Jeet; Worcester, Kent, eds. (2012). A Comics Studies Reader. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 978-1-60473-109-5.
- Howes, Franny (2010). "Imagining a Multiplicity of Visual Rhetorical Traditions: Comics Lessons from Rhetoric Histories". ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies (Department of English, University of Florida) 5 (3). Retrieved 2013-02-05.
- Horn, Maurice, ed. (1977). The World Encyclopedia of Comics. Avon. ISBN 978-0-87754-323-7.
- Kunzle, David (1973). The Early Comic Strip: Narrative Strips and Picture Stories in the European Broadsheet from c.1450 to 1825. University of California Press. ISBN 9780520057753. OCLC 470776042.
- Kunzle, David (1990). History of the Comic Strip: The Nineteenth Century. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-01865-5.
- Perry, George; Aldridge, Alan (1989). The Penguin Book Of Comics (Revised ed.). Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-002802-1.
- Sabin, Roger (1996). Comics, Comix and Graphic Novels: A History of Comic Art. Phaidon. ISBN 978-0-7148-3993-6.
- Smolderen, Thierry (Summer 2006). "Of Labels, Loops, and Bubbles: Solving the Historical Puzzle of the Speech Balloon". Comic Art (8): 90–112.
- Varnedoe, Kirk; Gopnik, Adam (1990). Modern Art and Popular Culture: Readings in High & Low. Abrams Books. ISBN 978-0-87070-356-0.
- Waugh, Coulton (1947). The Comics. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 978-0-87805-499-2.
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- The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship
- ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies
- Image [&] Narrative
- International Journal of Comic Art
- Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
- Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum
- Michigan State University Comic Art Collection
- Comic Art Collection at the University of Missouri
- Cartoon Art Museum of San Francisco
- Time Archives' Collection of Comics
- "Comics in the National Art Library". Prints & Books. Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 2011-03-15.