|Comics by Country and Culture|
Comics studies (also comic art studies, sequential art studies or graphic narrative studies) is an academic field that focuses on comics and sequential art. Although comics and graphic novels have been generally dismissed as less relevant pop culture texts, scholars in fields such as semiotics, aesthetics, sociology, composition studies and cultural studies are now re-considering comics and graphic novels as complex texts deserving of serious scholarly study.
Not to be confused with the technical aspects of comics creation, comics studies exists only with the creation of comics theory—which approaches comics critically as an art—and the writing of comics historiography (the study of the history of comics). Comics theory has significant overlap with the philosophy of comics, i.e., the study of the ontology, epistemology and aesthetics of comics, the relationship between comics and other art forms, and the relationship between text and image in comics.
Comics studies is also interrelated with comics criticism, the analysis and evaluation of comics and the comics medium.
Although there has been the occasional investigation of comics as a valid art form, specifically in Gilbert Seldes' The 7 Lively Arts (1924), Martin Sheridan's Comics and Their Creators (1942), and David Kunzle's The Early Comic Strip: Narrative Strips and Picture Stories in the European Broadsheet from c. 1450 to 1825 (1973), contemporary Anglophone comics studies in North America can be said to have burst onto the academic scene with both Will Eisner's Comics and Sequential Art in 1985 and Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics in 1993. Continental comics studies can trace its roots back to the pioneering work of semioticians such as Roland Barthes (particularly his 1964 essay "Rhetoric of the Image", published in English in the anthology Image—Music—Text) and Umberto Eco (particularly his 1964 book Apocalittici e integrati). These works were the first attempts at a general system of comics semiotics.
More recently, analysis of comics have begun to be undertaken by cognitive scientists, the most prominent being Neil Cohn, who has used tools from linguistics to detail the theoretical structure of comics' underlying "visual language", and has also used psychological experimentation from cognitive neuroscience to test these theories in actual comprehension. This work has suggested similarities between the way that the brain processes language and the way it processes sequential images. Cohn's theories are not universally accepted, with other scholars like Thierry Groensteen, Hannah Miodrag, and Barbara Postema offering alternative understandings.
"Comics ... are sometimes four-legged and sometimes two-legged and sometimes fly and sometimes don't ... to employ a metaphor as mixed as the medium itself, defining comics entails cutting a Gordian-knotted enigma wrapped in a mystery ..."
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 Rodolphe 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. Towards the close of the 20th century, different cultures' discoveries of each other's comics traditions, the rediscovery of forgotten early comics forms, and the rise of new forms made defining comics a more complicated task.
In the field of composition studies, an interest in comics and graphic novels is growing, partially due to the work of comics theorists but also due to composition studies' growing focus on multimodality and visual rhetoric. Composition studies theorists are looking at comics as sophisticated texts, and sites of complex literacy.
Gunther Kress defines multimodality as "the use of several semiotic modes in the design of a semiotic product or event, together with the particular way in which these mode are combined" or, more simply as "any text whose meanings are realized through more than one semiotic code".
Kristie S. Fleckenstein sees the relationship between image and text as "mutually constitutive, mutually infused"—a relationship she names "imageword". Fleckenstein sees "imageword" as offering "a double vision of writing-reading based on [the] fusion of image and word, a double vision of literacy".
Dale Jacobs sees the reading of comics as a form of "multimodal literacy or multiliteracy, rather than as a debased form of print literacy". According to Jacobs, comics can help educators to move "toward attending to multimodal literacies" that "shift our focus from print only to multiple modalities". He encourages educators to embrace a pedagogy that will give students skills to effectively negotiate these multiple modalities.
Comics historiography (the study of the history of comics) studies the historical process through which comics became an autonomous art medium and an integral part of culture. An area of study is premodern sequential art; some scholars such as Scott McCloud consider Egyptian paintings and pre-Columbian American picture manuscripts to be the very first form of comics and sequential art. Another area of study is the 20th-century emergence of the subculture of comics readers and comicphilia, the passionate interest in comic books. (A person with a passionate interest in comics is informally called a comicphile or comics buff.)
The first attempts at comics historiography began in the United States in the 1940s with the work of Thomas Craven, Martin Sheridan, and Coulton Waugh. It was not until the mid-1960s, with the publication of Jules Feiffer's The Great Comic Book Heroes, that the field began to take root. Historiography became an accepted practice in the 1970s with the work of Maurice Horn, Jim Steranko, Ron Goulart, Bill Blackbeard, and Martin Williams. The late 1990s saw a wave of books celebrating American comics' centennial. Other notable writers on these topics include Will Jacobs, Gerard Jones, Rick Marschall, and R. C. Harvey.
Comics studies is becoming increasingly more common at academic institutions across the world. Some notable examples include: Ohio State University, University of Florida, University of Toronto at Mississauga, and University of California Santa Cruz, among others. In Britain, growing interest in comics has led to the establishment of a center for comics studies, the Scottish Centre for Comics Studies (SCCS) at the University of Dundee in Scotland. Beside formal programs and degrees, it is common to see individual courses dedicated to comics and graphic novels in many educational institutions.
Sol M. Davidson's New York University thesis, Culture and the Comic Strips, earned him the first PhD in comics in 1959, while in France, Jean-Christophe Menu was awarded a Doctorate in Art and Art Sciences in 2011 from Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne after defending his thesis The Comics and its Double: Language and Frontiers of Comics: Practical, Theoretical and Editorial Prospects.
Teesside University began offering a BA in Comics and Graphic Novels in 2014, as well as an MA in Comics from 2018. They have since appointed a team of renowned comics practitioners including Fionnuala Doran, Julian Lawrence, Con Chrisoulis, Nigel Kitching and Tara McInerney.
The University of Lancaster started offering a PhD degree in comics studies in 2015. The same year French comics studies scholar Benoît Peeters (a student of Roland Barthes) was appointed as the UK's first ever comics professor at Lancaster University.
In addition to its presence in academic institutions, comics have also been studied in interdisciplinary learnerd societies. The first US association dedicated to supporting the study of graphic narrative and sequential art was the Comics Studies Society (CSS), launched in 2014 at ICAF. Its main focuses are "promoting the critical study of comics, improving comics teaching, and engaging in open and ongoing conversations about the comics world".
CSS also publishes the journal INKS (since 2017), organizes the Annual Conference of the Comics Studies Society (since 2018) and awards comics studies, books and articles with five annual prizes: the CSS Article Prize, the Hillary Chute Award for Best Graduate Student Paper, the Gilbert Seldes Prize for Public Scholarship, the Charles Hatfield Book Prize, and the CSS Prize for Edited Book Collections.
Other anglophone societies that can be mentioned are British Consortium of Comics Scholars (BCCS, created in 2012 by Paul Davies), Scottish Centre for Comics Studies (SCCS) and Canadian Society for the Study of Comics (CSSC, created in October 2010 by Sylvain Rheault).
The CSSC, also known as Société Canadienne pour l'Étude de la Bande Dessinée (SCEBC), is a bilingual community of academics focused in Canadian scholars but open for international associates. Among other activities, CSSC/SCEBD organizes an academic conference during Toronto Comic Arts Festival.
Some notable academic journals specifically dedicated to comics studies are listed below in alphabetical order:
- CuCo, Cuadernos de cómic (published by the Editorial de Universidad de Alcalá)
- European Comic Art
- ImageTexT (a peer reviewed, open-access journal that began in the spring of 2004 and is based at the University of Florida)
- Image and Narrative (stylized as Image [&] Narrative, a peer-reviewed e-journal on visual narratology)
- Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society (published by the Ohio State University Press)
- International Journal of Comic Art
- Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics
- Revista Latinoamericana de Estudios sobre la Historieta
- Studies in Comics
- SANE: Sequential Art Narrative in Education (based at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln)
- The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship (first published in January 2011; an open-access, researcher-led, peer-reviewed academic journal published by the Open Library of Humanities)
Although presentations dedicated to comics are commonplace at conferences in many fields, entire conferences dedicated to this subject are becoming more common. There have been conferences at SAIC (International Comic Arts Forum, 2009), MMU (The International Bande Dessinée Society Conference), UTS (Sequential Art Studies Conference), Georgetown, Ohio State (Festival of Cartoon Art), and Bowling Green (Comics in Popular Culture conference), and there is a yearly conference at University of Florida (Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels). Additionally, there is an annual Michigan State University Comics Forum, which brings together academics and professionals working in the industry. Notable regularly held movable conferences include the Comic Art and Comics Area of the Popular Culture Association of America and the conference of the International Society for Humor Studies.
The International Comic Arts Forum (ICAF), begun in 1995 at Georgetown University, has been described as one of the earliest academic initiatives for the study of comics. The German Gesellschaft für Comicforschung (ComFor, Society for Comics Studies) has organized yearly academic conferences since 2006. The Comics Arts Conference has met regularly since 1992 in conjunction with San Diego Comic-Con International and WonderCon. Another important conference is the annual International Graphic Novels and Comics Conference held since 2010 organized by British academics. This conference has been held in conjunction with the longer running International Bande Dessinée Society conference. Comics Forum, a UK-based community of international comics scholars, also holds an annual conference at Leeds Central Library; the first was held in 2009.
- Alternative comics
- Childhood studies
- Glossary of comics terminology
- Graphic medicine
- Comics in education
- Comics poetry
- Conference on College Composition and Communication
- "How to Read Nancy"
- Institute for Comics Studies
- Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art
- List of comics critics
- University Press of Mississippi: Great Comics Artists Series / Comics and Popular Culture category
- Wilhelm Busch Museum
- Donald Ault
- Peter Coogan
- Mark Evanier
- Thierry Groensteen
- Jeet Heer
- James Kakalios
- Shirrel Rhoades
- Peter Sanderson
- Jim Steranko
- Michael Uslan
- Kent Worcester
- International Journal of Comic Art, volume 7, 2005, p. 574.
- Pramod K. Nayar, The Indian Graphic Novel: Nation, History and Critique, Routledge, 2016, p. 13.
- Benoît Crucifix, "Redrawing Comics into the Graphic Novel: Comics Historiography, Canonization, and Authors' Histories of the Medium", "Whither comics studies?" panel, International conference of the French Association for American Studies, Toulouse (France), May 24–27, 2016.
- Meskin, Aaron (2011). "The Philosophy of Comics". Philosophy Compass. 6 (12): 854–864. doi:10.1111/j.1747-9991.2011.00450.x.
- Iain Thomson, in his "Deconstructing the Hero" (in Jeff McLaughlin, ed., Comics as Philosophy (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2005), pp. 100–129), develops the concept of comics as philosophy.
- Meskin, Aaron and Roy T. Cook (eds.), The Art of Comics: A Philosophical Approach, Wiley-Blackwell, 2012, p. xxxi.
- David Carrier, The Aesthetics of Comics, Penn State University Press, 2000, Part 1: "The Nature of Comics."
- Bramlett, Frank, Roy Cook and Aaron Meskin (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Comics, Routledge, 2016, p. 330.
- Roland Barthes, "Rhétorique de l'image", Communications 4(1), 1964, pp. 40–51, translated as "Rhetoric of the Image", in: Roland Barthes, Image–Music–Text, essays selected and translated by Stephen Heath, New York 1977, pp. 32–51.
- Umberto Eco, Apocalittici e integrati: comunicazioni di massa e teorie della cultura di massa, Bompiani, 1964. Cf. also: Umberto Eco (1972). "Epilogue", in: Walter Herdeg and David Pascal (eds.): The Art of the Comic Strip, Zurich: The Graphis Press.
- Jochen Ecke, Gideon Haberkorn (eds.), Comics as a Nexus of Cultures: Essays on the Interplay of Media, McFarland, 2010, p. 238.
- Neil Cohn, The Visual Language of Comics: Introduction to the Structure and Cognition of Sequential Images, London: Bloomsbury, 2013, p. 1ff.
- Harvey 2001, p. 76.
- 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.
- Groensteen 2012, p. 112–113.
- Kress, Gunther and Theo Van Leeuwen (2001). Multimodal Discourse: The Modes and Media of Contemporary Communication. Arnold Publishers. p. 20.
- Kress, Gunther and Theo van Leeuwen (2006). Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design (2nd ed.). Routledge. p. 177.
- Fleckenstein, Kristie (2003). Embodied Literacies: Imageword and a Poetics of Teaching. Southern Illinois University Press. p. 2.
- Jacobs, Dale. "Marvelling at The Man Called Nova: Comics as Sponsors of Multimodal Literacy". The Journal of the Conference on College Composition and Communication. 59 (2): 182.
- Jacobs, Dale. "Marvelling at The Man Called Nova: Comics as Sponsors of Multimodal Literacy". The Journal of the Conference on College Composition and Communication. 59 (2): 201.
- Williams, Paul and James Lyons (eds.), The Rise of the American Comics Artist: Creators and Contexts, University Press of Mississippi, 2010, p. 106.
- Waugh, Coulton, The Comics, University Press of Mississippi, 1991, p. xiii.
- Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics, Harper Perennial, 1993, pp. 10–15.
- Alexandre Linck Vargas, A invenção dos quadrinhos: teoria e crítica da sarjeta (The Invention of Comics: Theory and Criticism of Gutters), Ph.D. thesis, Federal University of Santa Catarina, 2015, Abstract: "we stumble upon the inventions of a comics artistry, from the [1960s] on, through conflicts with the art world (Pop Art, Lowbrow Art and exhibitions), through the emergence of an authorial disposal and of an institutionalized comicphilia..."
- Warren, Jarod (23 July 2013). "Logline: Importance and Creation". Cinelinx.com. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
- Rhoades, Shirrel, A Complete History of American Comic Books, Peter Lang, 2008, p. 66.
- "Comics Studies @ OSU | Popular Culture Studies".
- "UF | Comics Studies | Studying Comics at UF". English.ufl.edu. 2007-04-04. Retrieved 2009-11-23.
- Visual Culture Studies - University of Toronto Mississauga.
- Spiegelman, Art. "Comix 101." Lecture. Porter College, University of California, Santa Cruz, April 1992.
- "Scottish Centre for Comics Studies". scottishcomicstudies.com. Retrieved 2016-11-28.
- "UF | Comics Studies | Teaching Comics". English.ufl.edu. 2007-04-09. Retrieved 2009-11-23.
- Sol M. Davidson. Culture and the Comic Strips. Ph.D. diss., New York University, 1959.
- Sol & Penny Davison Collection - George A. Smathers Libraries.
- Article about Jean-Christophe Menu presenting his thesis at the Sorbonne.
- Theses.fr: La bande dessinée et son double : langage et marges de la bande dessinée : perspectives pratiques, théoriques et éditoriales.
- "Serious about the funnies: Private donor endows UO Comics Studies minor". Around the O. 2013-12-02. Retrieved 2022-07-22.
- "Courses | Comics Studies at University of Oregon". Retrieved 2022-07-22.
- "Teesside University Comics and Graphic Novels BA". Teesside University. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
- "Teesside University Comics MA". Teesside University. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
- "The graphic tale of Irish revolutionary Roger Casement". The Irish News. 2016-08-11. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
- "Tara McInerney Website". Tara McInerney. Retrieved 2018-07-06.
- "Lancaster University offers doctorate in comic books". Independent.co.uk. 2015-11-25. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
- "'Great snakes!' Tintin expert appointed UK's first comics professor". TheGuardian.com. 2015-11-26. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
- "About the Comics Studies Society". Comics Studies Society official website.
- "Comics Studies Society goes public on Feb. 14, 2016, launches its founding membership drive". SciFi Pulse. 2016-02-15.
- The Secret Origins of Comics Studies. 2017.
- "Washington People: Rebecca Wanzo". Washington University in St.Louis. 2017-02-03.
- Keywords for Comics Studies. 2021. p. 2.
- "About the Comics Studies Society Prizes". Comics Studies Society official website.
- "Announcement of open membership for new Comics Studies Society". Sacred and Sequential. 2016-02-19.
- "About". Official website of British Consortium of Comics Scholars.
- "Comic Studies in the UK and Beyond – Learning the Comic Art". downthetubes.
- Canadian Graphic: Picturing Life Narratives. 2016.
- "Comics, Education, and Libraries". American Libraries Magazine. 2017-05-24.
- "Inks". The Comics Studies Society (CSS). Retrieved 2021-02-12. (contains no URL to the Journal)
- "Regularly Held Conferences".
- Robert G. Weiner (ed.), Graphic Novels and Comics in Libraries and Archives: Essays on Readers, Research, History and Cataloging, McFarland, 2010, p. 264.
- "Comics Conference". www.english.ufl.edu. Archived from the original on 2009-11-29. Retrieved 2009-11-21.
- Matthew Smith; Randy Duncan (19 September 2017). The Secret Origins of Comics Studies. Taylor & Francis. p. 316. ISBN 978-1-317-50578-5.
- "Gesellschaft für Comicforschung". Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2010-10-22.
- The Comics Arts Conference and Public Humanities.
- "Comics Forum". Comics Forum. Retrieved 2017-02-02.
- Beaty, Bart (2012). Comics Versus Art. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 978-1-4426-9627-3.
- Groensteen, Thierry (Spring 2012). "The Current State of French Comics Theory". Scandinavian Journal of Comic Art. 1 (1): 111–122.
- Grove, Laurence (2010). Comics in French: The European Bande Dessinée in Context. Berghahn Books. ISBN 978-1-84545-588-0.
- Harvey, R. C. (2001). "Comedy at the Juncture of Word and Image". In Varnum, Robin; Gibbons, Christina T. (eds.). The Language of Comics: Word and Image. University Press of Mississippi. pp. 75–96. ISBN 978-1-57806-414-4.
- Thomas, Evan (2010). "10: Invisible Art, Invisible Planes, Invisible People". In Aldama, Frederick Luis (ed.). Multicultural Comics: From Zap to Blue Beetle. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0-292-73743-3.
- Ayaka, Carolene and Ian Hague (eds.), Representing Multiculturalism in Comics and Graphic Novels, Routledge, 2014.
- Bongco, Mila, Reading Comics: Language, Culture, and the Concept of the Superhero in Comic Books, Routledge, 2014.
- Bonura, Massimo, Provenzano, Federico, Teorie e Storia del Fumetto. Il fumetto e le sue teorie comunicative, Palermo, Zap edizioni, 2017.
- Bramlett, Frank (ed.), Linguistics and the Study of Comics, Springer, 2012.
- Bramlett, Frank, Roy Cook and Aaron Meskin (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Comics, Routledge, 2016.
- Burke, Liam, The Comic Book Film Adaptation: Exploring Modern Hollywood's Leading Genre, University Press of Mississippi, 2015.
- Caswell, Lucy Shelton and Jared Gardner, Drawing the Line: Comics Studies and INKS, 1994–1997, Ohio State University Press, 2017.
- Esther Claudio, Julio Cañero (eds.), On the Edge of the Panel: Essays on Comics Criticism, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015.
- Cohn, Neil (ed.), The Visual Narrative Reader, Bloomsbury, 2016.
- del Rey Cabero, Enrique (2021). How to Study Comics & Graphic Novels : A Graphic Introduction to Comics Studies. Michael Goodrum, Josean Morlesin Mellado. Oxford. ISBN 978-1-8383792-1-6. OCLC 1301199489.
- Denson, Shane, Christina Meyer, Daniel Stein, Transnational Perspectives on Graphic Narratives: Comics at the Crossroads, Bloomsbury, 2013.
- DiPaolo, Marc, War, Politics and Superheroes: Ethics and Propaganda in Comics and Film, McFarland, 2011.
- Dong, Lan (ed.), Teaching Comics and Graphic Narratives: Essays on Theory, Strategy and Practice, McFarland, 2012.
- Duncan, Randy and Matthew J. Smith, The Power of Comics: History, Form and Culture, Continuum, 2009.
- Earle, Harriet, Comics, Trauma, and the New Art of War, University Press of Mississippi, 2017.
- Fuchs, Wolfgang J. and Reinhold Reitberger, Comics: Anatomy of a Mass Medium, Little Brown & Co, 1972.
- Gravett, Paul, Comics Art, Yale University Press, 2013.
- Groensteen, Thierry, Comics and Narration, University Press of Mississippi, 2013.
- Groensteen, Thierry, The System of Comics, University Press of Mississippi, 2009.
- Hague, Ian, Comics and the Senses: A Multisensory Approach to Comics and Graphic Novels, Routledge, 2014.
- Hatfield, Charles, Alternative Comics: An Emerging Literature, University Press of Mississippi, 2005.
- Heer, Jeet and Worcester, Kent (eds.), A Comics Studies Reader, University Press of Mississippi, 2009.
- Klock, Geoff, How to Read Superhero Comics and Why, Continuum, 2002.
- Kukkonen, Karin, Studying Comics and Graphic Novels, Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.
- Kukkonen, Karin, Contemporary Comics Storytelling, University of Nebraska Press, 2013.
- Lund, Martin, Re-Constructing the Man of Steel: Superman 1938–1941, Jewish American History, and the Invention of the Jewish–Comics Connection, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.
- Magnussen, Anne and Hans-Christian Christiansen (eds.), Comics & Culture: Analytical and Theoretical Approaches to Comics, Museum Tusculanum Press, 2000.
- McLaughlin, Jeff (ed.), Comics as Philosophy, University Press of Mississippi, 2005.
- Meesters, Gert, "Creativity in Comics. Exploring the Frontiers of the Medium by Respecting Explicit Self-imposed Constraints," in Tony Veale, Kurt Feyaerts, Charles Forceville (ed.), Creativity and the Agile Mind: A Multi-Disciplinary Study of a Multi-Faceted Phenomenon, Walter de Gruyter, 2013, pp. 275–292.
- Miller, Ann and Bart Beaty (eds.), The French Comics Theory Reader, Leuven University Press, 2014.
- Miodrag, Hannah, Comics and Language: Reimagining Critical Discourse on the Form, University Press of Mississippi, 2013.
- Pizzino, Christopher, Arresting Development: Comics at the Boundaries of Literature, U of Texas Press, 2016.
- Postema, Barbara, Narrative Structure in Comics: Making Sense of Fragments, Boydell & Brewer, 2013.
- Reynolds, Richard, Super Heroes: A Modern Mythology, University Press of Mississippi, 1994.
- Saraceni, Mario, The Language of Comics, Routledge, 2003.
- Schmitz-Emans, Monika (ed.), Comic und Literatur: Konstellationen, Walter de Gruyter, 2012.
- Smith, Matthew and Randy Duncan (eds.), Critical Approaches to Comics: Theories and Methods, Routledge, 2012.
- Smith, Matthew and Randy Duncan (eds.), The Secret Origins of Comics Studies, Routledge, 2017.
- Stein, Daniel and Jan-Noël Thon (eds.), From Comic Strips to Graphic Novels: Contributions to the Theory and History of Graphic Narrative, Walter de Gruyter, 2015.
- Weiner, Robert G. (ed.), Graphic Novels and Comics in Libraries and Archives: Essays on Readers, Research, History and Cataloging, McFarland, 2010.
- Barrier, J. Michael and Martin Williams. A Smithsonian Book of Comic-Book Comics (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1982) ISBN 978-0874742282
- Blackbeard, Bill and Martin Williams, editors. The Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1977) ISBN 978-0874741728
- Blackbeard, Bill and Dale Crain. The Comic Strip Century: Celebrating 100 Years of an American Art Form (Kitchen Sink Press, 1995) ISBN 9780878163557
- Booker, M. Keith (ed.), Comics through Time: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas, Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 2014.
- Booker, M. Keith (ed.), Encyclopedia of Comic Books and Graphic Novels, Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 2010.
- Couperie, Pierre C. and Maurice Horn, editors. A History of the Comic Strip (Crown Publishers, 1968)
- Craven, Thomas, editor. Cartoon Cavalcade: A Collection of the Best American Humorous Cartoons from the Turn of the Century to the Present (Simon & Schuster, 1943)
- Feiffer, Jules. The Great Comic Book Heroes: The Origins and Early Adventures of the Classic Super-Heroes of the Comic Books (Dial Press, 1965)
- Gabilliet, Jean-Paul, Of Comics and Men: A Cultural History of American Comic Books, University Press of Mississippi, 2010.
- Goulart, Ron. The Adventurous Decade: Comic Strips In the Thirties (Crown Publishers, 1975) ISBN 9780870002526
- Goulart, Ron. The Great Comic Book Artists (St. Martin's Press, 1986) ISBN 978-0312345570
- Goulart, Ron. Ron Goulart's Great History of Comic Books: the Definitive Illustrated History from the 1890s to the 1980s (Contemporary Books, 1986) ISBN 978-0809250455
- Goulart, Ron. The Encyclopedia of American Comics: From 1897 to the Present (Facts on File, 1991) ISBN 978-0816018529
- Goulart, Ron. The Comic Book Reader's Companion: an A-Z Guide to Everyone's Favorite Art Form (Harper Perennial, 1993) ISBN 9780062731173
- Goulart, Ron. The Funnies: 100 Years of American Comic Strips (Adams Media Corp, 1995) ISBN 9781558505391
- Goulart, Ron. Comic Book Encyclopedia: The Ultimate Guide to Characters, Graphic Novels, Writers, and Artists in the Comic Book Universe (HarperCollins, 2004) ISBN 978-0060538163
- Hajdu, David, The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America, Picador, 2009 (originally Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008).
- Harvey, R. C. The Art of the Funnies: An Aesthetic History (University Press of Mississippi, 1994) ISBN 978-0878056743
- Harvey, R. C. The Art of the Comic Book: An Aesthetic History (University Press of Mississippi, 1996) ISBN 978-0878057580
- Horn, Maurice, editor. The World Encyclopedia of Comics (Chelsea House, 1976) ISBN 978-0877540304
- Horn, Maurice. The World Encyclopedia of Cartoons (Chelsea House, 1979) ISBN 978-0877541219
- Horn, Maurice, editor. 100 Years of American Newspaper Comics: An Illustrated Encyclopedia (Gramercy Books, 1996) ISBN 978-0517124475
- Jacobs, Will and Gerard Jones. The Comic Book Heroes: The First History of Modern Comic Books: From the Silver Age to the Present (Crown Publishers, 1985) ISBN 978-0517554401
- Jones, Gerard, Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book, Basic Books, 2005.
- Marschall, Rick. America's Great Comic Strip Artists: From the Yellow Kid to Peanuts (Abbeville Press, 1989) ISBN 978-0896599178
- Petersen, Robert S., Comics, Manga, and Graphic Novels: A History of Graphic Narratives, ABC-CLIO, 2011.
- Pustz, Matthew (ed.), Comic Books and American Cultural History: An Anthology, Continuum, 2012.
- Sheridan, Martin. Comics and Their Creators: Life Stories of American Cartoonists (Hale, Cushman & Flint, 1942)
- Steranko, Jim. The Steranko History of Comics vol. 1 (Supergraphics, 1970) ISBN 0-517-50188-0
- Steranko, Jim. The Steranko History of Comics vol. 2 (Supergraphics, 1972) ISBN 978-0517501887
- Walker, Brian. The Comics: Before 1945 (Harry N. Abrams, 2004) ISBN 978-0810949706
- Walker, Brian. The Comics: Since 1945 (Harry N. Abrams, 2006) ISBN 978-0810992603
- Waugh, Colton. The Comics (Macmillan, 1947)
- Williams, Paul and James Lyons (eds.), The Rise of the American Comics Artist: Creators and Contexts, University Press of Mississippi, 2010.
- Wright, Bradford W., Comic Book Nation: The Transformation of Youth Culture in America, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001.
- The National Association of Comic Art Educators' page
- Comics in the Classroom
- The Institute for Comics Studies (defunct)
- Comics Research--annotated bibliographies for comics scholarship
- Comic book annotations and bibliographies
- Online Bibliographies of Anime and Manga research
- Neil Cohn's Visual Language Lab website
- Cognitive Comics: A Constructivist Approach to Sequential Art
- The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship
- The Comics Studies Society (CSS)
- Inks: their journal (publisher's site)
- The Japan Society for Studies in Cartoons and Comics (JSSCC, Nihon manga gakkai)
- Association des Critiques et journalistes de Bande Dessinée
- CuCo, Cuadernos de Cómic
- Revista Latinoamericana de Estudios sobre la Historieta