M. Thomas Inge

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M. Thomas Inge is an American writer, who is an authority on popular culture and comic art history. He is the author or editor of more than 50 books.


Odyssey Press published his Agrarianism in American Literature in 1969. His three-volume Handbook of American Popular Culture (Greenwood Press) was cited by the American Library Association as an outstanding reference work in 1979 and was issued in a revised and expanded edition in 1990.

He is a professor of humanities at Randolph–Macon College (Ashland, Virginia), where there was an exhibition of his 20th-century comic art collection in 2006. The M. Thomas Inge Papers (in the Comic Arts Collection at Virginia Commonwealth University) includes magazines, catalogs, fanzines, programs and humor publications. This collection is composed of materials collected by Dr. Inge relating to his academic studies of the comic arts, popular culture, and American literature. The bulk of the collection is dated from the 1950s onward and is made up of many items collected by Inge covering the history of the comic arts. It includes a large collection of published and unpublished materials and ephemera items relating to the comic arts. Manuscripts by Inge and other writers are also included.[1]

The collection contains correspondence with a number of noted artists and writers, including Art Spieglman, Mort Walker, Bruce Duncan, and Harold Foster, and comic arts scholars. The collection includes advertisements, fan club materials, posters, art prints, animation cells, comic strip and comic book samples, comic and animation character drinking glasses, numerous buttons, records, and various other collectable items.

The collection is highlighted by a very large collection of reference journals including fanzines, newsletters, journals, and numerous other periodicals related to the comic arts. These periodical titles focus on the history and art of comic books and comic strips, cartoonists, comic book and comic strip characters, animation, and other aspects of the comic arts and popular culture. These materials, and the hundreds of comic books and reference books donated by Dr. Inge, have been incorporated into their own individual collections.

Inge has written extensively about Krazy Kat, Baron Bean and other comic strips.

Inge's first name is Milton.


  • "Faulkner Reads the Funny Papers". Faulkner & Humor, edited by Doreen Fowler and Ann J. Abadie. University Press of Mississippi, 1986.
  • "Was Krazy Kat Black? The Racial Identity of George Herriman". Inge notes the 1971 San Francisco Chronicle report that Herriman's birth certificate stated he was "colored" and considers the relevance of this fact to Herriman's life and art. Inks, Volume 3, Number 2, 1996.


  • Agrarianism in American Literature, Odyssey Press, 1969.
  • Handbook of American Popular Culture, Greenwood Press, 1979 (reprinted in 1990).
  • Bartleby the Inscrutable: A Collection of Commentary on Herman Melville's Tale "Bartleby the Scrivener", editor. Hamden, Conn: Archon Books, 1979.
  • Handbook of American Popular LIterature. Greenwood Press, 1988.
  • Comics as Culture. University Press of Mississippi, 1990.
  • Anything Can Happen in a Comic Strip: Centennial Reflections on an American Art Form. University Press of Mississippi, 1995.


  1. ^ Virginia Heritage. "A Guide to the Thomas Inge papers, 1879-2001, collection # M 82". Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University. Retrieved 24 March 2015. 

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