Context, Theory, & History

The texts listed below propose conceptual and historical contexts for the appreciation of comics as literature and art, and are useful starting points for research in the genre. Click on the Finding Books tab above for tips on finding more.

Comics and Graphic Novels

What some regard as the first "graphic novel,"It Rhymes With Lust (1950)

The growing acceptance of comic strips, comic books, and graphic novels as rich areas for academic research has spurred the creation of many specialized print and online resources for literary theorists, cultural historians, and others. This guide aims to assist Cornell University students, faculty, and staff in identifying and accessing books, journals, and electronic materials that treat comics and graphic novels as objects of serious study.

Manga Collection in Kroch Library

Connected to Olin Library from the main level, the Division of Asia Collections in Kroch Library is widely regarded as having one of the largest and most significant collections of Asian historical and literary materials in North America. The Asia Collections include reference books, periodicals, newspapers, microfilms and fiche, electronic resources, as well as two levels of book stacks. A large collection of Manga can be found on the Mezzanine level in the PN section.

Subject Librarian

Fred Muratori
Contact Info:
Research & Learning Services
106 Olin Library

Academic Networking

MLA Comics and Graphic Narratives Discussion Group Information on upcoming comics studies events.

Comic-Scholars Discussion List Academic forum for those involved in research, criticism and teaching related to comics. based at the University of Florida.

The Center for Cartoon Studies.  "CCS is dedicated to providing the highest quality of education to students interested in creating visual stories. CCS’s curriculum of art, graphic design, and literature reflect the wide array of skills needed to create comics and graphic novels. CCS emphasizes self-publishing and prepares its students to publish, market, and disseminate their work." (website)

Land Acknowledgment

Cornell University is located on the traditional homelands of the Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' (the Cayuga Nation). The Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' are members of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, an alliance of six sovereign Nations with a historic and contemporary presence on this land. The Confederacy precedes the establishment of Cornell University, New York state, and the United States of America. We acknowledge the painful history of Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' dispossession, and honor the ongoing connection of Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫ' people, past and present, to these lands and waters.