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Graphic Novels and Comic Books: Overview

A guide to finding graphic literature at TCTC, using graphic literature as sources for academic papers, and learning more about how to draw graphic literature.

Reference Works on Graphic Literature

What is Graphic Literature?

This research guide is intended to introduce you to the TCTC library's extensive collection of work in the genre of graphic literature.

  Literature is defined by Merriam Webster as "writings in prose or verse".

  Graphic literature can be defined as written work that takes the form of sequential pictures, with or without text, often in the form of a series of panels with word bubbles.  This includes

  • Comics, in the form of single-panel comics or longer comic strips and books
  • Graphic Fiction (often called graphic novels) meaning book-length fictional work on a variety of subjects
  • Graphic Nonfiction (often also called graphic novels) which could include history, biography, and works in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).  

There was a time when storytelling through pictures was not considered a part of "serious" academic study.  That has changed.  Writers, artists, historians, and scholars from a wide range of other fields use the graphic medium to explore new ideas.  We have graphic work in fields as diverse as mathematics, physics, architecture, history and fiction.  This guide is meant to help get you started with finding sources, as well as simply finding your next great read.  Have fun!

What is a Graphic Novel?

Using Graphic Literature

Marvel vs. DC

Marvel or DC?  You decide!  

Here are two wikis maintained by citizens of the Marvel and DC universes.