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Comics & Graphic Novels

A research guide designed to support, inform, and streamline research on the history, themes, and technique of comics. Users will find helpful clarifications to the many formats of comics, specific citation support, and relevant databases.

Web Resources

UC Library Search Launching July 27, 2021

UC Library Search, the University of California Libraries' new discovery tool, launches on July 27, 2021.  It will replace the UCLA Library Catalog and Melvyl as the way to discover items across the University of California system. For more information, please see our UC Library Search website or contact us at uclibsearch@library.ucla.edu

Searching for Comics

Searching Online

When searching for specific comics or comics studies, we recommend conducting keyword, author, or title searches. Beginning your search on the advance search page of UC Library Search discovery tool catalog will allow you to filter your search by those fields (to learn more about and how to use UC Library Search, see the UC Library Search Research Guide). For general browsing of comics and comics studies categories, the below subject headings may be of use. You also can filter your search by subject heading in the advance search options.

By Format

  • Comic strips

  • Comics

  • Funnies

  • Manga (Comic books, strips, etc.)

  • Manhua (Comic books, strips, etc.)

  • Manhwa (Comic books, strips, etc.)

  • Serial picture books

  • Webcomics

  • Newspapers--Sections, columns, etc.--Comics

  • Graphic Novels

By Genre

  • Detective and mystery comic books, strips, etc

  • Documentary comic books, strips, etc

  • Erotic comic books, strips, etc

  • Superhero comic books, strips, etc

  • Superheroes -- United States

  • Underground comic books, strips, etc

  • Webcomics

  • Western comic books, strips, etc

  • Autobiographical comics

  • Graphic medicine (Comics)

By Country of Origin/Setting of Narrative

  • "Country"--Comic books, strips, etc

By Character

  • "Fictitious character"-- Comic books, strips, etc

Comics Studies (Topical)

  • Moral and ethical aspects comic books, strips, etc

  • Social issue comic books, strips, etc

  • Comic books, strips, etc -- History and criticism

  • Genderqueer comics

  • Visual perception--Comic books, strips, etc. Knowledge,

  • Theory of--Comic books, strips, etc. Imagery (Psychology)

  •  

    Comic books, strips, etc., in education

  • Comic books, strips, etc--Study and teaching.

  • Visual perception--Comic books, strips, etc.

  • Knowledge, Theory of--Comic books, strips, etc.

  • Imagery (Psychology)--Comic books, strips, etc.

  • Communication--Methodology--Comic books, strips, etc.

  • Female friendship--Comic books, strips, etc.

  • Politics and culture--Egypt--Comic books, strips, etc.

  • Culture conflict--Comic books, strips, etc.


Powell Graphic Literature Collection

The Graphic Literature Collection includes a broad selection of graphic literature reflecting the evolution of the genre from early twentieth-century comics through twenty-first century graphic fiction and non-fiction. It also includes a limited amount of manga in translation. Titles are primarily in English, although graphic literature in other languages is actively acquired. 


Comics Studies Book Series

Listed below are book series from renown academic publishers. Each image is hyperlinked to the subject series in the catalog (Melvyl) which will show you all of the published books from the respective series. These books are great places to start your journey in comics studies or take your scholarly understanding of comics to new heights!

Digital Comics

While these comics do exist in print, they are also available digitally through the below outlets/platforms available through or outside of UCLA. Some platforms require a paid subscription.

Powell Library's Anti-Racist Reading Club: Comics Edition

To highlight media by and/or for the Black community and support research in these genres of media, UCLA librarians compiled a list of sources organized by genre. Below is a selection of the comics highlighted.