Links to MSU library holdings
Links to articles
See the information on Accessing Materials on the Welcome page if you have questions about what materials are available to you.
The Library of Congress holds more than 5000 comics titles, with a strong focus on U.S. titles from the 1950s forward. Acquisition of comic books is exclusively through copyright deposit from comics publishers.
The MSU Libraries' Special Collections unit holds more than 300,000 comics titles from all over the world, dating back to the earliest examples of the genre. The collection also offers vertical files, proof sheets from King Features Syndicate, editorial files from Claypool Comics and Eclipse Comics, collectibles and more. The collection is fully cataloged. Contact Randy Scott, the Comic Art curator, for more information.
The Billy Ireland collection has a strong focus on collecting original cartoon artwork, with more than 300,000 examples.
Free Online Collections
Comic Book Plus: An extensive collection of free downloadable files of comic books now in the public domain. An excellent opportunity to read a wide variety of early comics.
Digital Comic Museum: A site for downloading free public domain Golden Age Comics. All files here have been researched by our staff and users to make sure they are copyright free and in the public domain. (You must create a free account.)
Digitized comics from MSU's collection
Licensed Online Collections
Underground and Independent Comics from Alexander Street. More than 600 titles represented.
Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle. Produced by Michael Kantor and Sally Rosenthal. Ghost Light Films, Oregon Public Broadcasting, 2013. DVD | Blu-Ray | Episode 1 Online | Episode 2 Online | Episode 3 Online | Companion volume.
Why are there multiple online links? We occasionally have access to the same material in more than one licensed collection. The extra links are given in case one platform has a temporary interruption of service.
Eduardo del Rio
The Michigan State University Comics Forum is a multi-day, annual event for scholars, creators and fans of the comics medium. Events include keynote addresses from an award-winning creator and scholar in the field, an artist alley, academic panel discussions, exhibition of comic art, comic book discussion groups and more.
Keynote speeches are available on YouTube:
American Library Association, Graphic Novels & Comics Round Table. "Dedicated to supporting library staff in all aspects of engaging with graphic novels and comics, including collection development, programming, and advocacy."
Graphic Narratives Network, Michigan State University. A collaborative research initiative at MSU. Members work together on topics related to graphic narration in its various forms: comics, graphic novels, photo-essays, animation, and film.
Scores of reference books on comic art have been published. Unfortunately, they are less likely to have online editions than monographs.
Selected notable reference works on comics
Find addition reference works on comics
The Comic Book Database: Site on hiatus as of April 2020.