Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: Comics

Comic Books in the United States

The American comic book collection includes 80,000 comic books of every kind, including superhero, war, underground, funny animal, new wave, and over 2,000 from the 1940's. In addition, the Library holds about 2,000 issues on black-white- microfilm. Most newly published comic books are being routinely acquired through donation. It has been estimated that the U.S. has produced 100,000 comic books since 1934, and other similar estimates lead us to believe that we own more than half of what could possibly be included. As it stands, few of the longer runs are complete, and the missing issues are usually the older ones. Because of the fragility and great expense of most of these items, we are not actively purchasing originals. The limited microfilm available is being purchased instead, and donations of older comic books are regularly received. To have a comprehensive collection of U.S. comic books is not a short-term goal of the collection, although the possibility is being kept in mind against the day when microfilm or other good-quality stable formats become available.

Collecting intensity: 4.