Graphic Novels


The libraries seek to support research in the literary, artistic, and cinematic aspects of graphic novels and selected comics.

Graphic novels-a recent term-have been defined as "book length collections of sequential art containing a single story, or a set of interrelated stories," although many continue to refer to such compilations simply as comics, due to their panel-art format. The libraries' collection will concentrate on titles that have won awards or otherwise received critical and/or scholarly notice-with a specific focus on the role of New York City as setting or inspiration-as well as secondary scholarly literature.

Since the late 1990s, graphic novels have become an increasingly greater influence on film both in content and style. In addition, critical recognition of graphic novels has increased dramatically.

The collection supports the needs of undergraduate, MA/MS and Ph.D. students, the teaching faculty, post-docs, and researchers in the areas of literature, art, film, and cultural history.

B. General Selection Guidelines (see classed analysis for detailed statement)

Overall, the libraries' collection is at the study and teaching level, with selected secondary literature support at the research level.

C. Specific Delimitations

  1. Formats collected: We collect bound anthologies, monographs, and periodicals. We exclude individual comic issues and newspaper syndicate printings, although some such materials may be acquired in Special Collections.
  2. Imprint Dates collected: We collect current publications selectively, and earlier 20th -century publications very selectively.
  3. Chronological focus: We collect graphic novels of the late 20th century and beyond; we collect selectively in comics of the early 20th century.
  4. Languages collected: We collect extensively in English language, and selectively in western-European languages.
  5. Place of publication: We collect materials published in North American extensively, and all other areas of the world selectively. We especially concentrate on works written in or about New York City.