Links to comics and graphic novel sites

-- compiled for librarians by Steve Raiteri

last update -- 10/02/2004

Links added since the last update are annotated in red.  This list is not restricted to sites on material appropriate for ages 12-16 -- many sites here will discuss more "mature readers"-oriented material, and also graphic novels for younger readers.
 

Information for Librarians:
Comic Books for Young Adults: A Guide for Librarians -- created and maintained by librarian Michael R. Lavin, this site provides librarians with a good overview of comics and graphic novels, dealing with comics formats and genres, acquisition, and collection development.  Lavin also presents a list of recommended titles, including monthly comic books as well as trade paperbacks and graphic novels, and nonfiction as well as fiction titles.  His section "Do Comic Books Belong in Libraries?" answers concerns that librarians might have about comics, defends the artform from those who would denigrate it, and provides much justification for the presence of comics in library collections.
Graphic Novels: Where to Start? -- an article by Robin Brenner of the website No Flying, No Tights (see "reviews and recommendations" below), with a wealth of information for librarians just beginning to learn about graphic novels, including library review sources, web links, and recommended books about graphic novels.
The Librarian's Guide to Anime and Manga -- by librarian Gilles Poitras, author of the books The Anime Companion and Anime Essentials.  An introduction to anime and manga (Japanese animation and comic books, respectively), including discussion of various issues related to them, and lists of recommended titles, Internet sites, and books about anime and manga.
Graphic Novels... A Visual Literary Art Form -- a page from the Clermont County Public Library in Ohio, featuring an "Understanding Graphic Novels" section, a few Spotlight reviews, a fun and games page, and a page of web links.
Graphic Novels for Librarians -- a short resource page by Jennifer McIntosh of the East Greenbush, New York Public Library.

Thought Bubbles -- an archive of columns on graphic novels by Philip Crawford, librarian and author of Graphic Novels 101: Selecting and Using Graphic Novels to Promote Literacy for Children and Young Adults: A Resource Guide for School Librarians and Educators.  The columns are from the American Association of School Librarians magazine Knowledge Quest.
YA Talk: Graphic Novels -- an article by Francisca Goldsmith from the May 1, 1998 issue of Booklist.  It briefly discusses the history of graphic novels and problems that libraries face in adding them to the collection.  It also lists a dozen recommended GN titles, along with books and websites about comics.
An Interview With Mike Pawuk -- a talk with young adult librarian Mike Pawuk of the Cuyahoga County, Ohio Public Library, touching on the "Be Graphic!" presentations he made for the Ohio Library Council and his own library's extensive and very popular collection of graphic novels.
Graphic Novels Feel the Love -- an article from the May 20, 2002 issue of Publishers Weekly about the rising interest in graphic novels from librarians and distributors as shown at BookExpo America.
Graphic Novels, Seriously -- an editorial from School Library Journal about the importance of graphic novels in libraries.
Call Them What You Like, Comics Books and Graphic Novels Are a Great Draw -- an article from the Kansas Library Association NewsOnline, about the success of a graphic novel collection at the Kearny County Library.
Tales of the New -- an article from the Portland Phoenix, a Maine newspaper, about the appearance of graphic novels in Maine libraries, with quotes from several local librarians.
Novel Concept -- an article from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Pioneer Press about the rise of graphic novels, featuring quotes from Stephen Weiner (author of The 101 Best Graphic Novels) and St. Paul librarian Sheila Winderlich.

Teen Cyber Center: Graphic Novel Title List -- by Beth Gallaway of the Haverhill, Massachusetts Public Library.  Includes a list of all graphic novels in the library's collection and a page of comics web links.
Teen Space: Graphic Novels -- a listing of graphic novels at the Spokane, WA Public Library.

The Secret Origin of Good Readers -- a marvelously titled resource book for teachers on using comics in the classroom, including an excellent defense of the use of comics, suggested comics for students, and ideas for activities involving comics. A companion to a presentation at the SanDiego Comic-Con International by Robyn A. Hill, Mimi Cruz, and Mike Carlin. The 2002 updated edition, which can be downloaded at this site, includes a page for librarians.
Comics Research Bibliography -- a huge collection of print and web citations for articles related to comics, compiled by Michael Rhode and John Bullough.  It's searchable, though this feature is not recommended over a slow connection.  Many subject bibliographies (on topics such as anime or Charles Schulz) are available as well.
 

Comics & graphic novels reviews and recommendations, with a library connection:
The Comics Get Serious -- graphic novel reviews by D. Aviva Rothschild, author of Graphic Novels: A Bibliographic Guide to Book-Length Comics, a book I highly recommend to anyone reading this page The website serves as a supplement to the book, which was published in 1995.  A very good site, by one of the first people to try to get this kind of info out there to people beyond the comics subculture (thanks, Aviva).
Diamond Bookshelf Reviews -- graphic novel reviews by librarian Katherine L. Kan, who also writes the regular column "Graphically Speaking" in Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA, that is).
No Flying, No Tights -- recommendations on all types of graphic novels (including superheroes, despite the title) by Robin Brenner, Library Technician at Cary Memorial Library in Lexington, Massachusetts and library science student, and her cohorts.
Graphic Novels - An Annotated List -- graphic novel recommendations by Dawn Imada, young adult services librarian with the San Jose Public Library System, in San Jose, California.
Tired of Superman? How About Trying Something New? -- graphic novel recommendations by April Spisak (of the Clark County, OH Public Library) and Ria Newhouse: a page created when they were graduate students in the Library and Information Science program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

YALSA 2002 Popular Paperback for Young Adults -- this page, made up of books nominated by members of the Young Adult Library Services Association, includes a list of recommended graphic novels.
YALSA 1997 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults -- another list of YALSA-recommended books, including graphic novels.
Graphic Novels and Nonfiction -- booklist put together by the Berkeley Public Library Teen Services staff.
Takoma Park Maryland Library Graphic Novels Page -- a listing of graphic novels the library owns, with reviews by teens and library staff.
Winnipeg Public Library Staff Picks -- a selection of graphic novels and related books by WPL staff.
San Mateo County Library: We Recommend -- a list of graphic novels recommended by SMCL staff.
 

Comics & graphic novel review sites outside of libraries:
Tony's Online Tips -- an archive of columns written by Tony Isabella for the Comics Buyers Guide, an excellent monthly news-and-reviews magazine, featuring many reviews of comics and graphic novels.
Artbomb -- A site with a mission to "promote diverse and sophisticated graphic novels", with a database of reviews by comics writer Warren Ellis and others.
Comics Worth Reading -- a diverse collection of reviews by Johanna Draper Carlson.  Includes reviews of individual comics issues and current series as well as graphic novels.
Mangamaniacs -- reviews of Japanese manga, and other manga information.
Graphic Novel Review -- an online magazine of graphic novel reviews.  The first issue, dated Sept. 2004, includes an interview with cartoonist Eddie Campbell.
TheFourthrail.com -- review site by Don MacPherson and Randy Lander, featuring their columns "Critiques on Infinite Earths" and "Snap Judgments".  Also see the Graphic Novel Starter Kit below.
Graphic Novel Starter Kit -- annotated Amazon.com list of 25 top recommended graphic novels by Randy Lander, writer of the "Snap Judgments" comics review column at TheFourthrail.com.
 

Comics awards:
Comic Book Awards Almanac -- a very handy compilation of comic book award nominees and winners, including the Eisner, Harvey, and Ignatz Awards, the Comics Buyers Guide Fan Awards, and others.
Harvey Awards -- named for famed cartoonist Harvey Kurtzman.  The site has complete lists of nominees and winners back to the award's creation in 1988.
 

General comics info:
Newsarama.com -- presented by Kevin Smith's View Askew, this is probably the most up-to-date comics news site.
Comicon.com Pulse -- another comics news site, courtesy of Mile High Comics.
CBR: Comic Book Resources -- features news, regular columns, a text version of Diamond Comic Distributors' Previews catalog, message boards, Scott McCloud's Zot! Online strip, and a huge database of comics web links.
 

Comic book companies with titles on my recommendations list:
www.dccomics.com -- DC Comics
www.marvel.com -- Marvel Comics
www.darkhorse.com -- Dark Horse Comics
www.crossgen.com -- CrossGen Comics
www.imagecomics.com -- Image Comics
www.archiecomics.com -- Archie Comics
www.fantagraphics.com -- Fantagraphics
www.viz.com -- Viz Communications
www.tokyopop.com -- Tokyopop
www.antarctic-press.com -- Antarctic Press

For other comics publishers, see Comic Book Publishers and Distributors on the Internet
 

Creators' official pages:
www.geocities.com/Athens/Olympus/6912/index.html -- Mark Crilley's Akiko
www.boneville.com -- Jeff Smith's Bone
www.divalea.com -- Lea Hernandez, creator of Cathedral Child and Clockwork Angels
www.jayhosler.com/clanapis.html -- Jay Holser's Clan Apis
www.elfquest.com -- Wendy & Richard Pini's Elfquest
www.megatokyo.com -- Fred Gallagher's Megatokyo online comic
www.theredstar.com -- Christian Gossett's The Red Star
www.glasswings.com.au/comics/t+k -- Mark Oakley's Thieves and Kings
www.usagiyojimbo.com -- Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo
 

Buying graphic novels (these listings are for information only, and do not constitute an endorsement by me):
Diamond Bookshelf -- Diamond Comic Distributors' page for schools and libraries, offering a discount and free shipping to them.
Comic Shop Locator -- Comics specialty stores are an excellent resource for librarians.  They can (and probably will) offer you knowledgeable advice, access to hard-to-find items, and discounts.  This page, also provided by Diamond, can help you find them -- just enter your ZIP code.
Graphic Novels at Brodart.com -- created by library distributor Brodart, this page includes "core lists" of recommended graphic novels, information on new titles, a short history of graphic novels, and other info.
 

Mailing list:
GNLIB-L: Graphic Novels in Libraries -- owned by Steve Miller (no, not THAT Steve Miller -- at least, I don't think so) and hosted by topica.com, this is a discussion list for librarians and other book-related professionals about problems and joys of getting comics and graphic novels into library collections. The above is a link to the topica site: Miller also has a website about the mailing list, GNLIB On the Web.  On the list, we discuss recommended titles, reviews in professional journals and major magazines, related stuff like Japanese animation, and all sorts of library-specific issues; commiserate about how all our Sailor Moon books keep falling apart; and generally try to help each other out.  And although many of us are named Steve, it's not a requirement for membership.  To join, just enter your e-mail address in the handy box below.

topica
 Join Graphic Novels! 

Several of the links on this page were recommended by members of this list -- in fact, several of these websites are maintained by, or are about, members of this list.  My thanks to all.
 

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