Graphic Novels and Comics: HOME


Cartoon "Pow!" explosion image

Welcome to the GVSU Libraries guide to Graphic Novels and Comics. On the pages tabbed above, you'll find recommended resources for your research area, including: 

Useful Resources



Banner of comics genres

There are a number of different types of comics within the comics medium. Below are some definitions for the most common types of comics but remember that, as comic creators continue to experiment with format, style, and content, these definitions will evolve.

  • Comic Strips  

Short, single or double-strips, traditionally appearing in American newspapers. Examples would include Peanuts or Calvin & Hobbes

  • Editorial Comics 

Also known "political cartoons," usually a single-panel with satirical bent, published commonly in news or critical publications such as The New Yorker (see The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists)

  • Comic Books 

Most commonly associated with American superhero comics, but includes other genres and artistic styles. These comics are generally published in thin, color periodicals. Examples include SupermanBatman, and Ms.Marvel

  • Graphic Novels 

These are typically longer and more book-like than the traditional American comic book. Graphic novels often deal with more mature themes and illustrations, covering a range of audiences, genres, and artistic styles. Examples include MausPersepolis, and Fun Home

  • Alternative Comics 

Also known as "independent," "underground," or "comix," alternative comics emerged in the 1960s as a response to the more clean-cut, mainstream superhero comics. They are typically independently published or self-published and cover a wide range of genres and artistic styles. Examples include Wimmen's ComixJimmy Corrigan, and Blankets

  • Mini-Comics/Ashcan Comics/Zines 

These creator-published comics are often photocopied and stapled together with handmade bindings. Visit The Tiny Report to see some examples

  • Manga 

Japanese comics intended for that cultural audience. Manga is generally published in longer, black-and-white magazines and read in the east-Asian style (right to left and starting from the "back" of the book). Some popular English translation manga include NarutoDeath Note, and Fruits Basket

  • Bande Dessinée 

Like manga, bande dessinée are comics intended for a cultural audience, specifically French-Belgium or French readers. Generally published as hard-cover albums, some popular English translation bande dessinee include TintinAsterix, and The Smurfs)

  • Web Comics 

Web comics are archived and available on the web. Installments are usually short and published regularly like a blog. Examples include Hark! A VagrantPenny Arcade, and Questionable Content

Liaison Librarian

Profile Photo
Mary Ruge
240 Mary Idema Pew Library
(616) 331-9145
  • Last Updated: Jul 11, 2024 3:39 PM
  • URL: