Comic Arts Collection
The VCU Libraries' Comic Arts Collection, housed in Special Collections and Archives, consists of over 100,000 items, including over 40,000 comic books along with graphic novels, editorial cartoons, comic strips, memorabilia, comic journals, fanzines and a broad array of reference materials. In addition to the growing, comprehensive collections for the study of comic arts, VCU Libraries is the repository for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards Archives.
Comic Arts Research Guide. This is a guide on how to use the collection
and Includes links to Comic Arts Resources.
The Comic Arts Collection began in the 1970s with the donation of a modest comic book collection and the papers of a noted Richmond newspaper editorial cartoonist. The collection then grew with the help of numerous donors - especially that of Dr. M. Thomas Inge, an expert on the history of popular culture and the comic arts. For over 30 years, Dr. Inge has donated time and resources to the advancement of the collection.
Today, the collection includes over 40,000 comic books dating primarily from the 1960s through today (though we have many before 1960 as well); the papers and drawings of two Richmond political cartoonists and several other related manuscript collections; an extensive collection of reference journals, books and other resources donated by Dr. M. Thomas Inge; and a growing collection of reference books supporting the study of all areas of the comic arts.
NEW Resource - From VCU Libraries' Digital Collections - An online version of The Newlyweds and Their Baby (1907), published by New York World, is an example of an early hardcover comic book with heavy glossy paper and color printing. The library’s copy is inscribed by McManus with a sketch of baby Snookums.
The Newlyweds was the first American family newspaper strip. Created in 1904 by George McManus and published in New York World, the strip centered around an elegant young couple. Baby Snookums was introduced in 1907 to round out the family unit. The strip proved to be so popular that a rival newspaper, The New York American, invited McManus to join their paper. He continued The Newlyweds strip under the name Their Only Child since creators were allowed to take their characters with them if they changed the name of the strip.
- M. Thomas Inge Collection of Comic Arts Reference Periodicals. Collection contains just nearly 1,000 titles of periodicals and fanzines. Also available online is the guide to the M. Thomas Inge Papers.
- PS Magazine, the Preventive Maintenance Monthly Collection - is part of VCU Libraries Digital Collections. An Army publication on preventive maintenance would hardly be a common choice when deciding what materials to digitize and make available to a wider audience. But most Army publications aren't filled with the incomparable art work of the late Will Eisner (1917-2005).
- Dr. William E. Blake Jr. Collection of True Life Comics, 1940s. Dr. William E. Blake Jr. began collecting these types of comic books as a young teenager growing up in Richmond. The collection includes over 300 comic books and other memorabilia from the Golden Age of Comics. This site includes a listing of the comics and other items in the collection, a history of True Life comics written by Dr. Blake, and images of items from the collection.
- Fred O. Seibel Online Exhibit. From the papers of Fred O. Seibel, noted editorial cartoonist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
- NEW - Charles Henry "Bill" Sykes (1882-1942) Editorial Cartoon Collection. In 1914, Sykes became the first and only editorial cartoonist employed by the Philadelphia Evening Ledger (the paper folded in 1942). The collection consists of 298 original editorial cartoons and three unfinished sketches. The collection also contains a U.S. War Bond poster and a U. S. Victory poster both designed and drawn by Sykes. The cartoons illustrate the events of the early 1940s -- many of which represent the American reaction to the aggressions of the Axis powers before the U.S. entry into World War II.
- Comic Arts Research Guide. This is a guide on how to use the collection and Includes links to Comic Arts Resources.
- Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards Archives. This collection is housed in Special Collections and Archives.
- Underground and independent comics, comix, and graphic novels is the first-ever scholarly online collection for researchers and students of adult comic books and graphic novels.
- VCU TV/HD's documentary about the collection called VCU Comics.
- With over 75,000 pages of original material from the 1960s to today, along with more than 25,000 pages of interviews, commentary, theory, and criticism from journals, books, and magazines, Underground and independent comics, comix, and graphic novels is the first-ever scholarly online collection for researchers and students of adult comic books and graphic novels. The comic book has shown itself to be a medium capable of both the offensive and the sublime. This collection documents the entire spectrum of underground and independent North American and European comics and graphic novels. It provides researchers with tools to understand the wealth of material held in the VCU Libraries Special Collections at Cabell Library and its renowned Comic Arts Collection.