The Comic Arts Collection began in the 1970s with the donation of a modest comic book collection and the papers of richmond newspaper editorial cartoonist, Fred O. Seibel (1886 - 1968). Today, it comprises more than 175,000 items, including more than 125,000 comic books, of which 60,000 are available for research. in addition to comic books, the collection includes reference titles, journals, graphic novels, fanzines, original works of comic art, and the personal papers of notable figures in the comic arts. VCU Libraries is the repository for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards and provides access to thousands of publications that received or were nominated for the award.
The collection represents many artistic styles, literary genres, time periods, and subjects. It is one of the largest research collections of its kind in the country and also serves as a source of ideas and inspiration for the creative community.