Recommended texts and texts about comics, and comics in education. I frequently add to it and reorganize it as I come across new texts. Feel free to send me recommendations. – Nick

Comics in the Classroom

Bakis, Maureen. The graphic novel classroom.
Barry, L. (2010). Picture this: The near-sighted monkey book.
Barry, L. Syllabus.
Bitz, M. When commas meet kryptonite.
Carter, J.B. Building Literacy Connections with Graphic Novels.
Stowell, Bradley, Cameron, etc. Usborne Write and Draw Your Own Comics (a review by 12 year old)
Eisner, W. Comics and sequential art.
Groensteen, T. (2007). The system of comics. (B. Beaty & N. Nguyen, Trans.).
Madden, M. & Abel, J. Drawing words and writing pictures.
McCloud, S. (1993). Understanding comics.
McCloud, S. (2006). Making comics.
Monnin, K. Teaching graphic novels
Ayers, W., & Alexander-Tanner, R. (2010). To teach: The journey in comics.

Young Readers
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Gotham Academy
Raina Telgemeier Smile, Drama, etc…
The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks
Wildwood Chronicles by Colin Meloy
Bera the One-Headed Troll
Anya’s Ghost
Baba Yaga’s Assistant by Marika McCoola & Emily Carroll
Owly by Andy Runton
Delilah Dirk by Tony Cliff

Comic Studies

Smith & Duncan Secret Origins of Comics Studies Routledge
Retcon Games: Retroactive Continuity and the Hyperlinking of America
by Andrew Friedenthal
Superwomen: Gender, Power, and Representation
by Carolyn Cocca
Superman: Persistence of an American Icon by Ian Gordon (video intro)
Jess Nevins The Evolution of the Costumed Avenger: The 4,000-Year History of the Superhero
J Andrew Deman’s The Margins of Comics (2015)
Comic Book Literacy Film:
Carter, B. (2007). Transforming English with Graphic Novels: Moving toward Our “Optimus Prime”
Ujiie, J., and Krashen, S.D. (1996). Comic Book Reading, Reading Enjoyment, and Pleasure Reading Among.
Understanding Rhetoric: A graphic guide to writing by Liz Losh, Jonathan Alexander, Kevin Cannon, Zander Cannon
Kent Worcester  ‘Silent Agitators: Cartoon Art From the Pages of New Politics’

Multicultural Comics: From Zap to Blue Beetle by Frederick Luis Aldama.
Review of Multicultural Comics by Orion Kidder
Watchmen as Literature by Sarah J. Van Ness
V for Vendetta as Cultural Pastiche by James R. Keller
Sexual Ideology in the Works of Alan Moore Edited by Comer and Sommers
Postcolonial Comics: Texts, Events, Identities 
edited by Mehta & Mukherji
Linguistics & the Study of Comics – ed. by Frank Bramlett
Visualizing Jewish Narrative: Jewish Comics and Graphic Novels ed. by Derek Parker Royal
Kate Parker Ethics in the Gutter: Empathy and Historical Fiction in Comics – Ohio State Press

‘Arts of time and space’: The perspectives of a teenage audience on reading novels and graphic novels by Shari Sabeti in Participations/Journal of Audience & Reception Studies

Reading and Teaching Graphic Narratives by Lan Dong

Perspectives of teenagers reading graphic novels (Article) Shari Sabeti

Canadian Graphic: Picturing Life Narratives edited by Candida Rifkind & Linda Warley, Wilfrid Laurier University Press 2016

Gertz, T, Clarke, L (illus). Abina and the Important Men: A Graphic History.
Walker & Oliviera When the River Rises (on Katrina) review
Essays on Representations in Comics, Literature, Films, and Theatre’ McFarland Press.
Health Care Reform explained in Graphic Novel Form – by Jonathan GruberCritical Survey of Graphic Novels: Heroes and Superheroes – by Bart Beatty & Stephen Weiner
The Daniel Clowes Reader edited by Ken Parille – pdf book overview
Barbara Postema Narrative Structure in Comics: Making Sense of Fragments, explains how comics create meaning for readers by cleverly combining still images with text.Interview w/Rob Weiner & Carrye Kay Syma on their book Graphic Novels in the Classroom – from SciFi Pulse
Review of Hillary Chute’s “Outside the Box”: Interviews with Contemporary cartoonists – by Seamus O’Malley
Heroines of comic books & literature: portrayals in popular culture by Bajac-Carter, Jones, & Batchelor.
COMICS: A Global History, 1968 to the Present Dan Mazur and Alexander Danner (2014)
Harriet Earle Comics, Trauma and the New Art of War Mississippi U Press
Hillary Chute Disaster Drawn Harvard U Press


Kid Lit
Little Lit – imprint by Spiegelman & Mouly
Power Lunch by Dean & Trippe
Jeff Smith’s Bone Series – by Scholastic
Comics for Kids reading list – on Stowell’s Cosmology

Recommended Reading and Review Sites
Stergios Botzakis’s Graphic Novel Resources – a blog of reviews and more for this U of Tennessee comics professor
Sara Smith’s The Graphic Library – school graphic novel librarian reviews
Reviews & Study Guides at Good Ok Bad – very useful
Good OK Bad’s Recommended graphic novels for kids – great list
Good OK Bad’s great comics for kids – excellent list
List of comics for six year olds – by Neill Cameron
A visual list of comics for children – Forbidden Planet Blog
Graphic Novel Reporter – reviews of essential Graphic Novels
The Graphic Novelologist – comics reviews from perspective of a 12 year old
Peter Guiterrez’s Recommended Comics for Schools – on Connect the Pop
Paul Gravett’s site 1001 comics to read – extension of his book
List of Graphic Novels in the College Classroom – recommendations by profs in the academy
Librarians love graphic novels – YA comics reading lists – from the Beat
Allen Rubinstein’s Comics Juice – mammoth listings for recommended graphic novel reading
Recommended comics dealing with Religion and spirituality – from Comics Juice
Review of comic in comics form – by Ryan Claytor

Graphic novel guides for libraries:
Cornog, Martha & Timothy Perper (ed.): Graphic Novels Beyond the Basics. Insights and Issues for Libraries. 2009.
Matz, Chris: “Collecting comic books for an academic library.” In: Collection Building 23 (2004), pp 96-99. (
Pawuk, Michael: Graphic Novels: A Genre Guide to Comic Books, Manga, and More. (Genreflecting Advisory Series.) Santa Barbara: Libraries Unlimited, 2006.
The Reader’s Advisory Guide to Graphic Novels, Francisca Goldsmith
Comic Book Collections for Librarians, by Brian and Jody Fagan
The Librarians’ Guide to Graphic Novels for Children and Tweens, by David Serchay (there’s also one for Adults by this author)
Robert G. Weiner’s (2010) Graphic Novels and Comics in Libraries and Archives. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company Inc
500 Essential Graphic Novels: The Ultimate guide, Gene Kannenberg Jr.
Graphic novels now: building, managing, and marketing a dynamic collection, Francisca Goldsmith
The Rough Guide to Graphic Novels, Danny Fingeroth
Stephen Weiner The 101 Best Graphic NovelsTransnational Perspectives on Graphic Narratives ed. by Stein, Denson, & MeyerFrom Comic Strips to Graphic Novels: Contributions to the Theory and History of Graphic Narrative*, edited by Jan-Noël Thon and Daniel Stein:
The Superhero Reader, Jeet Heer, Kent Worcester and Charles Hatfield, UP of Mississippi.

TOC Digital comics Journal issue – MeCCSA

Books I happen to like & teach frequently

Drooker, E. Flood.
Eisner, W. Dropsie avenue: The neighborhood.
Fleming, A.M. The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam.
Gaiman, N. The Sandman.
Guibert/Lefevre. The photographer.
Kuper, P. The system.
Mazzucchelli, D. Asterios Polyp.
Mazzucchelli, D., & Karasik. Paul Auster’s City of glass.
McKean, D. Cages.
Moore, A., & Gibbons, D. (1987). Watchmen.
Moore, A., & Lloyd, D. V for vendetta.
Neufeld, J. (2009). A.D. New Orleans after the deluge. New York: Pantheon Books.
Ottaviani, J., etc. Fallout, and other titles
Ottaviani, Cannon/Cannon. T-minus: The race to the moon.
Pekar, H. & Haspiel, D. The quitter.
Pekar, H., & various. American splendor.
Sacco, J. Palestine.
Satrapi, M. Persepolis.
Small, D. Stitches.
Spiegelman, A. (1997). Maus: A survivor’s tale.
Talbot, B. Alice in Sunderland.
Tan, S. The arrival.
Thompson, C. Blankets.
Ware, Chris. (2000). Jimmy Corrigan: The smartest kid on earth.

Visual Resources
Arnheim, R. (1997, 1969). Visual thinking. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Bosman, J. (October 8, 2010). Picture books no longer a staple for children. The New York Times (online).
Retrieved from
Chute, H. (2009). History and graphic representation in Maus. In J. Heer & K. Worcester (Eds.), A comics studies reader (340-362). Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi.
Harvey, R.C. (1979). The aesthetics of the comic strip. The Journal of Popular Culture, XII, 640-652.
Lewis, D. (2001). Reading contemporary picturebooks: Picturing text.
Root-Bernstein, R.S. (1985). Visual thinking: The art of imagining reality. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, New Series, 75(6), 50-67.
Sundstrom, L. (April 13, 2011). A scroll to the editor: We love to read! The New York Times (online). Retrieved from

2018 Scholarly Books on Comics

  1. Winge, Therèsa M.. Costuming Cosplay: Dressing the Imagination.
  2. Baetens, Jan; Frey, Hugo; Tabachnick, Stephen E.. The Cambridge History of the Graphic Novel.
  3. Nayar, Pramod K.; West-Pavlov, Russell. The Global South and Literature.
  4. Crawshaw, Trisha L.; Segal, Marcia Texler; Demos, Vasilikie. Gender and the Media: Women’s Places.
  5. Groth, Gary. Sparring With Gil Kane: Debating The History and Aesthetics of Comics.
  6. Schatz, J. L.; Parson, Sean. Superheroes and Critical Animal Studies: The Heroic Beasts of Total Liberation.
  7. Chambliss, Julian C.; Svitavsky, William; Fandino, Daniel. Assembling the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Essays on the Social, Cultural and Geopolitical Domains
  8. Limb, Peter; Olaniyan, Tejumola. Taking African Cartoons Seriously: Politics, Satire, and Culture.
  9. Streeten, Nicola; Tate, Cath. The Inking Woman: 250 years of Women Cartoon and Comic Artists in Britain.
  10. Campbell, Eddie. The Goat-Getters: Jack Johnson, the Fight of the Century, and How a Bunch of Raucous Cartoonists Reinvented Comics.
  11. Kashtan, Aaron. Between Pen and Pixel: Comics, Materiality, and the Book of the Future.
  12. Ahmed, Maaheen; Crucifix, Benoît. Comics and Memory: Archives and Styles.
  13. Varughese, Dawson E.. Visuality and Identity in Post-millennial Indian Graphic Narratives.
  14. Aldama, Frederick Luis. Comics Studies Here and Now.
  15. Bevin, Phillip. Superman and Comic Book Brand Continuity.
  16. Bramlett, Frank; Werner, Valentin. The Language of Pop Culture.
  17. Dunst, Alexander; Laubrock, Jochen; Wildfeuer, Janina. Empirical Comics Research: Digital, Multimodal, and Cognitive Methods.
  18. Giddens, Thomas. On Comics and Legal Aesthetics: Multimodality and the Haunted Mask of Knowing.
  19. Vanderlippe, John; Batur, Pinar; Piela, Anna. Islam and Popular Culture.
  20. Davis, Blair. Comic Book Movies.
  21. Prorokova, Tatiana; Tal, Nimrod. Cultures of War in Graphic Novels: Violence, Trauma, and Memory.
  22. Saguisag, Lara. Incorrigibles and Innocents: Constructing Childhood and Citizenship in Progressive Era Comics.
  23. Giebel, Michael; Batzke, Ina; Erbacher, Eric C.; Heß, Linda M.; Lenhardt, Corinna. Exploring the Fantastic. Genre, Ideology, and Popular Culture.
  24. Bolton, Christopher. Interpreting Anime.
  25. DiPaolo, Marc. Working-Class Comic Book Heroes: Class Conflict and Populist Politics in Comics.
  26. Gamzou, Assaf; Koltun-Fromm, Ken. Comics and Sacred Texts: Reimagining Religion and Graphic Narratives
  27. McSweeney, Terence. Avengers Assemble!: Critical Perspectives on the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  28. Stein, Daniel; Kelleter, Frank; Starre, Alexander. Projecting American Studies. Essays on Theory, Method, and Practice.