As of this Summer 2023, “Comics Studies” is now an official subject area in the UNT Libraries Public Services division, and John Martin has been designated as the subject librarian for comics studies. In addition to providing research, reference, and instructional support for patrons and courses at UNT, subject librarians help with collection development, resource creation, programming, and outreach related to their areas. 

Being an official subject area also means we’re eligible for periodic collection enhancements, just like other disciplinary fields. The Libraries has previously done enhancements to our graphic novels and graphic medicine collections, but this year, we’re going to be doing a mini-enhancement to our Comics Studies collection, more broadly, including scholarship, history, reference, media, and other non-graphic novel materials.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be sending out a brief form to solicit recommendations for new comics studies materials that you all feel would be worth having in the collection. If there are newer books, films, databases, or archival collections that you’d like us to consider, please fill out that form. It will be posted on this blog and on our Comics Studies Guide (see below). We can’t guarantee that we’ll order everything recommended, but we’ll consider all suggestions.

We already have quite a bit of comics studies materials in the collection, as well as a Comics Studies Guide, a Government Comics Guide, a Queer Comics Guide, and a number of databases that contain comics-related resources. We’ve also done a previous blog post with some stratgies for “Researching Comics at UNT Libraries.” 

Recently, we also acquired The World of Archie Comics Archive (Alexander Street), which contains over 100 titles and almost 7500 documents dating back to the 1940s related to Archie comics and other media.  UNT users can access the database using their EUID and password. If you aren’t a UNT faculty, student, or staff member, you can still use this database on one of our library computers at Willis Library. In the meantime, you can see a description and preview of the database on the Alexander Street website. 

The World of Archie Comics description page from the Alexander Street website featuring an overview of the collection and some selected images from Archie comics.

And if that whets your appetite, you can check out other Archie comics materials in the UNT Library catalog. We have over a hundred items in our collection related to Archie comics, including many of the newer titles and the Archie Horror titles like Afterlife with Archie, Jughead: The Hunger, Vampironica, and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

Stay tuned for more news about our comics collections, events, and programming in the coming year. And don’t forget about the upcoming Comics Studies Society annual conference, being held at UNT, July 27-29th, 2023. There’s still time to register!

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