Posted by & filed under Diversity, Scholarship.

Captain Condom's Transformation. DPN #2,1991
Diseased Pariah News #2, 1991

The cover of DPN #2, 1991

At the Perspectives on Graphic Medicine panel discussion, I presented some preliminary research I’ve been doing on the visual culture of the early years of the AIDS epidemic, exploring how the HIV positive body is reproduced and represented in ephemera and popular culture. In my talk, I introduced Captain Condom, a serial comic that appeared in AIDS zine Diseased Pariah News from 1990-1999.

People living with AIDS resisted images of the dying body – typified by journalism student Therese Frare’s 1990 photo of gay activist David Kirby on his deathbed, surrounded by his grieving family – as the sole representation of themselves and their community. Zines – DIY, self-published and -circulated works – were one medium among many that the community used to assert a different image of themselves. Diseased Pariah News, a zine published in San Francisco from 1990 to 1999, sought to “bring some much-needed levity to the experience of HIV infection,” and also to reclaim the HIV positive body as an object of desire. To this end, DPN included the serial comic Captain Condom, along with centerfolds of HIV-positive men, meme-like slogans and images, recipes to help readers “Get Fat, Don’t Die,” and porn reviews that rated videos on how well they integrated condom use. Read more

Posted by & filed under Comics in the library.


Although some of you have gotten a preview of it on our Facebook page, this week marks the official debut of our new Comics Studies at UNT logo (now appearing in the top right corner of this blog)!  This logo was designed by Kaleb Privett, a junior Communication Design major at UNT and a student assistant in the Libraries’ External Relations department.  His overall goal as a communication designer is to create things that are artistic, helpful, and informative. 

We talked to Kaleb about his process in designing this logo, and here’s what he told us:

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Posted by & filed under A Closer Look, Reviews.

House of Penance #1 cover

This is a continuation of my previous post on the film Winchester (2018) and its earlier comic book adaptations. I want to take a look at a page from Peter J. Tomasi and Ian Bertram’s House of Penance (Dark Horse Comics, 2017) and think about how it brings together several elements of the real and speculative histories associated with the Winchester House, while also adding its own emotional and spiritual undercurrents.

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Posted by & filed under Comics in the news, Reviews.

Coming to theaters this Friday, February 2, is Winchester (2018), the new horror thriller by the Spiereg Brothers (Daybreakers, Jigsaw), starring Helen Mirren, Sarah Snook, and Jason Clarke.  It’s a film I’m excited to see, not only because it offers the incomparable Helen Mirren another juicy role in a genre she hasn’t explored much even in her diverse & distinguished career, but because the story itself is one that has haunted my imagination since I first encountered it in the pages of Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, over 30 years ago (more on that in a moment).

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Posted by & filed under Comics in the library.

If you’ve been standing in one place spinning in circles on the first floor of Willis Library looking for the Graphic Novels section, you’re not hallucinating, they really did move!

You can find them in their own section on the third floor of Willis. Just take the elevator (or the stairs if you’re feeling frisky) and you’ll find them front and center.

Graphic Novels display.

Graphic Novels section on 3rd Floor of Willis Library

We’re building up our graphic novels collection this semester, so look for those shelves to fill up!

Posted by & filed under Comics in the library.

UNT Comics Studies Conference Facebook Page


Comics studies at UNT dates back to at least 2011 when Dr. Shaun Treat, a Communications Studies faculty member, organized the first UNT Comic Studies Conference.   This was a scholarly and pedagogical conference devoted to, “broadly surveying the diverse disciplinary approaches to studying or using comics as a resource for education, criticism, or critical engagement with relevant social issues.” 

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Posted by & filed under Comics in the library, Scholarship.


The UNT Libraries has a number of resources for folks interested in studying comics for research, coursework, collecting, or plain old pleasure reading.  Below are a few places to get started.

These aren’t the only places you can find useful information, though, since every discipline may have its own approaches to comics as art, as literature, as a form of education, as digital media, as an industry,as  a social or cultural phenomena, etc.–so it may be worth looking at books or articles in those areas of study as well (consult with a subject librarian, if you aren’t sure where to begin). But these resources might be of special interest to comics scholars from a variety of disciplines.

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Posted by & filed under Comics in the library.

Poster for "Comics in the Library" Exhibit, April-August, 2017

Welcome to the brand new Comics Studies at UNT Blog. This blog is a project of the UNT Libraries, and will include contributions from across the Libraries’ divisions, as well as from faculty, students, and others in the UNT community who share an interest in comics studies.

We include under “comics studies” the scholarly or critical examination of comic books, comic strips, graphic novels, cartoons, animation, films, and other forms of graphic narrative or sequential art. This examination may, but doesn’t have to, conform to traditional modes of scholarly inquiry. We encourage alternate ways of thinking and writing about comics, including interviews, images, videos, or multimedia artwork.  Our scope is purposely broad in order to reflect the interests and range of disciplinary expertise in the comics studies community, as well as the scope of the collections and resources available at the UNT Libraries.

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