This guide provides information about graphic novels in AU Library's juvenile and general circulating collections.
About this Guide: Use the tabs located at the top of this page to move between topics. Some tabs, such as the Database Resources tab, include a drop down menus with further details about the topic.
About the topics: Each tab contains information about a particular topic.
About this page: There are two additional sections of this welcome page providing information about graphic novels and shortcuts to locating them by subject. Choose one to explore further.
There are many definitions of graphic novels available. Arguments have been made for calling them comic books, art forms, genre, format, and illustrative storytelling forms.
Graphic novels are a "format and not a genre. A genre refers to content, specifically the style or subject of the writing, such as mystery, romance, or science fiction" (Karp, p.3).
Graphic novels may also include "a collection of comic strips about a common set of characters; a collection of comic book-length stories (that is, thirty-two-page-stories) brought together in a longer narrative; and single sustained storytelling effort " (Pendergast, p.xv).
Graphic novel is a term originated by Will Eisner to describe his book to a publisher. "Eisner's term was meant to distinguish serious works told in the comic book format from collections of humorous comic strips" (Crawford, p.1).
Crawford, P.C. (2003). Graphic novels 101: Selecting and using graphic novels to promote literacy for children and young adults. Salt Lake City, UT: Hi Willow Research & Publication.
Karp, J. (2012). Graphic Novels in your school library. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.
Pendergast, S. & Pendergast, T. (2007). U-X-L graphic novelists. (S. Hermsen, Ed.). Detroit: U-X-L/Thompson Gale.
Keyword searching and use of Library of Congress subject headings are two ways to locate graphic novels.
Graphic Novels: Keyword Search
It is possible to locate graphic novels using a simple keyword search: graphic novels.
Graphic Novels: LC Subject
Here is a sampling of Library of Congress subject headings for Graphic Novels and Comic Books, Strips, Etc. These reflect graphic novels as a format, not a topic or genre.
|Graphic Novels||Comic Books, Strips, Etc.|
|Graphic Novels||Comic Books, Strips, Etc|
|Graphic Novels Bibliography||Comic Strip Characters|
|Graphic Novels History & Criticism||Fantasy Comic Books Strips|
|Graphic Novels in Education||Horror Comic Books Strips|
|Graphic Novels United States||Science Fiction Comic Books Strips|