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Graphic Novels and Comic Books

Research guide for Graphic Novels and Comic Books

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Reference Sources

Wikipedia isn't your only shortcut to finding out salient information about your topic.  Sources like these scholarly encyclopedia sets below will, in a hurry, tell you enough about a topic to get you started.  More importantly, if they give you important facts about your topic, you can cite them.  AND the author of the entry will do your research for your- or at least get you started- by providing you with a bibliography.

Secondary Sources

To find secondary sources on your topic, beyond those you might find in a bibliography from an encyclopedia entry, use the library's catalog.

You might start with a keyword search.  For example, you might start with a simple keyword search on Harvey Pekar.

What you'll see here is a list of anything in our catalog with the words Harvey and Pekar somewhere in the record.  So there will be books and films by and about Harvey Pekar here.

You'll notice that many of the catalog entries you find will have Library of Congress Subject Headings.  Think of these descriptors as tags, or labels, for all of the materials in our collection.  You'll see that books about a person will have a subject heading with that person's name.  Searching with this tag will only return books about that person, not (usually) books by that person.

Some LC headings can be tricky to find.  Be general when you start.  So, for example, look for the subject heading Comic Books.

You'll see a long list of headings and subheadings.  The catalog even suggests other tags that might be useful to you too, under Related Subjects.

Some headings that are particularly useful when looking for secondary literature are:

Graphic Novels

Comic books, strips, etc. History and Criticism

Also, remember you can broaden your search at any time by clicking on the Search OhioLINK button at the top of the catalog page.

Or if you are looking for more information on ethnic groups in Cleveland, to tie in to a discussion of Harvey's work:

Cleveland (Ohio) - Ethnic relations


Another great resource for information about Cleveland is the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History.

Here is a long list of entries from the Encyclopedia about immigration and ethnic groups in Cleveland.


Other discipline-specific reference sources can be quite useful.  For example, if you want more information about Jewish immigrants to Cleveland, the Encyclopedia Judaica has an excellent entry.

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