Underground and Independent Comics

Underground and Independent Comics, Comix, and Graphic Novels is the first-ever scholarly online collection for researchers and students of adult comic books and graphic novels. This multi-part resource covers the full spectrum of this visual art form, from pre-comics code era works to modern sequential releases from artists the world over.

From the shocking and explicit work of young artists exploring newfound freedoms to intricate and beautiful designs of aesthetic craftsmanship, the comic book has shown itself to be a medium capable of both the offensive and the sublime. Users can experience the full range of this offbeat art form by exploring 100,000 pages of original material alongside interviews, commentary, criticism, and other supporting materials.

Please note that the content in this collection is suitable for adults.

This collection is available to Queenstown Lakes District Library members only. All you need is your library card and pin/password!

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A bit more about Underground and Independent Comics, Comix, and Graphic Novels: Volume II

The second volume expands on the debut database by offering an additional 100,000 pages of important, rare, and hard-to-find works, scholarly writings, and more.

Volume II adds extensive coverage of the pre-Comics Code era horror, crime, romance, and war comics that fuelled the backlash leading to one of the largest censorship campaigns in US history. Selections include works by visionaries such as Alex Toth, Boody Rogers, Fletcher Hanks, Steve Ditko, Joe Kubert, Bill Everett, Joe Simon, and Jack Kirby, along with essential series such as Crime Does Not Pay and Mister Mystery, and many others both famous and infamous.

Volume II also contains tens of thousands of pages of non-mainstream, post-code comics and secondary materials from around the world, including the US, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, England, Sweden, Norway, Australia, Korea, Japan, and more. Notable titles include:

  • Essex County by Jeff Lemire (Canada, Top Shelf)
  • The Adventures of Hugo Tate by Nick Abadzis (UK, Blank Slate)
  • From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell (UK, Top Shelf)
  • 120 Days of Simon by  Simon Gardenfors (Sweden, Top Shelf)
  • Gen Manhwa by various artists (South Korea, GEN)
  • Lucille by Ludovic Debeurme (France, Top Shelf)
  • Werewolves of Montpellier by Jason (Norway, Fantagraphics)
  • Tango by various artists (Australia, Cardigan Comics)
  • God of Comics: Osamu Tezuka and the Creation of Post-World War II Manga  (University Press of Mississippi)
  • Drawn and Dangerous: Italian Comics of the 1970s and 1980s (University Press of Mississippi)
  • Komiks: Comic Art in Russia (University Press of Mississippi)

Ancillary materials within Volume II render the collection ideal for students and researchers seeking a holistic perspective on the historical role of underground comics. Dozens of associated scholarly writings and commentaries add perspective and enrich understanding of the works and their cultural significance.