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Graphic Novels, Comics, and Manga: Welcome

A guide to sources for graphic novel research at College of Coastal Georgia.


For many years, graphics-driven literature was not taken seriously, but there is "nothing hotter" in the book market today. The popularity of Japanese manga (graphic novel) and the "critical mass" of serious, graphic novels in the U.S., account for the surge in interest in graphic novels.

What is Graphic Novel?

Comics vs. Graphic Novels

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the First Amendment Rights of Comic Book Creators.


photo of boy reading a comic book

Graphic novels produced in the United States can generally be split into two different types: Superhero and Non-Superhero.

They are stories collected in book format that are told using art, usually in comic book or comic strip style.  Though the first graphic novels began appearing in the United States in the late 1970s and early-to-mid 1980s, the format did not break into the mainstream until the beginning of the 21st century when comic book publishers wished to begin to join manga publishers moving into the bookstore market.

What is Manga?

Illustration from manga

Manga are basically Japanese graphic novels usually available in the United States in English translation.The word manga has come today to be understood as refering to graphic novels, though its literal meaning is "whimsical pictures." In Japan, graphic novels or manga are a much more mainstream phenomenon than in the United States, comparible with the American equivalent of magazines and newspapers rather than comic books. In the last 15 years in particular, manga has made a tremendous splash into the American market, particularly into bookstores.



How to Read Manga

Manga is read from right to left, which is the opposite direction that American comics are read.  In manga, both the pages as well as the panels are read from right to left, as in the example below:

Reading Poll

Do you read graphic novels?

Reading Poll
Yes: 7 votes (87.5%)
No: 1 votes (12.5%)
No, but I'd like to start: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 8

Subject Guide

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