Saving the Day: Accessing Comics in the 21st Century  (Roundtable)


Cultural Studies and Media Studies / Pedagogy & Professional

Carl Sell (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)

Even more so than past generations, our students are especially responsive to superheroes, but what are the best ways to bring this material into the classroom to illustrate both where the comics are today and where they’ve come from? In response to these questions, this session will introduce and instruct participants in the use of various online tools (such as comics companies’ websites, comics sellers’ store sites, databases of comics, fan wikias, and repositories) to successfully find and access comics and information about them of value to our teaching and research. This objective is especially vital, as resources like the Grand Comics Database and its various search options, can be invaluable when looking for resources (particularly when paired with repositories of comics, like Comic Book +, comiXology, DC Universe, and Marvel Unlimited). Furthermore, instruction on the various forms of the comiXology, DC Universe, and Marvel Unlimited platforms are of great importance as they stand to revolutionize access to and distribution of comics in the 21st century by providing affordable digital editions of books from all eras of the medium’s history. Additionally, fans of the comics have produced important resources essential in any quest to track and understand the larger contexts involved in how comics have developed and their characters evolved; these include various wikis devoted to specific publishers (like the DC Database and the Marvel Database) and sites like The Appendix to the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. Finally, Comics Studies is a thriving field of scholarship with many print and online resources available. Unfortunately, all of these new resources appear foreign to most educators. We hope that this session will change that and promote a greater awareness of the resources available to successfully integrate comics into our academic lives.

This session will introduce and instruct participants in the use of various online tools to successfully find and access comics and information about them of value to our teaching and research.