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Underground and Independent Comics, Comix, and Graphic Novels
"Best Reference 2011" Winner! ‒Library Journal
“Stunning in quantity and in quality. . . a tour de force. . . It’s clear that the understanding of the genre behind the construction of this product is formidable. The file gets a ten-plus for content. . . An absolute must-have for libraries serving scholars and serious students of comic books and graphic novels.” ‒Library Journal
"Overall, this is an amazing collection of primary and secondary materials related to alternative comics. Summing up: Essential." ‒CHOICE
“The chance to have access to 100,000 pages of underground and new-wave comics in ways that were unimaginable a short time ago should change the face of comics research completely.” ‒James Danky, School of Journalism and Mass Communications, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Underground and Independent Comics is the first-ever scholarly online collection for researchers and students of adult comic books and graphic novels. Beginning with the works that inspired the first underground comix from the 1960s and encompassing modern sequential artists such as Dan Clowes and Los Bros. Hernandez, this resource shows the evolution and development of an art form. 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. This collection documents the entire spectrum of underground and independent North American and European comics and graphic novels and will contain 75,000 pages of original material from the 1950s to today along with more than 25,000 pages of interviews, commentary, theory, and criticism from journals, books, and magazines, including The Comics Journal.
Comics have become an increasingly popular area of academic study, and yet the typical library has only a small selection of graphic novels in the catalog. Underground and Independent Comics solves this problem, collecting thousands of comics—many extremely rare and hard to find—in one, easy-to-use online collection. Included are influential works of visionaries such as Basil Wolverton and Harvey Kurtzman, underground artists such as R. Crumb, Gilbert Shelton, Harvey Pekar, Spain Rodriguez, and Vaughn Bode, and modern masters such as Peter Bagge, Kim Deitch, and Dave Sim.
With multiple combinable search fields, users can find comics by material type, coloring, publication date, writer, penciler, inker, character, genre, and more. Scholarship never before possible is now just a few keystrokes away. Users easily can find answers to such queries as:
- Show me covers drawn by Skip Williamson between 1968-1978.
- Show me examples of African-American characters in works by Jaime Hernandez.
- Show me comics drawn and written by women during the 1970s.
- Find stories from American Splendor written by Harvey Pekar and drawn by R. Crumb.
- Find interviews with Alan Moore from 1985-1990.
Also included in this collection is The Seduction of the Innocent by Dr. Frederick Wertham—the book that led to one of the largest censorship programs in US history—and the complete transcripts of the senate subcommittee hearings that birthed the Comics Code Authority and, inadvertently, the underground comix movement.
ADVISORS AND CONTRIBUTORS
Karen Green: Karen is the Classics Librarian and Graphic Novels Selector at Columbia University. In addition to launching Columbia's impressive collection of comics and graphic novels, Karen writes a regular column for Comixology, called Comic Adventures in Academia.
Denis Kitchen: As a writer, cartoonist, editor, publisher, entrepreneur, and scholar, Denis has been involved in the underground comix movement since its birth. Through his publishing company Kitchen Sink Press, Denis has worked with virtually every artist to have produced underground comix since the 1960s. His most recent book, Underground Classics, is available from Abrams Comic Art. Denis can be reached at deniskitchen.com.
Jim Danky: Jim is the author/editor of dozens of books on topics as varied as African-American newspapers, women's publications, and the Native American Press. He is on the faculty of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also founded and directed the Center for the History of Print Culture in Modern America. Jim is the co-author of Underground Classics with Denis Kitchen.
Underground and Independent Comics, Comix, and Graphic Novels is available to libraries worldwide, through annual subscription or one-time purchase of perpetual rights, with prices scaled to library size and budget. Email sales [at] alexanderstreet [dot] com for trial access and pricing information.