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Comic Arts

Finding Comics in Print and Online

Bound Books

Books are arranged using the LC Call Number system and can be identified in the Library’s online catalog, OneSearch. Note the Call Numbers and Locations. Most of these books will be located in the Comics Corner (1st floor), Juvenile Collection (4th floor), or Special Collections (1st floor). Books in Special Collections must be used inside of the Special Collections Reading Room.

Single Issue "Floppy" Comic Books

Single Issue Comic Books (i.e. floppy comics) can be identified in the SDSU Comics Hub. These are located inside of Special Collections and must be used on-site.


Comics contained in our Zines and Mini Comics Collection can be identified in the Finding Aid (inventory list) for this collection. These comics are located inside of Special Collections and must be used on-site.

Library of Congress Subject Headings related to comics (this is not an exhaustive list):

Animation (Cinematography)
Comic art paraphernalia
Comic book covers
Comic book fans
Comic books and children
Comic books, strips, etc
Comic strip characters
Detective and mystery comic books, strips, etc
Erotic comic books, strips, etc
Fantasy comic books, strips, etc
Graphic novels
Horror comic books, strips, etc
Newspapers Sections, columns, etc. Comics
Romance comic books, strips, etc
Science fiction comic books, strips, etc
Underground comic books, strips, etc
Western comic books, strips, etc

Subscription Databases (Remote access limited to SDSU students, staff and faculty)
E-Books at SDSU and at the Public Library
Internet Resources

The SDSU Library subscribes to the historic New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Chicago Defender. They all use the same database searching platform, ProQuest. Search Tips:

  • If you need newspaper comics from a specific date or date range, change the drop-down under Publication Date.
  • Under Document Type, check the box for Comic. 
  • You can leave the keyword search fields blank and use the tips above to search all comics, or, you can enter specific titles of a comic strip. 

New York Times 1851 - 2014

Los Angeles Times 1881-1993

Chicago Defender 1909-1975

These entries describe historical primary source collections available for research in Special Collections at the SDSU Library. Special Collections houses unique archival and manuscript collections, rare books and manuscripts, and graphic/ephemera collections.

Comics and Magazines
J. Gordon Melton Vampire Collection

Image of vampire comic books

Dr. J. Gordon Melton is a Distinguished Professor of American Religious History at Baylor University’s Institute for Studies in Religion in Waco, Texas. In 1968 he founded the Institute for the Study of American Religion. Dr. Melton is a pioneering scholar in the field of New Religious Studies and helped to create the sub-discipline. An advocate of religious freedom, Melton’s research often focuses on new and alternative religions, Western Esotericism (more commonly known as occultism), parapsychology, New Age, and Dracula and vampire studies, for which he explores the historical, literary, mythological, biographical, and popular aspects of vampirism. 

Melton amassed what is believed to be the largest collection of books in English, both fiction and nonfiction, related to vampires in the world. The major competing collection has since been auctioned off in pieces. Melton is in the process of gifting his entire collection to SDSU in a multi-year donation. To date, we have acquired his vast collection of vampire comics, which includes more than 10,000 issues of twentieth-century English-language titles (including Canadian, Australian, and British titles) primarily covering the years 1960 through 1999. The collection includes complete publication runs of titles from some of the longest-running vampire-oriented English language comics, such as the original Vampirella series, the original Tomb of Dracula series, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which also includes a number of French language editions. A regular attendee at San Diego Comic-Con for over two decades, Melton systematically attempted to get the comics signed by writers and artists. Many of the Tomb of Dracula comics are, for example, signed by the now deceased artist Gene Colan and by writer Marv Wolfman. Some of the Vampirella issues are also signed by the models who posed as Vampirella. 

In addition to the near-complete collection of English language vampire-related comics, Melton’s collection includes titles in Italian, French, Spanish, German, Swedish and also English language translations of Japanese manga. Highlights in the foreign language collection include an autographed Italian edition of Dracula drawn by the late artist Crepex and one of the very few complete collections of the longest running vampire-oriented comic book ever issued, entitled Jacula, an Italian comic or fumetti.

Find these comics in our floppy comics collection and in our Library Catalog.

Manuscript and Archival Collections
Edward Gorey Personal Library

Edward Gorey’s Personal Library is part of the Special Collections at San Diego State University Library. Gorey collected illustrated wit, humor, nonsense, and comics produced from the 1700s up until his death in 2000. These books’ influence appear in his work. 

To search this special collection for comic art is easy. Simply go to the library’s catalog at and do a word search for Edward Gorey Personal Library. Next, modify your search by adding any or all of the following words: comic, nonsense, strip, humor. The search string would be: (Edward Gorey Personal Library) and (comic or nonsense or humor or strip). Or try other words of interest to modify your search and see what is in the library. 

Since newly-cataloged titles are always being added to the collection, you can use the link in this guide's title to generate a real-time list of results using the search string described above. If you need further assistance, please contact: Linda Salem, Librarian for the Edward Gorey Personal Library.

Golden Age of Anime: This large collection is currently being cataloged and will be available soon. 
For SDSU multimedia holdings, search our Media collection

The following Library of Congress subject headings are a sampling of how you may find items in the Media Collection.
Search the catalog for 'Comic books, strips, etc' and use the limits on the left to limit by resource type (DVD, etc) 
Superhero films -- United States 
Batman films -- United States 
Superman films 
Animated films 
Machinima films 
Animation (Cinematography) 
Science fiction films 
Alien films 
Star Trek films 
Star Wars films 
Dystopian films 
Horror films