This is part 2 of my blog series on “Developing Graphic Novel, Manga, & Comic Collections.” You can find part 1 linked directly below. Part 1 focuses on graphic novel and manga collection development. Part 1 also provides some good introduction/overview of terminology when it comes to the difference between graphic novels/manga/comic books. A good starting place for fellow newbies.
Table of Contents
- Table of Contents
- First, A Thank you!
- Getting Started with Comic Books
- Understanding how Comic Books are Organized & Published
- Age Group Specific Collection Development
- But Which Titles Should You Get?
- Organizing the Collection
- Cataloging the Comics
- More Helpful Resources
First, A Thank you!
Massive thanks to the following librarians for their copious and gracious help: Matthew Murray, Alex Brown, Philip Krogmeier, and Matthew Noe. They were invaluable to my learning in this new-to-me book format, answering my many questions, ponderings, and brainstorming, and sharing their expertise, knowledge, and experience with a generosity of spirit that awes me.
There were many others who graciously helped me as well, and for everyone who has shared their experiences, ideas, and knowledge, I am deeply appreciative!
Getting Started with Comic Books
In 7 years of school librarianship, with all 7 of those years involving truly significant collection development efforts across all formats, genres, mediums, etc, I can seriously say that I found developing a comic book collection to be the most complex and confusing collection to develop….at first!
As a person who had never previously read comic books (I have now lol), either as a kid or an adult, I was completely new to the format, and I really and truly struggled to understand the format (in terms of how the stories are published and organized) well enough to even know how to start developing a collection. So this has been a journey of intensive learning for me, and I’m going to do my best to lay my learning out here in hopes it may help other comic book newbies! This post is going to be thorough as I’m hoping to make this a helpful “one stop shop” for beginners to get what they need in order to embark on comic book collection development projects with a sense of confidence.
A quick anecdote to help set the stage for what started me on this journey of learning:
A few years ago, when I first began adding a Comics collection to our library, I started with mostly graphic novels, but also had a few comic books and manga thrown in. I essentially haphazardly selected a few of the more famous comic books to include, choosing a few of the most generally recognizable super heroes, like Superman and Batman. I had no understanding about comic book runs or “arcs,” and didn’t really comprehend the sheer scope of just how many different series/storylines/runs/arcs exist out there for these heroes… literally decades worth.
So I made a few mistakes, but didn’t realize the mistakes until a student came up to me a year or two ago to gently tell me that the three Teen Titan comic books I had in the collection, which were labeled #1, #2, & #3, were not from the same “series,” and were in fact book #1 of one series, book #2 of a different series, and book #3 of yet a different series! I had gotten confused because they all seemed to have the same title of “Teen Titans.” I did not realize that there are different series that look to have the same title! But I now know this is pretty common in comic book world, and it means collection development gets tricky and that you have to pay close attention to details beyond the title, looking to match artist/author and dates. The mistake I made was buying one volume from 3 different similarly named series, and cataloging them as if they were consecutive volumes of a single series. It would be like having only book #1 of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson, book #2 of Riordan’s Trials of Apollo series, and book #3 of Riordan’s Magnus Chase series, and having them together as if they were 1, 2, 3 of the same series, while also not having any of the other books from each series. Oops!
I was embarrassed and felt bad, because this student had been hoping to read any Teen Titan series, but couldn’t because I had developed a collection without having done my due diligence and research to ensure I had enough expertise to do it well. This was a big learning moment for me, as a librarian. I take my professional responsibilities very seriously, and collection development is something I prioritize, because doing it right means increasing access to needed resources, and that is incredibly important. I knew in this moment that I had messed up, and while not a life-or-death kind of mistake, it was a blunder that should not have happened, because I should have taken the initiative to familiarize myself more with this format at the time I began developing the collection. This is what sparked my decision to spend the last year or so doing a deep dive into comic books as a format, and trying to understand them better. Throughout this school year I used my new knowledge to build a dynamite comic book collection at our library! Here are some of the things I learned along the way!
Understanding how Comic Books are Organized & Published
One of the first things I realized I needed to understand better was exactly how comic books are published and organized. When I tried googling things like “what order to read Teen Titan comics” I quickly fell down a confusing rabbit hole and soon found that comic books are not very well organized from a library-cataloging standpoint, and due to the sometimes overwhelming number of series, reboots, republishing, changing authors and artists, and more, keeping track of things is difficult. Its considered difficult, apparently, even among serious comic book aficionados and there doesn’t seem to be any super great, freely available online database available with truly accurate and helpful organization guides. Because of the scope and complexity of the comic book industry, having a good grasp of common terminology, pitfalls, and publishing trends will help librarians approach collection development of comic books with confidence and success.
#1 – The Publishers
- There are many comic book publishers, and each publisher can sometimes be “known” for certain types of comic books. Having some familiarity with the major players in the industry can be helpful for collection development. This is not a comprehensive list of all comic book publishers, but it is a list of the main ones I’ve encountered in my learning journey, and I’m including some of the notes I have about their specialties and the helpfulness of their websites to collection development efforts.
- A well known comic book powerhouse, D.C. has produced some of the worlds most famous and well-loved superheroes, including one of the most famous librarian characters in media, Dr. Gordon/Batgirl! D.C. comics serve a range of audiences, from youth to teen to adult.
- The website has some search, filter, and recommendation features but seems to assume significant knowledge. No easy age range filter that I can see, so I rely on individual 3rd party blog posts and recommendation roundups to identify the good options for various age levels.
- A well known comic book powerhouse, Marvel has produced some of the worlds most famous and well-loved superheroes, from Spider-Man to Squirrel Girl, to Black Panther, and more. Marvel comics serve a range of audiences, from youth to teen to adult.
- The website’s search functionality is not super helpful for collection development, no obvious filter options. There is better organization within the “Marvel Unlimited” subscription, though that is behind a paywall (the cost is pretty excellent for individual comic readers, though, as you get a LOT of access for a small monthly cost.)
- Boom! Studios
- Boom! produces excellent comic books for all audiences, and is a particularly good publisher to pay attention to if you are creating collections for teen and younger readers, as they publish some of the best (IMO), including “Lumberjanes,” “Giant Days,” and “Fence.” Many of Boom!’s comics center diverse and inclusive character representations.
- Boom!s’ website is not very search friendly, but their sales reps have been helpful and are knowledgeable. They often have booths at library conferences and I’ve found it helpful to pop in to chat with them, or to call their customer service for assistance in identifying which of their comics might be good options for library collections.
- Dark Horse
- Dark Horse is a horror-lovers paradise. With plenty of original storytelling (Hellboy, The Umbrella Academy, etc), Dark Horse is also known for strong collaborations with already known licenses (like Stranger Things, Buffy, Star Wars, etc), so they offer a good variety under the horror umbrella.
- Dark Horse age rates their comic books anywhere from 8+ to 18+, and their website offers excellent searching and filtering functionality, including the ability to search comics using age rating filters, which is helpful for librarians and readers.
- Vertigo Comics / DC Black Label
- Vertigo was a division of DC comics, and specialized in more mature offerings that often lean toward horror or dark fantasy, including “Y: The Last Man” and Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman.” This branding was recently retired, with most of its holdings moving to “DC Black Label” division.
- This division doesn’t really have its own website, its integrated with the general DC site.
- IDW Publishing
- Another strong comic book publisher, IDW has great independent publications like “Locke & Key,” and also great license collabs, such as with Disney and Star Wars.
- Their website is not hard to browse, but does not have much in terms of search/filter functionality.
- Top Shelf
- Now an imprint of IDW, Top Shelf produces comics for a range of audiences, with many being suitable for younger audiences. “Cosmoknights” is one of Top Shelf’s books, as is the “March Trilogy.”
- Top Shelf’s website has some helpful search/filter options, such as being able to browse by theme, artist, category and also having a “kids club” section.
- Image Comics
- Image Comics is another horror powerhouse in the comic world, publishing things like “The Walking Dead,” “The Wicked + The Divine,” and “Spawn.”
- Many of Image’s options seem to lean towards the higher end of maturity and age ratings, but their website unfortunately doesn’t clearly identify this information on the individual comic’s pages, so I’ve tended to had to google the titles separately to find that information.
#2 Publishing Formats / Terms
There were a lot of new-to-me terminology and concepts I had to learn before I could really understand how to approach buying comic books. The way I learned the format and methods of comic book publishing was twofold: I relied partly on resources such as this excellent YALSA resource: “Collecting Marvel and DC Comics for Teens,” which in addition to offering helpful advice about Marvel and DC, also provides a great introduction of terminology and comic book publishing trends. I also literally visited comic book stores in-person and interrogated…er… I mean interviewed the store owners/workers (if they were open to it). I figured, these folx are experts at developing comic book collections because their whole store is a comic book collection, so I decided to go right to the source to gather info. Here’s what I discovered, and some terminology that is helpful to know:
- Issue (aka “single issue)
- An issue is the simplest “unit” of a comic. This is a “single issue” of the comic, which I often think of as similar to “an episode” of a TV show. Similar to how a traditional TV schedule sees a new TV episode released each week, with each one building on the one previous, comic issues are similar.
- Issues usually will not standalone as full stories (though I’m sure sometimes they do), a series of consecutive issues will usually be needed to tell a full story arc.
- Issues are usually first published by themselves, in “saddle stitch” format, and are about 20-30 pages long.
- Single issues are not considered good candidates for library collections, partly due to their cost and due to their lack of durability (learn more below under “saddle stitch.”).
- Saddle Stitched / “Floppies”
- Saddle Stitched (or “floppies”) are how single issues are typically first published. These are typically very flimsy, usually printed on very thin paper and held together with 2 staples in the middle.
- Because they are costly and fragile, these are not good candidates for most library collections. Instead you’ll want to focus on trade versions for library collections (see below).
- Trade (paperback or hardcover)
- Trade paperbacks/hardcovers are a collection of issues which are bound together so as to be published as a single story arc or anthology.
- It is common for a trade to include about 6 issues (but sometimes it is more, or less, than 6).
- To increase confusion, trades don’t always collect issues consecutively or even necessarily from the same title/series (this would be an anthology). It is not unusual to find trades which collect issues from various different comic titles, usually because there is some kind of crossover event, superhero teamup, or unifying theme. This means you’ll often end up with different trades that have some of the same issues as each other.
- Now this is where things get complicated, from a collection development standpoint, because just like single issues, trades often run in series too. When there is a trade series, each entry will be given a volume number. This is not too confusing when the trade is collecting issues in consecutive release order from a single title, but it does get confusing when the trade veers off of a single title and begins collecting issues from various titles.
- When purchasing trades you need to do your best to figure out which actual issues of which titles are included in a given trade. This info is usually listed on the back cover of the book, or within the synopsis information.
- By the way, sometimes you’ll see trades confusingly referred to as “graphic novels,” because even though those are supposed to be two different things, these terms are nevertheless often used interchangeably, which just muddies the water even more.
- For more info you can see the case study of Teen Titans below.
- Series / Title
- A series is the consecutively numbered issues of a specific comic/title.
- OR a series can be the consecutively numbered volumes of a trade collection.
- There can be multiple different series which, even though not connected to each other, feature the same title.
- This is what led to my early blunder with unsuccessfully trying to buy one series of consecutive Teen Titans trades. You can see a screenshot near the bottom of the blog post, of our OPAC, which shows two different series of Teen Titans whose front covers both show the same title even though they are, in fact, different series.
- A series usually sees a new issue released once per month.
- Series can be limited (with a defined end/number of issues) or ongoing (they continue until eventually canceled.)
- A “series” can also be called a “title.”
- When used to refer to comic books, the term “title” is not usually going to be referring to a literal single book title but instead to refer to an entire series. For example, “The Magnificent Ms. Marvel” is the title of the series, but each trade volume within that series also has a unique name (such as volume 1 is called “Destined,” while volume 2 is called “Stormranger”) but those are the volume names, not the title, because the title for both is “the Magnificent Ms. Marvel”… My head hurts, does your head hurt?
- Original Graphic Novel
- A comic that is written to be published immediately in paperback/hardcover format (instead of in floppy issue format), is not called a trade, even though it may look like a trade. Its only a trade if it collects issues that are released first in serial format and later collected together. If it is written and published directly as a glued/bound paperback/hardcover, then it is an original graphic novel. So, technically, “El Deafo” is a graphic novel, not a comic book, because it was not released first in serial format and was instead written all at once as its own story. But this gets murky, because the terms “trade” and “graphic novel” are often used interchangeably.
- This one is tough to define, please refer to this excellent BookRiot article for a much more thorough explanation, but the term “volume” can mean two different things in comic world.
- A “volume” can be a way to refer to the individual books of a trade series (for example Ms. Marvel trade Volume 1 collects issues 1-6, Ms. Marvel trade Volume 2 collects issues 7-12, etc).
- It can also often be used as a way to distinguish between series with the same characters/titles. I’m not even going to try to explain that further, the BookRiot article above explains it well.
- Other terms
- There are more terms you may encounter and want to know about, including: Run, arc, storyline, event, crossover, miniseries, and mega-events. “Free Comic Book Day” website has a great additional glossary of terms.
Case Study: Teen Titans
Teen Titans (2003-2011) Trade Series Case Study:
Let’s use “Teen Titans” comics as a case study to see all the different terminology in action. We’ll start with one Teen Titans series. Above we see two volumes of a trade series. “Teen Titans” is the title of this trade series (as pictured on the cover art). But because there are other titles out there that are also called “Teen Titans,” this trade is further distinguished by its writer (Geoff Johns) and its run dates (2003-2011). You can see all of this image highlighted in yellow on the amazon product page.
Now, to further complicate things, look at the text highlighted in green. This is where the product description details which issues of which issue series (not trade series) this particular trade series is collecting in each trade volume. You can see that volume 1 (called book 1) collects from three different issue series: Teen Titans/Outsiders Secret Files 2003, Teen Titans 1-12, and #1 from a different Teen Titans. (I think I’m interpreting this right. To be honest, even after a year of immersive study, I’m not 100% sure I’ve got this right). You can see that volume 2 (called book 2) collects issues from more than 4 different issue series: Beast Boy, Teen titans, Teen Titans/Legion of Super Heroes, and others. So you can see here in just one trade series that trades don’t always necessarily collect issues of just a single comic title in consecutive order. Sometimes they do, but sometimes they collect issues from related runs/teamups/events/ etc.
Teen Titans (2016-) Trade Series Case Study:
Next we’ll look at a totally different trade series, whose title is also “Teen Titans,” Just like the trade series we listed above in the first case study. But even though the title is the same, these are not the same series. Therefore, this one is distinguished by just its start date of “2016-“. This trade series also titles its individual volumes beyond just the number, including a separate volume title as well. You can see all of this in the yellow highlights above. Why does one trade series use the writer’s name in addition to the date to distinguish itself, while the other trade series uses just the date? Why does one trade series just call each volume by the number, while the other uses a number and a volume name? I have no idea! It seems like in comic book world everyone just does whatever they want when it comes to naming conventions!
In the green highlights you can again see that each volume here collects different issues, though this time the issues are mostly just consecutive issues from the same issue series, with the exception of volume 1, which also includes an issue from a second issue series which is called “rebirth.”
Teen Titans Graphic Novel Series Case Study:
Now, just for fun, let’s throw in another curveball with the Teen Titans original graphic novel series by Kami Garcia & Gabriel Picolo. These are not comic books, but instead are original graphic novels, because these stories were written and published immediately as a whole book/full story, as opposed to being first published serialized as single issues. You can see that the descriptions don’t have the “collects issues x, y, z” information and that is because these are not comic book trades, but rather are graphic novels.
Age Group Specific Collection Development
Just like any other book format, comics come in many different styles and levels of maturity or age relevancy, so this will be a component to pay attention to, to ensure you’re developing a collection that makes sense for your user-community, whatever that may be. Many comics publishers have ratings systems applied to their titles, though it can take some digging and googling to identify them. The age ratings tend to be easily identified on the cover of each single issue comic, but that practice does not seem to be as consistent once the issues are collected into trades, so a bit of hunting can be needed.
Generally, for younger audiences, Boom!, Top Shelf, Marvel, and D.C. titles are good places to start looking, as each of these publishers produce primarily “all audience” appropriate content. There are exceptions, and in Marvel & D.C. there are branches/spinoff imprints like Vertigo/Black Label or Marvel Knights (and more) which skew more mature, but in general those four publishers are great starting places for where to search for selections for younger audience collections. The listing of publishers above should offer more insights to help librarians identify which publishers are most likely to have titles appropriate to your user community needs.
But Which Titles Should You Get?
It depends on your unique needs and goals. Think about who your intended audience is, what age ranges make sense for them, what themes are popular or in demand or relevant to them, what’s trending now or may trend soon, what has age-old “staying power,” etc. The same considerations go into comic book selections as go into any collection development work, start with user needs and go from there. To help you get started, I’m including some links that I found helpful in gathering information and developing a starting place.
- CBR.com’s “Marvel: 10 Great Modern Classics that are 100% Kid Friendly”
- ScreenRant’s “Marvel Comics: The 10 Best Comic Books For Young Readers“
- ComicBookHerald’s “The Best Marvel Comics for Kids (Of All Ages)“
- Marvel.com’s “The Best Marvel Comics to Read to Your Kids”
- CBR.com’s “DC: 10 Great Modern Comic Series that are also 100% Kid Friendly“
- Comic Alliance’s “The Best DC Comics for Young Readers“
- ScreenRant’s “10 Best Family-Friendly DC Comics for Young Readers“
- Polygon’s “50 Best Comics for Kids” (it mixes graphic novels in as well)
- CBR.com’s “10 Best YA Comics for New Fans“
- CBR.com’s “The 10 Best YA Comics, Ranked”
- ComicBookHerald’s “How to Start Reading Comics in 2023“
- How to Love Comic’s “How Do I Start Reading Comic Books?”
- CBR.com’s “10 Most Diverse Comic Book Characters of All Time” (its an odd title, but has good recs)
- CBR.com’s “16 Comics to Read for LGBTQIA+ Representation“
Organizing the Collection
Once you’ve decided what to purchase, it is now time for the fun part… deciding how to organize the collection to ensure accessibility and discoverability!
After touring several physical comic book stores, across 3 different states, I found that most of the stores organized their comic book trades first by publisher, then alphabetically by title, then by volume in consecutive number order. I decided to use mostly that same organizing convention, with some small changes when it makes sense. Sometimes I fudge things a bit to keep superheroes together on the shelf even if the comic book’s title is technically different, especially when its a hero I expect us to have many different standalone trades for (as opposed to series.) For example, in our small collection it makes sense to have all the Batman titles together on the shelf, instead of by strict title ABC order, because otherwise “Dark Knight” and “The Killing Joke” wouldn’t be near the titles that start with the word “Batman,” even though having them together makes sense for how our users browse (this could differ for various user communities, so see what makes sense for your users). So I often simplify things to the main hero or teamups, but generally I keep things pretty close to how the comic book stores were organizing things.
Organizing by Publisher
Anyway, I opted to follow a similar convention I saw in the stores, which means I was going to “genrefy” the comic book section first by publisher, then sort by hero/title alphabetically within each publisher. This publisher chunking will likely not be a necessary step for many libraries, but I’m a big fan of chunking up collections whenever possible (as demonstrated by my genrefication addition) and I knew I was aiming to build a somewhat sizeable comic book collection, so I thought having it chunked up a bit would help increase ease of browsing and discoverability. I decided to chunk first by publisher, then by title/series/hero. Because of the relatively small size of our collection (when compared to a comic book store), it did not make sense for me to have an official section for every single publisher. Instead I chose to stick with the following three main “umbrella” subsections:
- Subsection 1 – Marvel (blue stickers)
- Subsection 2 – DC (green stickers)
- Subsection 3 – Various (i.e. everything else) (pink stickers)
Organizing Further by Series/Title/Hero
After the collection was sorted into those three main umbrella subsections, I next organized them alphabetically by either title or hero, whichever I thought made most sense for each. I knew that I wanted to use bins for organizing the collection, mostly because comic books are so thin that I think bins are a good shelving strategy. When shelved traditionally, in rows of spines, comic books are hard to see/browse, and they also tip over once a few in the row are checked out. Not only is this bad for their spines and messy looking, it also causes shelf chaos that is detrimental to my philosophy of accessibility and discoverability, so bins were the solution I wanted to try out. I also liked that using bins would give me the opportunity to create shelf-signs or shelf-talkers that would help further promote which comics were available on the shelves. Makes for easier browsing than trying to read the tiny print on the tiny spines, IMO.
My Series Bins
For my comic book bins I opted to go with white cardboard magazine holders, partly because I wanted an inexpensive option, and partly because I wanted them to be cardboard so I could cut the front panel down to only 2-3 inches high, as this would make more of the spine of each comic visible to browsers while still giving me 2-3 inches to use for shelf-talkers/signage on each bin.
You can see the kind of bins I use, plus some other suggestions, in the below affiliate links:amzn_assoc_placement = “adunit0”; amzn_assoc_search_bar = “true”; amzn_assoc_tracking_id = “johniibo-20”; amzn_assoc_ad_mode = “manual”; amzn_assoc_ad_type = “smart”; amzn_assoc_marketplace = “amazon”; amzn_assoc_region = “US”; amzn_assoc_title = “Magazine Holder Options”; amzn_assoc_linkid = “23a717613e7083c2a151a9f1a6ca0577”; amzn_assoc_asins = “B085Q9343F,B0BTMSGDX2,B0B43QFDFZ,B091533XV7”; //z-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/onejs?MarketPlace=US
My Comic Book Bin Signage
I created signage / shelf talkers for each of our comic book bins. You are welcome to access these via the link below, and you are welcome to edit and reuse them noncommercially, if you like.
Template link to my comic book bin signs
Cataloging the Comics
Now we get into the really nitty gritty side of things, the cataloging! Because of all the reasons listed above, I found it very difficult, initially, to decide on how best to approach the cataloging of the comic book collection, specifically when it came to the call numbers, and the series naming conventions to use. I knew we were going to have multiple different series for similar/same named titles and heroes, and I wanted to start with a plan that would allow for at lest some consistency, and an organization that would still allow for additions as the collection grows over time. After exploring different options, and talking with other librarians to see how they were approaching it, I finally settled on a system that seems to be working for us so far. My approach is detailed below:
The call # & spine label
First I decided the spine labels would go not on the spines (because comic book spines are so super thin), but instead would go on the bottom left corner of each book cover.
I opted to go with two spine labels: one color label to indicate publisher (and therefore subsection on the shelves), and one white spine label, which would have the call # info from the OPAC.
After thinking for a long time, and playing with different options, I decided the spine label/call # would have up to 3 tiers, as follows:
- first tier will say “Comics”
- 2nd tier will indicate title of comic (or, in some cases, just the superhero’s name)
- 3rd tier will be used only when necessary to differentiate a title with multiple series.
- In cases where there is a same/similar title but different series, the third tier will be used to indicate the artist/author OR the date, whichever seems to be the most common identifier for that particular series.
Why didn’t I just use the writer/artist last name on the spine labels?
I’m still not 100% sure if this was the “right” decision or not, but I made this decision because the comics are organized on the shelves in clearly identified bins, the spine labels aren’t really used by our students to find the books, so the spine label info is really only used by library staff when shelving, and I wanted to find a system that would make sense and help us keep things organized, but also not spend too much time overthinking it, since it isnt something that really impacts the library users.
I think I’ve found a system that works for now. I thought about always putting the writer & artist name on the 3rd tier, but it ended up being more confusing than not, because a lot of series switch writers mid-series, and I was worried that having different people’s names on the spine labels in a single series might confuse shelvers into thinking they were separate series. So I opted to only include writer/artist names on the 3rd tier when its needed to help distinguish different series from each other. Usually the date is used instead of the writer/artist name, though, in these cases.
In the OPAC
The info I put into the OPAC during the cataloging phase is basically the same as listed above. I create the call # using up to three tiers (Comic + Title Name + additional info if needed). I also am careful to add clear series identification info into the “series” fields of the MARC records, as well. I include the series title as well as the date info in this field to try to make sure that anyone searching the OPAC will be able to tell which books go together in a series.
Using “Teen Titans” as an example, you can see below how the different series are differentiated in the catalog using the dates to distinguish between different series with the same title. You can also see that sometimes a trade volume is titled just by its volume number (seen in Teen Titans (2003-2019) #1) and sometimes the trade volume also has its own name (seen in Teen Titans (2016) #1: Damian Knows Best). Publishers really do seem to like to make comic book organization as inconsistent as possible, but I’m doing my best to make it make sense in our catalog.
By the way, trying to figure out what the reading order is on a lot of these is tough, but I have had some luck using Goodreads’ series pages, Amazon’s series pages, and Comic Book Reading Orders to help me find the information.
More Helpful Resources
This YALSA webpage is from 2014, but is probably one of the single most helpful resources I found in my search to better understand comic book organization and publishing. I HIGHLY recommend it for everyone wanting to better understand. It is called “Collecting Marvel and DC Comics for Teens,” but it has some great general information about comic book publishing, as well.
This BookRiot article below was also invaluable in defining and describing terms and concepts.
SLJ has the below “age ratings snapshot,” which provides a lot of specific information about which publishers have age ratings, whether their ratings are fully explained/defined, whether you can sort/search by age range on the publisher website, and more information.
- Table of Contents
- First, A Thank you!
- Getting Started with Comic Books
- Understanding how Comic Books are Organized & Published
- Age Group Specific Collection Development
- But Which Titles Should You Get?
- Organizing the Collection
- Cataloging the Comics
- More Helpful Resources