Michigan State University

The Comic Art Collection

With more than 200,000 comic books, and significant holdings of proof sheets, scrapbooks, memorabilia, and the scholarly literature on comic art, the Comic Art Collection is recognized as the largest and most comprehensive collection of its kind in the entire world.

Its collecting scope is international, and its European and Latin American holdings are the best in North America. It's a destination for hundreds of students and faculty members, who use comics to shed light on adolescent development, narrative styles, popular attitudes on social issues, and many other topics. Researchers have traveled from as far away as Germany, Japan, and Australia to use the Comic Art Collection.

Funding priorities for the Comic Art Collection include a named comic art curatorship, and an endowment to support acquisitions and conservation. Conservation is a particular concern for this genre since the majority of 20th century comics were printed on highly acidic paper.

 

Anything my students need for research is there, whether that's the work of an international artist mentioned in class, periodicals featuring critical essays on the comics medium, reference books teaching the principles of making comics, or short-run mini-comics produced by a local talent.  I have never seen a collection with as much depth or a librarian with as much knowledge, drive, and heart. —Ryan Claytor, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Art and Art History, and Director, MSU Comics Forum

 

  • Top left: Detail from an English-language reprint of a comic from the French publisher, Imagerie d'Épinal

  • Top right: Cover art from Bécassine, a Franco-Belgian comic for girls

  • Middle left: Early issue of Batman

  • Middle right: Panel from a Mexican comic featuring the hero Kaliman

  • Bottom left: Rare North Korean comic book

  • Bottom right: Danish comic by the artist Freddy Milton

Panel from an epinal comic, translated from the French edition Cover from an issue of the Becassine comic series
Cover of Batman comic book  Panel from the Mexican comic Kaliman
Cover from a North Korean comic Cover from a Danish comic