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Researching Comics and Graphic Novels

Introduction to the Comic Art Collection in Special Collections and resources for research on comics and graphic novels at MU Libraries.

How to Search for Comics and Graphic Novels in MERLIN

Finding comics and graphic novels in the MERLIN library catalog can involve using an advanced search.  Here's how to do it.

Get set up to search

Starting from the main MERLIN screen, click on the Advanced tab.

Advanced search tab

On the Advanced Search page, enter your keywords at the top.  You can use the dropdown menu to search within Author, Title, or Subject.  Or you can leave it open to search all available fields.  

To find comics or graphic novels in Special Collections, try putting COMIC into the second keyword field.  This will bring up materials that are part of the Comic Art Collection in Special Collections, as well as anything else that mentions the word comic.

Keyword search

Limit your results

Scroll down to Add Limits.  If you want to search Special Collections, under Specific Library Location, choose MU Ellis Special Coll.  If you want to leave your search open, choose ANY.

Limit to Special Collections

You can use additional limits such as language or year of publication.  Because Special Collections holdings include lots of microfilms, it's useful to limit by Material Type.

One important thing to remember about comics is that they're published in serial format - meaning they'll show up in the catalog as periodicals.  Choose a limit of Journals/Newspapers if you're interested in seeing comic books.  Choose Books if you're interested in graphic novels or comics published in book format. Hold down the CTRL key to make multiple selections.  

Limit by material type


Digital Comics

Comics on Microfilm


Special Collections has manuscript collections of papers, artwork, and memorabilia for the following authors. 

Edgar E. Martin (Boots and Her Buddies)

V. T. Hamlin (Alley Oop)

Mort Walker (Beetle Bailey)

John Tinney McCutcheon (political cartoons)

Frank Stack (underground comics, The Adventures of Jesus)