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Home >> An Update on Comics at SDSU Library
comics on display

Happy Comic-Con, Everybody!

It’s time! San Diego is preparing for its 48th annual multi-day Comic-Con International. Every July, we observe this joyous time of year by reflecting on the comic arts and other popular culture happenings at the SDSU Library.

Our Comic Arts Collection Has Grown

Thanks to the generosity of donors, we have amassed more than 50,000 non-circulating floppy comics and countless graphic novels. More than half of our floppy comics are now sorted, preserved and cataloged! You can view them in our online database and request to read them in the library’s Special Collections & University Archives Department. The collection emphasizes alternative and independent titles, underground comix, drawn books and Modern Age comics, as well as materials that document the history of comic book culture, fandom and the creative process behind comic book production. Noteworthy holdings include a large collection of ephemera and memorabilia from fan conventions, full runs of RAW Magazine and Milestone Comics, feminist literature, self-published and mini-comics, French language comics, several popular manga series, and vintage comics and comic strips, including Disney Comics.

New Location for Circulating Comics

The circulating Comic Arts Collection, which includes both original comics and scholarship about the comic arts, has been relocated to a browsing collection on the first floor of Love Library. This new location gives the growing collection more elbow room and places it in closer geographic proximity to the non-circulating access point for comics in our Special Collections.

The Edward E. Marsh Room’s Golden Age of Science Fiction Library

Construction of the Edward E. Marsh Room’s Golden Age of Science Fiction Room is complete and will open later this summer! The collection, on display in the room, includes a large number of signed first editions from science fiction greats such as Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, H.G. Wells, Robert Heinlein, Frank Herbert and Jules Verne. Special Collections & University Archives will begin using this location as their primary reading room and public service point in late August and a grand opening celebration is being planned for early fall.

A Year-long Comics Exhibit

DemoGRAPHICS: Voices and Visionaries from the SDSU Comic Arts Collection will be on display in the library’s Donor Hall from August 28, 2017 - July 31, 2018. The exhibit draws upon interdisciplinary materials from the Comic Arts Collection in the Library’s Special Collections & University Archives to explore how identity, in its most broadly-defined sense, is cultivated and nurtured in the imagination. Comics that explore history and society through diverse lenses, such as culture, race, ethnicity, language, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, ableness, and age, are displayed. The exhibit represents a variety of perspectives, both local and global, that utilize both fictional and factual artistic narratives to afford exhibit-goers opportunities to engage with several of these “lenses” to contextualize phenomena and negotiate differences in regards to identity and the imagination.

San Diego Comic Fest

Librarians continue to partner with a smaller, more intimate, local comic convention, San Diego Comic Fest. Started by one of the original founder’s of Comic-Con, this non-profit pop culture celebration is going into its 6th year and will be held April 20-22, 2018 at the Town & Country Hotel and Resort in Mission Valley. The theme for the 2018 Fest is a celebration of the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

For More Information

For more information about all things related to comics at SDSU and in the San Diego community, please check out our Comic Arts Research Guide.

Thank You For Your Support

Many of our accomplishments have been made possible due to the generosity of our donors. Donor contributions have enabled us to purchase archival-quality preservation supplies and catalog our growing comics collection. Because of this, we’ve seen a sharp increase in the number of students using the collection for engaging and fun research projects. We could not do this without our donors - Thank You! Information on how you can join the effort is available on our donation page.


Submitted by Pamela Jackson, SDSU Popular Culture Librarian