Not to be confused with the equally important Free Comic Book Day in May, National Comic Book Day is a celebration of all things comics: the art, creators, stories, and fans. While the medium of comics encompasses countless forms and, like most things, has a rather hazy origin (I mean, you could technically trace them back to cave paintings), comics, as we know them today, started to emerge in 19th century America, ultimately peaking in the ‘30s and ‘40s with the rise of superheroes. However, comics extend far beyond the superhero genre and represent a kind of visual literacy that seems to be increasingly relevant in an era in which we are bombarded by memes, webcomics, advertisements, and just simply a lot of imagery and text. The selections below were chosen to highlight the history and breadth of the medium, but also offer an insight into the unique processes of reading and producing sequential art. Here at the library, we subscribe to a broad and inclusive definition of comics, and hope that you celebrate National Comic Book Day in your own way, whether that includes traditional American comics, manga, graphic novels, comic strips, zines, underground comix, fumetti, historietas, manhua, or any other example of sequential or juxtaposed images.
For more great comics, make sure to check out the offerings of your local Library branch as well as the hoopla app.