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Comics, Graphic novels, and Manga: Home

A guide to Comics and Graphic novels


This page serves as a guide to graphic novels, manga, and comics at the COD Library. Resources in this guide are both fiction and nonfiction, and intended to support both students and faculty in various subject areas. 


You can borrow the printed books in this guide with your COD Library Card and access digital resources by signing in with your COD username and password. 

What you need to know

Graphic novels, manga, and comics are formats, not genres. 


"Juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer" (Scott McCloud, "Understanding Comics, 1993). 

Graphic Novel

A story that is presented in comic strip format and published as a book. A graphic novel can best be described as being book-length in format, containing sequential art narrative. It shares many of the characteristics of prose novels, including a beginning, a middle, and an end. The story is presented through the combined use of image and word.

There are five different types of graphic novels:

  • Manga
  • Superhero stories
  • Non-superhero stories
  • Personal narratives
  • Nonfiction


Manga (mahn-ga, literally "whimsical pictures") refers to comics originally written and published in Japan. Most manga begin as serial chapters published in Japanese graphic magazines such as Weekly Shonen Jump and Shojo Beat. If a series is popular enough, chapters are then collected and republished as paperback books called "tankobons" or volumes. 


Staff Picks

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Part 1--Phantom Blood, Vol. 1

Ashlie's Pick:

Genre: Adventure, Supernatural

Demographic: Shonen

 Follow the Joestar family through bizarre adventures that takes place during different points in time and different parts of the world.

Attack on Titan 1

Jacob's Pick:

"One of the best pieces of fiction I have ever read. Follow the story of Eren who, after the death of his mother, vows revenge on a group of monsters called Titans. As Eren navigates this dark, twisted fantasy world and secrets about these mysterious monsters are uncovered, you will be second guessing yourself with every turn of the page."

Wolverine: Old Man Logan Vol. 0 - Warzones!

Brandon's Pick:

A reluctant warrior who was once the greatest mutant of all. A man known as Old Man Logan. Never before has the former Wolverine been needed as much as he is now, but even the best there was at what he did may be outmatched by the evil lurking in nearby realms! Now, Logan must battle the horrors of mutantkind unleashed, the sins of genocidal machines and the rampaging hordes of the undead.

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters

Becky's Pick: 

"This book is worth checking out--especially for the artwork. The artist used Bic pen on lined notebook paper. Incredible!"

Set against the tumultuous political backdrop of late '60s Chicago, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is the fictional graphic diary of 10-year-old Karen Reyes, filled with B-movie horror and pulp monster magazines iconography. Karen Reyes tries to solve the murder of her enigmatic upstairs neighbor, Anka Silverberg, a holocaust survivor, while the interconnected stories of those around her unfold. 


Frieren: Beyond Journey's End, Vol. 1

May's Pick:

The adventure is over but life goes on for an elf mage just beginning to learn what living is all about. Elf mage Frieren and her courageous fellow adventurers have defeated the Demon King and brought peace to the land. Decades after their victory, the funeral of one her friends confronts Frieren with her own near immortality. Frieren sets out to fulfill the last wishes of her comrades and finds herself beginning a new adventure...

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