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Comic Art and Popular Culture

The Comic Art Collection has particular strength in underground comic books, graphic novels, and published reprints of classic comic strips and cartoons. Special Collections also maintains a core reference collection on comics, including price guides, encyclopedias, and scholarly publications.

The collection contains 1000 pieces of original art, 100+ syndicate proofs, over 30 cubic feet of manuscript materials, hundreds of clippings, and over 4,000 catalogued comic books, journals, and monographs.

How to Use the Collections

With a few exceptions, the collections can be accessed and requested through the library catalog. Finding aids for individual collections are linked on this website. Materials are available for use in the Special Collections Reading Room (room 401) during regular hours. Materials do not circulate. 

History and Provenance of the Collection

Representatives from the Department of Art, the Journalism Library, and Ellis Library met in 1988-89 to discuss the creation of a comic art collection. The committee decided on the parameters of the collection, discussed gift strategies, and sought funding.

A collection of 257 underground comic books given by library staff member Alan Jones became the nucleus of the collection. The John Tinney McCutcheon Collection of original editorial cartoons from the Chicago Tribune and Cosmopolitan, given to the Libraries in 1955, also became a part of the collection.

Many significant materials received to date were donated by their creators, such as the V. T. Hamlin Papers Collection I and the Frank Stack Papers.  The Mort Walker Collection includes material originally donated by Mort and Betty Walker.  It has been added to with selected purchases and other donations. The Edgar E. Martin Papers Collection I was placed on deposit.

Special Collections staff have continued to add material to the collections, supplemented with private donations.

Finding Aids for Comic Art and Popular Culture

Allen C. Bluedorn Comic Collection.

The collection consists of microform copies of Golden Age era comic books. For specific titles, see the inventory.

Bonnet-Brown Comic Art Syndicate Collection.

Scope and Content Note Published strips, cartoons, and features by various comic strip artists of the 1930s, including Burne Hogarth, V.T. Hamlin,…

Comic Art Collection


The Comic Art Collection has particular strength in underground comic books, graphic novels, and published reprints of classic comic strips and…

Edgar Everett Martin Papers, 1926-1972; 1935-


Biographical Sketch Edgar Everett ("Abe") Martin (1898-1960) was born in Indianapolis. His family later moved to Monmouth, Illinois where his father…

Frank Stack Papers, 1957-


Biographical Sketch Frank Stack was born October 31, 1937 in Houston, Texas. He was educated at the University of Texas (B.F.A.), University of…

John Tinney McCutcheon Collection of Editorial Cartoons.

Treaty Breaking.jpeg

Scope and Contents The majority of the items in this collection are original pen and ink cartoons drawn for theChicago Tribunefrom 1903 to 1944.…

Missouri Creators Comic Collection.


The Missouri Creators Comics Collection includes graphic novels, zines, mini-comics, and comic books created by Missouri residents.

Mort Walker Collection, 1946-2001.


Biographical Sketch [information supplied by Walker] Addison Morton Walker was born in Eldorado, Kansas in 1923, reared in Kansas City and graduated…

Ralph Barton Collection

Biographical Note Ralph Emerson Barton (1891-1931) was a caricaturist and illustrator. Barton’s first caricature was of Thomas Hart Benton, his last…

Underground Comics Syndicate Proofs Collection.

The collection consists of a sample of underground comics published by Rip Off Press, and includes the work of comic artists Ted Richards, Frank Stack…

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Henson Portrait Bust.jpg

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Selected Items

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