Tag Archives: comic books

Exploring the Alicia Korenman Graphic Novels Collection (1983-2007)

Will Eisner Week kicked off on March 1st, so it’s a great time to remind library users of the rich graphic novel and comics resources available in Special Collections & Archives. If you’re wondering who Will Eisner is and why he gets his own week, you can check out SCA Manuscript Archivist Rory Grennan’s brief and informative essay on Eisner’s contribution to comic books here. Florida State University boasts multiple collections with emphases on comic books and graphic novels, including the Robert M. Ervin Jr. Collection[ and the Alicia Korenman Graphic Novels Collection.

Cover art from
Tripodologia Felina, no. 1, 1992 in the Alicia Korenman Graphic Novels Collection

            The Alicia Korenman Graphic Novels Collection is a diverse collection of media, including comic books and strips, graphic novels, zines, books, as well as DVDs and VHS tapes. As detailed in the collection’s finding aid, Korenman’s interest in how women were portrayed by the comic book industry began in the 1990s. She discovered that alternative and small press comic book publishers tendered stories based on everyday experiences and emotions, as well as the female experience.

            The contents of the collection run the gamut from classic Archie comics from the 1990s to Japanese manga, including a manga adaptation of the popular anime Cowboy Bebop, as well as a robust assortment of zines. What’s a zine? A zine, according to the Barnard Zine Library, is “short for fanzine or magazine, […] a DIY subculture self-publication, usually made on paper and reproduced with a photocopier or a printer.” While several zines are in English, at least two titles are also in Spanish, including Tripodologia Felina, no. 1 (published in 1992 by Producciones Balazo) and Asi Pasan los Dias/Escuadron Rescate (written and published by Matt Madden and Jessica Abel, published in 1998). The self-published and small-scale nature of zines complements Korenman’s interest in more personal stories.

These zines are only the tip of the iceberg and we at Special Collections & Archives encourage students, faculty, and members of the public to check out the collection, and our other resources at any time!

For those interested in Eisner Week activities, there are two events happening in the Bradley Reading Room in Strozier Library from March 1-7:

March 5: Graphic Novel Literacy Panel –  https://www.facebook.com/events/424490508306147/

March 7: A Conversation with Will Eisner- https://www.facebook.com/events/298756474133249/

Post written by Lisa Play.

Highlights From the Ervin Collection Vol. 3: Joe Kubert 1926-2012

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We were saddened to learn that comic industry legend Joe Kubert passed away this week at the age of 85. In a truly remarkable career than spanned more than 70 years, Kubert entertained, inspired, and educated.

Perhaps best known for his acclaimed work for DC on Hawkman in the 1960s and Tarzan in the 1970s, Kubert also created the comic characters of Tor and Sgt. Rock.

In 1976, he founded the Kubert School in New Jersey, the United States only accredited comic arts institution.

As comic book writer Mark Waid told the Washington Post, “In the world of comics, Jack Kirby and Will Eisner may have been more influential artists, but Joe Kubert was its most influential man. Even if he were to be remembered solely for his body of illustration work, he’d still be one of the greats, but by opening the Kubert School in 1976, he was able to personally mentor and educate literally thousands of successful artists who owe their careers to his teachings.”

The Robert M. Ervin Jr. Collection in FSU’s Special Collections includes a number of Kubert-drawn comics. You can locate comics in the Ervin Collection by using this guide.

Highlights From the Ervin Collection Vol. 2: Bulls Eye Comics #11

Bulls Eye Comics #11
Bulls Eye Comics #11

Among the historically important comic books in the Robert M. Ervin Jr. Collection is the lone issue of Bulls Eye Comics, published in 1944 by industry pioneer Harry “A” Chesler. The striking cover art depicts the mysterious Lady Satan dispatching Nazis in occupied France with her trademark chlorine gun. The stories within feature Yankee Doodle Jones, Lady Satan, King Kole, Johnny Rebel, Mother Hubbard, K-9, and the Green Knight.

Summer Exhibits Highlight the Counter-Culture in our Manuscript Collections

Currently on display in the Special Collections Reading Room at Strozier Library is an exhibit of ‘underground comix’ from the Robert M. Ervin Jr. Collection and an exhibit of highlights from The Yeti Collection, one of our newest manuscript collections.

‘Underground comix’ are small press or self-published comic books which contain salacious and satirical commentary on social and political issues. These works emerged in the late 1960s alongside the youth counter-culture movement, often depicting content that was forbidden to mainstream comic book publications, such as explicit sexuality and drug use. The term “comix” was popularized by its appearance in the title of the first issues of Robert Crumb’s Zap Comix, and was used to differentiate underground comix from mainstream comic books, with the “X” also emphasizing the X-rated contents.

These publications illustrated a new awareness of socio-political issues in the emerging ‘hippie’ counterculture movement of the time, such as environmentalism, civil rights, women’s liberation, the sexual revolution, the Vietnam War, recreational drug use, and new-age mysticism. The Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco was the epicenter of the movement and the home of major printer/publishers such as The Print Mint, Apex Novelties, and Last Gasp. Comix were often sold in alternative venues such as head shops and enjoyed their strongest success in the United States between 1968 and 1975.

This exhibit features a small sampling of underground comix by Robert Crumb, Skip Williamson, Greg Irons, Trina Robbins, and John Thompson from the Robert M. Ervin Jr. Collection.

The Yeti Collection exhibit displays materials that were donated to FSU Special Collections in March 2011 by the editors of The Yeti, an independent student news publication that serves Florida State University and the greater Tallahassee community as an alternative source for local news. The exhibit features some unique items, including a beer bottle and a collection of mysterious postcards which contain bizarre stories and drawings, as well as a November 2005 issue of The Yeti that is autographed by comedian Lewis Black.

The collection is a colorful addition to FSU’s manuscripts collection that offers a glimpse into the alternative culture of FSU students and Tallahassee during the first decade of the new millennium. The Yeti was  founded in April 2005 by a small group of FSU students and covers many local and grassroots topics that often get overlooked by larger commercial media outlets. Their stated goal has been “to provide our university and community with in-depth coverage of topics that impact the community.”

Adrienne Serra, the 2010-2011 graduate assistant for Special Collections, was responsible for curating and arranging the exhibits, as well as creating promotional posters and bookmarks. It is hoped that these two exhibits, which focus on counter-culture, will expose more students and library patrons to Special Collections and the unique materials that our manuscript holdings have to offer, especially as new students arrive with the beginning of the fall semester.

To view the online finding aid for the Yeti collection, visit http://fsuarchon.fcla.edu/index.php?p=collections/controlcard&id=3512&q=yeti

To learn more about The Yeti, visit their website: http://www.theyetionline.com/

To check out the finding aid for the Ervin collection, visit http://www.lib.fsu.edu/~speccoll/ervinjr2.htm

Highlights from the Ervin Collection Vol. 1: Dr. Who and the Daleks


This post is the first in an ongoing series in which we look at some of the highlights of the Robert M. Ervin Jr. Collection of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and comics. The Ervin collection consists of over 1200 individual titles, including both primary and secondary works. You can use this Finding Aid to browse the Ervin Collection by format and title.

Kicking the series off is a gem I uncovered while assisting a patron yesterday: the one-shot Dr. Who and the Daleks movie tie-in comic book, published December 1, 1966. This comic adaptation of a seemingly non-canonical feature-length spin-off of the iconic and long-running British television series features Peter Cushing’s Dr. Who, an earthling scientist who invents a time machine disguised as a police box called TARDIS and, along with his grandchildren, fights off the menace of the Daleks, a race of robotic aliens bent on extermination.

pages from the comic