A genre term describes the category a book is a representative of rather than what the text of the book is about. For comics, genres deal with content ('superhero comics'), form ('little big books', 'newspaper comic strips'), and time period ('platinum age', 'golden age'). Many comics are of interest to researchers as representatives of these categories. Below are selected explanations of comics genres as they relate to the Comics Digital Collection.

Time Period

Victorian Comics: European comic strips and books developed out of an existing tradition of caricature and illustration. This tradition includes the comic magazines Le Charivari, Punch, Fun, The Comic Almanack, and many others. Many of these magazines shared writers and illustrators, and many of them went on to develop their own comics and comic books. The first segment of the Comics Digital Collection includes The Comic Almanack and Fun.

The University of Florida's Special Collections holds early comic magazines and early comics that pre-date the rise of the American comic strip, which is generally dated to the 1890s. Later segments will draw on the Special Collections' holdings to include other Victorian Age Comics (and may include Punch, already available on Project Gutenberg) so that readers can see not only significant individual titles, but also the manner in which these different publications influenced each other and the culture of the times more generally.

More information on specific titles in the collection >


Special Purpose Comics CoversSpecial Purpose Comics

Some of the hardest to find and most rare comics were originally free: given away at gas stations, restaurants and campaign rallies as well as in classrooms and meetings they were intended to do everything from sell outboard motors to teach customer service. The University of Florida's Sol and Penny Davidson Collection includes a sub-collection of special purpose comics, including both give-away and retail comics whose goal is to educate, inform, propagandize and/or sell goods and services. Will Eisner's P*S The Preventive Maintenance Monthly (background and issues online) is included with the other special purpose comics and it forms the first segment of special purpose comics to be added to the Comics Digital Collection.

More information on specific titles in the collection >

Military Comics

Special purpose comics do include military comics like P*S The Preventive Maintenance Monthly, but they also include comics that were designed by and for the military for entertaining personnel. For instance Harry Lampert, who is best known as the co-creater of the character The Flash, also published Droopy the Drew Field Mosquito in the Drew Field Echoes, the newspaper for the Drew Field Army Airbase (in Tampa, Florida). As additional newspapers and ephemera are digitized and made available, more comics and more comics genres will be identified.

More information on specific titles in the collection >


In part because of their ephemeral form, comics have always been tied to similarly ephemeral materials. This includes fanzines and, in fact, many comics began and many comics creators began their work with ephemeral forms, including the Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's Science Fiction fanzine where they first introduced their character named Superman. Superman underwent radical changes before appearing in his contemporary form; however, Siegel and Shuster's fanzine remains an important part of Superman's and comics' history.



Comics scholarship flourishes in many different programs at many different schools across the world, and it continues to emerge in new areas related to fine arts, history, film studies, literature studies, new media studies, and a variety of other fields. The University of Florida's comics scholarship is coordinated through the Comics Studies Program, which is hosted by the Department of English. The Comics Studies Program draws faculty from various departments and centers, holds an annual conference on comics, supports the ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies journal, hosts the Comix-Scholars Discussion list, and lists a number of resources for teaching and studying comics.


The University of Florida's Comics Studies Program and the Libraries' holdings of comics in the Suzy Covey Comics Collection have supported many exhibits on comics. Exhibits include:

"National Obsessions - Twentieth Century from Pop Culture, Comics and Cross-promotional Merchandizing"
"75 Years of Blondie, 1930-2005"
"Help is On the Way! Comic Books and Superheroes in Special Collections"
"Comics and Childhood: From Katzenjammer to Klarion"
Galleries from the Sol and Penny Davidson Comics Collection:

Further Reading

  1. Impossible Adventures
  2. Francis the Foundling
  3. The Discreet Child
  4. The Selfish Little Boy
  5. Theodorus the Slovenly
  6. The Little Boys in Our Days
  7. The Black Man
  8. If I Was a Little Boy
  9. The Adventures of a Voyage
  10. Cecilia the Babbler
  11. The Price of a Lie
  12. Mary the Disobedient Girl
  13. Louisette and the Lamb
  14. Courage Recompensed
  15. True Story of John Serinet
  16. Charles the Disobedient Boy
  17. The Little Girls in Our Days
  18. The Enchanted Whistle
  19. Calino's Simplicity
  20. The Magic Lantern
  21. The Misadventures of Mr. Heedless
  22. The King of the Moon
  23. William Tell
  24. Genevieve of Brabant
  25. The Sailor-boy's Dream
  26. The Costly Disobedience
  27. The Disobedient Little Girls
  28. The Disobedient Little Boys
  29. The Urchins
  30. The Inquisitive Little Girl
  31. Little Tom Thumb
  32. Little Red Riding Hood
  33. The Flying Trunk
  34. Jack Simpleton
  35. The Land of Cocagne
  36. Don Quichotte
  37. Blonda and Fairy Caprice
  38. Un-business-like Jack
  39. Captain Goodman
  40. The Lion and the Two Sailors
  41. The Little Mama, or The Doll's Education
  42. A Real Fairy
  43. John Laughing and John Crying
  44. The Uncomfortable Neighbours
  45. The Bells
  46. The Untruthful Boy
  47. Julian the Coward
  48. Master Unfortunate
  49. Advice to Everybody
  50. The Proud Matilda
  51. The Museum of Little Children
  52. The Museum of little Children (continued)
  53. The Story of a Little Mouse
  54. Martha the Good Negress
  55. The Interesting Adventures of Mr. Sponger
  56. Father Flog
  57. The Imprudent Children
  58. The Pearl Necklace
  59. Cinderella
  60. Wisdom of the Nations