Skip to Main Content

Graphic Novels: Home

A Guide to Graphic Novels at Pima Community College Libraries

What is a Graphic Novel?

"Graphic Novel" is a format, not a genre. Graphic novels can be fiction, non-fiction, history, fantasy, or anything in-between.

Graphic novels are similar to comic books because they use sequential art to tell a story. Unlike comic books, graphic novels are generally stand-alone stories with more complex plots. Collections of short stories that have been previously published as individual comic books are also considered graphic novels.

Major Types of Graphic Novels

Like traditional novels there are endless ways to categorize different graphic novels. There are as many genres and sub-genres as in traditional fiction and non-fiction. The following are only a few of the most predominant categories.

Manga: The Japanese word for "comic" but in the US is used to describe Japanese style comics. Manga is read from top to bottom and right to left as this is the traditional Japanese reading pattern. Though technically Manga refers to Japanese comics, many think Manga refers to a style rather than the country of origin.

Superhero Story: Superhero graphic novels have taken the most popular form of comics and turned what were once brief episodic adventures into epic sagas. Superhero comics are dominated by a few mainstream publishers such as Marvel, DC, and Darkhorse. 

Personal Narratives ("Perzines"): are autobiographical stories written from the author's personal experiences, opinions, and observations. 

Non-fiction: are similar to perzines in that they are written from the author's personal experience, but the author is generally using their own experience to touch upon a greater social issue.

(Content from

Welcome to Pima's guide to Graphic Novels! This LibGuide will help you to find guides, encyclopedias, and reference books that cover the history and criticism of Graphic Novels and comics. You can also explore to find Graphic Novels in categories by genre. Click the tabs above to access the collection of Graphic Novels available at Pima's many campus libraries. All books are linked to the catalog records so you can easily see what campus has the book and if it is available. This is not a comprehensive list of all the Graphic Novels at Pima, but instead highlights specific titles. If you are looking for a specific Graphic Novel not listed please search for it in our catalog


Web Resources for Graphic Novels & Comics


Have a question? Ask one of our helpful librarians through our chatting service!