Library Blog

Comics, Graphic Novels, Manga, Anime – Oh My!


Are you a nostalgic fan of the comic books of yesteryear?  Or maybe you’ve just discovered them today?  I’m sure many of you remember those fun magazines and paperback books where the story was told with pictures and word clouds. Sometimes the stories were about regular children and teens, while many others were about superheroes with special powers. For myself, I remember enjoying the book-length paperbacks of newspaper comic strips – Archie and Supergirl were some of my favorites. 

Before moving on, let’s look at the difference between comics and graphic novels. 

Both formats use pictures and word balloons to tell the stories. According the definitions that I’ve found, comics are usually shorter in length.  They are told in a serialized format, meaning multiple magazines following a chronological format.  Comics are also usually only based in fiction, with superheroes featured in the most popular storylines.  Age-wise, comics tend to be geared towards teens and adults.  Graphic Novels, on the other hand, are longer in length. Often Graphic Novels are standalone books, rather than part of a series. In addition, not only are graphic novels fiction, but others are nonfiction biographies and stories of real-life events in history.  Also, many classic works of literature have been re-written in the Graphic Novel format, making those books more readable for a wider audience.  Age-wise, graphic novels are written for all ages – children through adults. 

And then we come to Manga and Anime.  Originally, these refer to Japanese comic books animated cartoons and films.  Today, they are no longer solely Japanese in origin. You now find them made in China and elsewhere in Asia, and they are known more generally as Manga being Asian comic books and Anime being Asian animated shows and films. Age-wise, Manga and Anime are similar to Graphic Novels in that they are created for all ages – some specifically for children, others for teens, and still others with very mature themes (and scenes) for adults. 

If you are looking to indulge in your love of the graphic, illustrated stories of traditional comics through the modern graphic novel, the library has online resources with collections available to you all linked on our Digital Resources web page. 

You will find many to enjoy in OverDrive.  We have them available to browse in a number of collections.  

For children, visit Kids to find: 

In Teens, there is: 

Adults have: 

Hoopla is our resource with not only ebooks, but also streaming video, so you will find everything here: comics to anime! 

We have three extra resources available just for this summer from now through August 31st: 

OhioNET is providing to access to all Ohio residents BiblioBoard’s Virtual Library Comic Convention (VLCC) collection.  There are 13 ‘curations’ – meaning collections to choose from here, with over 4,000 comics for all ages.  They have Comics for Early Readers, through Classical Stories Retold, and Superheroes and much, much more! 

TeenBookCloud for teens and tweens.  Just click the Graphic Novels button to find two collections to browse: 

  • Teen 
  • Middle School 

TumbleBook Library is geared towards children only.  To browse the graphic novels, just click on the “Graphic Novels” tab.  They have four collections to choose from: 

  • Classic Characters 
  • Early Readers 
  • Advanced Readers 
  • Mystery 

Anime-Watch-Party-IG-1080x1080I hope that our many comic-graphic novel-manga-anime fans out there will take advantage of these digital collections to enjoy on their computers and mobile devices this summer! 

Plus, Anime Fans don’t forget to join the library on Monday’s at 6pm for the Anime Watch Party

Sara Churchill

Sara Churchill is the Digital Services Specialist and Assistant Supervisor in the Information Services Department at Main Library. A major fan of technology devices and computer research resources at work, she enjoys helping everyone learn to use their devices and the library's many online resources.  She loves reading Science Fiction/Fantasy books, British cozy mysteries, True Crime and other true stories, plus a past reader of horror fiction by the likes of Stephen King and John Saul (among others).  Also, she’s a big fan of Sci-fi, action, horror, spaghetti westerns, and based-on-a-true story movies.  Her blogs are for adults and the entire family to enjoy reading and trying out the many online resources free for PLYMC library cardholders to use.