Come to find your place in comics history

From the earliest comics strips in the 1900s to the avant garde comics of the 1980s and 1990s, you'll learn 100 years of comics essentials in this course.

Course curriculum

  • 01
    00 - Introduction
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    • Introduction to Western Comics Essentials
    • Western Comics Essential Video Intro by Tom
    • Western Comics Essentials Full 200-page PDF
    • Browse the SAW Reading History Folder
    • Women in Comics Links
    • She Changed Comics PDF from the CBLDF
    • 100 Most Influential Comic Books and Pages, according to NY / Vulture Magazine
    • PDF - Comic Strip Masterpieces, a sampler, from Free Comic Book Day
    • Browse this fantastic curated collection from the Billy Ireland Museum of Comic Book Art
    • Stereotypes in Early Comics
  • 02
    01 - The Strips from 1895-1930
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    • A timeline, some Info and some links
    • Scans of Hogan's Alley, The Yellow Kid
    • Katzenjammer Kids 1897 by Rudolph Dirks
    • Happy Hooligan by Frederick Opper, 1900-1932
    • Little Nemo in Slumberland by Winsor McCay
    • Rose O Neill, Nell Brinkley, Grace Drayton
    • Go Deeper - Silent Graphic Novels from the early 20th Century
  • 03
    02 - Adventure Strips
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    • Timeline and brief intros to the main adventure strips
    • Some original art!
    • Full-length article: The Adventure Strip Before World War II:Capitalism, Democracy, and the Soldier of Fortune by Randy Reynaldo
    • Racism, Sexism, Homosexuality, the 1940s and The Dragon Lady
    • Fanny Cory's Little Miss Muffet
  • 04
    03 - Early Comic Books
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    • Golden Age Timeline
    • Golden Age Comics Links
    • Kids Comics: Walt Kelly, John Stanley and Carl Barks
    • Survey of Golden Age Covers PDF
    • Tarpe Mills + Hilda Terry
    • African-American Representation in Comic Strips
    • All Negro Comics, 1947
    • For Conversation: Panels from the Golden Age
  • 05
    04 - EC and other Genre Comics, 1950s-1960s
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    • Welcome to the 1950s. EC Comics and more
    • Seduction of the Innocent, Fredric Wertham and the Comics Code
    • Jack Kirby and the Marvel Revolution
    • Silver Age and Beyond
    • Silver Age Reader Edited by Craig Bostick
    • Women Artists in the Silver Age: Marie Severin and Ramona Fradon
    • Romance Comics 1950s - 1970s
    • Bonus: Massive Folder of EC Downloads
    • Bonus: Foul Play!
    • Bonus: The Long, Gory Life of EC Comics - PDF Essay - Franklin Harris from the June 2005 issue of Reason
    • Bonus: Visual History of Harvey Kurtzman Art and Career
    • Bonus: More Kurtzman and EC Links
    • Bonus Essay: Gary Groth on EC Comics
  • 06
    05 - Undergrounds and Other Rebellions
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    • CORE: Undergrounds and Other Rebellions. Read these Seven.
    • DOWNLOADS: Zap, Arcade, Weirdo, Raw, Twisted Sisters and Gay Comix Downloads
    • ARTICLE: An Oral History of Wimmen's Comix
    • ARTICLE: Beginning of the Underground
    • BONUS: Loads of Underground Videos
    • ARTICLE: The 50th Anniversary of Underground Comix BY R.C. HARVEY
    • BONUS: Ebon: An African American Superhero from the Underground Comix Scene
    • GALLERY: A Selection of Underground Comic Covers
    • ORIGINAL ART: Aline Kominsky-Crumb, from the Billy Ireland
    • BONUS VIDEO: Wimmin and Comix By Diane Noomin, A talk in Gainesville, FL in 2003
  • 07
    06 - Final Course Deliverable for Certificate
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    • Final Assignment
  • 08
    07 Bonus - Comics Go Modern. The 80s-90s
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    • CORE: 80s-90s - READ THESE er... 15
    • DOWNLOADS: Arcade, RAW, Weirdo, Twisted Sisters and Gay Comix
    • BONUS ARTICLE: RAW Magazine
    • BONUS ARTICLE: The Rise of Queer Comics by Hillary Chute
  • John Ronan

    Instructor Bio:

    John Ronan is a long-time comics scholar and writer. He has been an instructor at UF, is a founding member of Image/Text, has worked for Fantagraphics, is working on a folio about cartoonist Frederik Opper and has one of the biggest underground comics collections you will ever see.

    John Ronan

    Comics History Master