About the Comic Strip Library

What is the Comic Strip Library?

The Comic Strip Library is a digital library containing a collection of public domain comic strips. Everything in the collection predates 1923 and is no longer under copyright in the United States. Currently the Comic Strip Library is more of a proof-of-concept and a work-in-progress than a fully realized project, but the foundations are there to build on. Unlike many comic databases which are indexed by date alone, the comics in the Comic Strip Library are thoroughly cataloged. Searches on the Comic Strip Library can match text from dialogue and narration; character names; subject matter; objects, creatures, and people depicted in a strip; or even literary techniques. For example, a search for "fourth wall" will turn up comic strips which break the fourth wall, and a search for "puns" will bring up comics containing word play.

Who made the Comic Strip Library?

My name is Zachary Chavez. I'm a web developer with an MLIS who originally put this project together for a class on digital libraries.

What's the purpose of the Comic Strip Library?

This question may be split into two more specific questions: 1, What good is a Comic Strip Library? and 2, Why did I put the time into getting one started?

The answer to the first is that it serves much the same purpose as something like Project Gutenberg, which also digitizes public domain works and makes them freely available. However, since that and similar projects are text-only collections, comics are inherently left out. A digital library project devoted solely to comics can be a great resource for researchers, cartoonists interested in the history of their medium. and aficianados of modern comic strips who have never before read Krazy Kat, Little Nemo, and other influential early comics.

As for why I have undertaken this project, there are several reasons. One is to further my skills in a number of areas, including programming and database development, information architecture, digitization, and cataloging. The site itself serves as a great portfolio showcasing these skills. Secondly, I created the site in the hopes of getting other parties interested in the concept who might help to expand the scope of this now very modest project.

Site created by Zachary Chavez