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  1.  (1697.1)
    This is possibly a very boring question and I hope it hasn't been covered before [if so, my trawling the pages of Printheads, Warren's Pub Table and Main Junction has been wasted and - worse - a bit crap really.]

    As the title of the topic suggests, does anyone know what the official rules are on referencing comics in academic essays?

    I'm currently writing my dissertation [dromology and posthumanism in literature] and the almighty grail that is the MLA that all English departments in this country apparently point you toward has got nothin'. Zero. F'k all.

    So - any ideas?

    [I thought that it might be OK to reference simply as you would a book but my dissertation tutor said no and that she'd get back to me. That was two weeks ago. *sigh*]
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2008
    i don't claim to be an expert on MLA, but I'd say if you're citing a particular issue of a comic book, treat it like a magazine with publication date and issue number and all that. If you're citing from a trade or other collection, cite it like a book or a republication of a book.

    but of course that's just my own common sense, and MLA isn't necessarily commonsensical.

    you might be aware of / beyond this, but the calvin college knightcite program is sort of handy in working out some of the finer points of MLA. I don't necessarily use the citations that it spits out, but it can still be useful for figuring out things.
      CommentAuthorGreg SBB!
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2008
    I'm a scientist, so the chances of me referencing a comicbook in any serious writing are slim but I suspect your tutor is bullshitting you and hoping you'll forget about it because she doesn't know.

    If it's got an ISBN number (as I imagine all TPBs and OGNs do), I'd reference it as a book. Alternatively, raid your faculty library - I doubt you'll be the first to do something on comics - and see what the last person did.
  2.  (1697.4)
    Well, like smerwin said, I treat some comics in my dissertation as magazines or even books itself. I had more problems to put, in the bibliograph chapter, some strange things like game softwares, DVDs or the like...
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2008
    For the bibliography like this:

    Moore, Alan, and Eddie Campbell. From Hell. 1989-1999. Paddington, Australia: Eddie Campbell Comics, 1999.


    Moore, Alan and Dave Gibbons. Watchmen. Ny: DC Comics. 1986-1987

    In the text:

    according to whether you're referencing from issue, volume or complete work it will differ. In the case of something like From Hell, you'd mention chapter and page, because pagination restarts with each chapter. Other volumes have uniform pagination throughout. If you're referencing from a single issue, you'd have to mention it.
  3.  (1697.6)
    Check out A. Meskin, 'Defining Comics?', Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 65 (2007), 369-79 - might help.
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2008
    Wrote on comicbook film adaptations for my MA

    so if its a book format you're referencing use book format
    if a single issue reference like an article / pamphlet /small publication like a govt paper.

    If the issue is in a collected edition it can be referenced like an article in a journal.
    • CommentTimeApr 6th 2008
    I wrote a dissertation for a course called Bent Screens entitled ' "We Need A Hero" - Homosexuality and Representation in Comics', which I just referenced the comics and academic works as I would any other piece, depending on if I got the issue/panel from a trade collection (so I would reference the trade) or the original comic (reference the comic). My tutor suggested I look into getting the dissertation published, but as yet haven't done so...

    Also done essays on Shakespeare in Comics, and Comic Book Film Adaptations (for my MA), which resulted in a film script adaptation. Really, I found my tutors just liked the referencing to be standard book reference format.
  4.  (1697.9)
    Just got back after a night of drinking to find my question answered in full.

    Thanks chaps.

    That bibliography will take a thorough beating...


    when my head doesn't feel so much like the insides of scrambled pig's balls on toast.