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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Chai Wai Series- Around the World in 2D: Comics, Graphic Novels, and Cartooning: International Comics Exhibit

The International and Area Studies Library celebrates the University Library's broad collection of comics and graphic novels that represent every corner of the world.

Explore International Comics Exhibit

North-South Hallway, Main Library, September 1 through October 6, 2015

From the early horror and noir tales in U.S. comics of the 40’s, to the science fiction spin of manga like Astro Boy from Japan in the 50s and 60s, to the retelling of classic folktales in 1970s India, to modern tales influencing the current spate of superhero blockbusters, this exhibit represents a snapshot of the broad spectrum of international graphic novels available in the Library. This collection is important because it provides access to comics that were previously rarely, if at all, available in other libraries.

The familiar superhero archetype is present across many cultures’ comics, but this exhibit also explores the different ways graphic novels can convey, create, and reflect the culture, religion, identity and politics of individual nations. Presented here are examples of different styles of comic art, themes, and presentation methods, as well as practical tips on how to incorporate our collections into your classroom or research assignment.


To view/download pdfs of each exhibit panel, click on the links or images provided below.

Exhibit Creators

The "Explore International Comics @ Illinois" exhibit was created under the direction of South Asian Studies Librarian, Mara Thacker, and Reference Services Librarian, David Ward. They convened a committee who worked together to create the panels and display. The committee included:

In addition to this committee, several International and Area Studies Library faculty offered input in their respective areas of expertise so a special thank you also goes to: Atoma Batoma, Kit Condill, Shuyong Jiang, Laila Hussein Moustafa, Yoo-Seong Song, and Steve Witt. 

Scavenger Hunt & Answers

Participate in our scavenger hunt by downloading the pdf above. Then come back later and check your answers below.

1. The Women Reconnaissance Patrol (North Korea)

2. Condorito (Chile)

3. The Complete Crumb (United States)

4. Menstrupedia (India)

5. Metro: A Story of Cairo (Egypt)

6. A turma da Mônica (Brazil)

7. Le Chat du Rabbin (France)

8. Aya du Yopougon (The Ivory Coast and France)

9. 40 Sufi Comics (India)

10. Um Sábado Qualquer (Brazil, a webcomic)

11. Kampung Boy (Malaysia)

12. Mortadelo de la Mancha (Spain)

13. Anne Furanku (Germany and Japan)

14. The Photographer: Into War-Torn Afghanistan with Doctors without Borders (Afghanistan)