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Facade conservation and repair works: Over the next few weeks there will be intermittent noise in the La Trobe Reading Room while work is carried out on the external walls. More information

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Zines, comics & graphic novels

The Library attempts to collect all forms of popular culture, and this includes publications such as zines, comics and graphic novels.

Australia has a long history of comic book publishing from the early decades of the 20th century through until the present day, and this vibrant area is well represented in our collections. We also hold reprints of major comics from the American golden age, as well as iconic overseas titles and books about comic books.

Graphic novels grew out of the comic book form, giving it a novelistic depth informed by both American comics and Japanese manga. The Library holds a wide selection of graphic novels, including renowned titles such as Art Spiegelman's Maus: a survivor's tale and Shaun Tan's The arrival.

Zines are independently produced titles that are often created without a thought to profit or established publishing practices. The Library has been actively collecting these since 1999 and has also received donations of zines from the late 1980s and 90s. We now have the largest public collection in Australia of these innovative, tactile and visual publications.

Despite sharing some common characteristics, these icons of 20th-century pop culture are all very strong mediums that manage to maintain their own distinct identities.