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Sneed Comic Book Collection

Identifier: PM-022

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of comic books and other graphic formats from the 1940s to the present day. It includes literary adaptations, movie adaptations, and original stories, largely in the genres of science fiction, fantasy, adventure, and horror. It does not contain many superhero titles.

The collection is divided into four series.

Literary Adaptations contains items adapated from or inspired by specific literary sources. Many of these are from the long-running Classics Illustrated series, under several publishers: Elliot (as Classic Comics, early 1940s), Gilberton Company (1942-1962), Twin Circle (1967-1971), First Comics (1990), Acclaim Books (1997-1998), and Jack Lake Productions (2000s). Other series include Pendulum's Illustrated Classics (1970s), Marvel Classics Comics (1970s), and Marvel Illustrated (2000s). Nearly a third of these are adaptations of the stories of Edgar Rice Burroughs, including the Tarzan series and the Barsoom series (John Carter).

Comics by Subject contains items grouped by setting or with a popular central figure or mythology.

Comics by Genre contains items grouped by genre. Most are speculative fiction (historical adventure, science fiction, fantasy) or horror (including "weird" fiction). Other genres include detective, suspense, espionage, western, superheroes, and nonfiction.

Comics and Graphic Novels by Format contains irregularly sized comics and graphic novels; some are trade paperbacks, while others have magazine binding.


  • 1937-2017

Biographical / Historical

Comics became a popular medium for illustrated art in the early twentieth century, starting with newspaper comic strips in the 1920s and comic books in the 1930s. Comic book publishing history is generally broken up into four periods. The Golden Age (1938-1956), during which many popular superhero characters were born, eventually saw comic book sales fall after WWII. The Silver Age (1956-1970) represented a revival in interest in comics and coincided with the introduction of the Comics Code Authority (CCA), a regulatory group which sought to rid comics of salacious content, especially related to sex, drugs/alcohol, and criminal behavior. During the Bronze Age (1970-1986), some publishers began to ignore the standards of the CCA, often in order to address social concerns of the day. This move toward realism continued in the Modern Age (1986 to present), which saw many comics focus on darker or more mature stories.

Almost two thirds of the 1500 titles in this collection are of the Modern Age, and most of the rest are split evenly between the Silver and Bronze Ages. Very few are from the Golden Age.


36.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Contains around 3600 comic books, graphic novels, and comic strip anthologies, 1940s-2010s.

Processed by

Jon Chandler, 2012; Kate Matheny, 2018


Guide to the Sneed Comic Book Collection
April 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266