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Graphic Novels and Comics: Body Image in Graphic Literature

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Graphic Novels and Comics

Body Image in Graphic Literature

The MDC Graphic Novel Group was recently awarded the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grant for Libraries for our project, Mirror, Mirror: Seeing Ourselves in Graphic Novels.

The project is based on the idea that discussing and creating sequential art with a focus on body image may help our diverse community of students cope with racism, sexism, ableism, and other societal pressures.

This page contains reading lists of graphic novels that explore issues associated with body image and identity, plus resources to aid faculty who may wish to use graphic literature to approach these issues in the classroom.

In January, 2023, the Graphic Novel Group began hosting the following series of grant-funded events:


  • January 25, 2023
    Body Image in Graphic Literature
    View recording
    A panel discussion on body image and eating disorders as seen through the lens of three different graphic memoirs.
    Special guest: Dr. Jessica Saunders, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Ramapo College of New Jersey

  • February 8, 2023
    The Power of Storytelling
    View recording
    A presentation by Academic Support Writing Coach Tess Cusidor and Learning Resources Instructional Assistant Dennis Edelen on the narrative aspects of graphic literature.

  • February 15, 2023
    Storyboarding Workshop
    View recording
    A hands-on workshop to encourage and equip students to tell their own stories in graphic novel form.
    Special guest: Comic book artist Sajad Shah

  • March 29, 2023
    12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
    Hialeah Campus Student Services Lobby
    Student Art Exhibit Opening
    Participants in the Storyboarding Workshop will have the opportunity to present their creative work, which will later be archived in a digital repository.
    See the Art Exhibit Toolbox for the submission form, guidelines, and additional resources.


Graphic novels represent a unique and inclusive art and literary form that has become increasingly popular – speaking to a wide range of experiences, identities, and interests. They can promote literacy, foster aesthetic appreciation, and help readers gain a deeper understanding of historical, cultural, and ethical perspectives. The GNG’s goal is to raise awareness of the educational value of graphic novels and graphic nonfiction, and to support the use of these materials across the curriculum.


Download the flyer:

Reading Lists

Beauty Standards
Disability | Eating Disorders
Gender & Sexuality
Race & Ethnicity | Superheroes
History & Criticism

To locate additional books, use the library catalog search box below or contact an MDC librarian.

Beauty Standards

Eating Disorders

Gender & Sexuality

Race & Ethnicity


History & Criticism


More Information

Mental Health Resources

Mental Health Counseling, MDC Crisis Line for Students: 1-888-983-0033

  • MDC Single Stop - Mental Health Counseling
  • MDC Student Support Line – 1-888-983-0033
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) -
  • Local Community Services – Dial 211

Eating Disorder Resources:

Faculty Survey

Are you an MDC faculty member who has used, or plans to use, graphic novels or graphic non-fiction for pedagogical purposes? Please share your ideas and experiences by completing this brief survey.

The Graphic Novel Group (GNG) promotes appreciation of graphic novels, graphic non-fiction, comics, and related art and literary forms, and supports the use of these materials for interdisciplinary teaching, social awareness, and personal enrichment. The Group engages students and other members of the MDC community in co-curricular events (such as guest lectures, facilitated discussions, creative workshops, etc.), and makes recommendations for the MDC Libraries’ print and online collections of graphic novels and graphic non-fiction. Sponsored by the MDC Learning Resources Department, the GNG is a College-wide group of faculty, administrators, and staff. For more information, contact Jenny Saxton. To receive notifications about the Graphic Novel Group's events, sign up for our email list.

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