If you’re writing a research paper or academic essay that requires you to cite a comic strip, you may be wondering how to do so in the Modern Language Association (MLA) style. Comics and graphic novels are increasingly popular forms of literature, and it’s important to know how to properly cite them in your work. In this article, we’ll cover the basics of how to cite a comic strip in MLA format.
What is MLA format?
MLA (Modern Language Association) is a widely used citation style for academic writing. It provides guidelines for formatting and citing sources in written works, including research papers and essays. MLA format is commonly used in the humanities, such as literature, language studies, and cultural studies.
How to cite a comic strip in MLA
When citing a comic strip in MLA format, you’ll need to include several pieces of information:
- The author’s name
- The title of the comic strip
- The title of the publication or website where the comic strip was published
- The date of publication
- The URL or page number where the comic strip can be found
Here’s an example citation for a single panel from a webcomic:
Author’s Last Name, First Name. “Title of Comic Strip.” Title of Publication or Website, Date Published,
URL or Page Number.
Let’s break down each element of this citation:
Author’s Last Name, First Name.: Start with the author’s last name followed by their first name. If the author is not known, start with the title of the comic strip.
“Title of Comic Strip.”: Put the title of the comic strip in quotation marks. If the comic strip is untitled, use a brief description of the content or the first few words of the strip.
Title of Publication or Website,: If the comic strip was published in a print publication, include the title of that publication. If it was published online, include the name of the website.
Date Published: Include the date that the comic strip was published. For print publications, this will usually be the date on which the issue containing the comic was released. For online publications, this may be harder to determine – look for a date stamp on the page or in the URL.
URL or Page Number: If you’re citing an online comic, include a URL where it can be found. If you’re citing a print publication, include the page number where you found the comic strip.
Here’s an example citation for a webcomic:
North, Ryan. “Dinosaur Comics.” Dinosaur Comics, 1 Jan. 2020,
In this example, we’re citing Ryan North’s “Dinosaur Comics,” which was published online on January 1st, 2020. We’ve included a link to the specific page where this comic can be found.
In-text citations for comic strips
When referencing a comic strip within your text, you should include an in-text citation that points to your full citation in your Works Cited list. In MLA style, this involves including the author’s name (or title if there is no author) and page number in parentheses at the end of your quote or paraphrase.
“I’m not lazy,” Garfield proclaims (Davis 3).
In this example, we’re quoting from Jim Davis’s Garfield comic strip and indicating that our citation can be found on page 3 of the publication where the strip was printed.
Citing a comic strip in MLA format is a straightforward process that involves including information about the author, title, publication, date, and location of the comic. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your research paper or essay is properly formatted and accurately cites all of your sources.