Skip to main content

M. Thomas Inge papers

Identifier: M 82

Scope and Contents

This collection is composed of materials collected by Dr. Inge relating to his academic studies of the comic arts, popular culture, and American literature. The bulk of the collection is dated from the 1950s onward and is made up of many unique items collected by Inge covering the history of the comic arts. Manuscripts by Inge and other writers are also included. The collection contains correspondence with a number of noted artists and writers, including Art Spiegelman, Mort Walker, Bruce Duncan, and Harold Foster, and comic arts scholars. The collection includes advertisements, fan club materials, posters, art prints, animation cells, comic strip and comic book samples, comic and animation character drinking glasses, numerous buttons, records, and various other collectable items. Other materials incorporate Inge's interests in American literature and include typescript copies of the Ellen Glasgow Newsletter and Frontier Home, copies of literary journals, numerous publications, and correspondence. The collection also contains items of Dr. Inge's own personal collection of materials ranging from his grade school papers and school yearbooks to an autograph scrapbook and EC Fan Club dating from the 1950s.The collection includes a very large collection of reference journals including fanzines, newsletters, journals, and numerous other periodicals related to the comic arts. These periodical titles focus on the history and art of comic books and comic strips, cartoonists, comic book and comic strip characters, animation, and other aspects of the comic arts and popular culture. These materials, and the hundreds of comic books and reference books donated by Dr. Inge, have been incorporated into their own individual collections.


  • Creation: 1879-2001


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open to research.

Biographical / Historical

"M. Thomas Inge, Ph.D. is the Robert Emory Blackwell Professor of English and the Humanities at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. A native of Newport News, Virginia, he received his B.A. degree in English and Spanish from Randolph-Macon College in 1959 and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English and American literature from Vanderbilt University in 1960 and 1964 respectively. After teaching at Vanderbilt University, he became a member of the Department of American Thought and Language at Michigan State University from 1964 to1969, when he joined the Department of English at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. He served as Chair of the department from 1974 to 1980 and then was Head of the Department of English at Clemson University in South Carolina. From 1982 to 1984, he was appointed Resident Scholar in American Studies by the U.S. Information Agency in Washington.

As a senior Fulbright Lecturer, Inge has taught at the University of Salamanca in Spain (1967-68) and at three institutions in Buenos Aires, Argentina (1971). On a third Fulbright appointment in 1979, he offered courses on American humor and literary regionalism at Moscow State University in the Soviet Union. As resident Scholar with USIA, he consulted and lectured abroad in eighteen countries, including France, Italy, Portugal, Japan, New Zealand, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the People's Republic of China. More recently, he has lectured in Poland, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Finland, Denmark, England, Germany, and the Czech Republic. At the invitation of the Gorky Institute, he returned to the Soviet Union to participate in conferences on Sholokhov and Faulkner and the works of Eudora Welty. He has led travel-study courses to the Soviet Union in 1988 and China in 1989, and in 1994 he taught at Charles University in Prague on a fourth Fulbright lectureship.

Among others, Inge teaches courses in American humor and satire and is the author or editor of over fifty books. His three-volume Handbook of American Popular Culture was cited by the American Library Association as an outstanding reference work in 1979 and was issued in a revised and expanded edition in 1989. In addition to his continuing interests in literature, Inge is also engaged in research on the history and development of American comic art, which resulted in his book "Comics as Culture."

More recent publications include "Anything Can Happen in a Comic Strip," a study of self-referentiality in the comics, and "Charles M. Schulz: Conversations, a collection of interviews with the creator of Peanuts," the first in a series of such collections for which Inge is serving as the general editor for the University Press of Mississippi. Works in progress include books on the relations between American literature and the comics and the adaptation process in the films of Walt Disney."

This biography is from the website Witty World: International Cartoon Centerat It was accessed on September 11, 2002.

For more information, see the department's control folder.


46 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Series I - Comic Arts. Sub-series A - Correspondence (n.d., 1908-2002), Sub-series B - Published and Unpublished Works by Inge (n.d., 1962-2002), Sub-series C - Published and Unpublished Works by Others (n.d., 1879-1995), Sub-series D - Other Comic Related Items (n.d., 1972-2001), Sub-series E - Oversized Items (n.d., 1894-2001).Series II - Other Literary Materials and Personal Items. Sub-series A - Ellen Glasgow (n.d., 1971-1976), Sub-series B - Personal Items (n.d., 1915-2000), Sub-series C - Photographs (n. d., 1957-1975).

A Guide to the M. Thomas Inge papers, 1879-2001
A Collection in Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, Collection number M 82
Special Collections and Archives staff
2003 By Virginia Commonwealth University. All rights reserved.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the VCU James Branch Cabell Library Repository

Special Collections and Archives 901 Park Avenue
Richmond Virginia 23284 USA US
(804) 828-1108