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Three comic book covers showing characters going to school.
Cover images from left to right: Walt Disney’s Huey, Dewey, and Louie Back to School, no. 1 (Sept. 1958); The Amazing Spider-Man, no. 28 (Sept. 1965); Yogi Bear, no. 30 (Oct. 1967).

Back to School: Comic Book Stories

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This is a guest post by Joel Mota, a Reference Librarian in the Serial and Government Publications Division.

As summer break comes to an end, it is time to prepare to go back to school. What better way to ease the nerves than to read some comic book stories…about school!

Will you be dragging your heels on your walk to the first day of class like Little Lulu and her friends? Or will you embrace the academic year as a new opportunity for mischief and adventure like Huey, Dewey, and Louie?

Comic strip with Little Lulu and her mother talking about new shoes for the first day of school.
Title page of “Back to School”. From Marge’s Little Lulu, no. 124 (Oct. 1958).
Comic book page with Huey, Dewey, and Louie playing a prank on Donald Duck.
Interior from Walt Disney’s Huey, Dewey and Louie Back to School, no. 1 (Sept. 1958).

For those dreading the same class with your secret crush, see how Carolyn handles her dilemma in Teen-Age Romances. Or better yet, take a few tips from Archie’s guide on how to survive high school.

Image of Carolyn in a red shirt sitting at a desk in her classroom thinking about her crush.
Title page of “How Could I Fight Temptation?”. From Teen-Age Romances, no. 2 (Apr. 1949).
Comic book page showing Archie trying to sneak into school past his principal.
Interior from Archie, no. 569 (Nov. 2006).

While high school can be full of embarrassing moments, at least we don’t have to constantly fend off super villains like Peter Parker does. He battled Molten Man before his own graduation from Midtown High!

Comic book panels of a teenage Spider-man in a fight with a villain.
Interior from The Amazing Spider-Man, no. 28 (Sept. 1965).
Peter Parker, otherwise known as Spider-man, after his high school graduation speaking with his Aunt.
Interior from The Amazing Spider-Man, no. 28 (Sept. 1965).

If you’ve upgraded from high school crush to college romance, find out who Ellen asks to accompany her at the sorority dance in Love Romances. Or crash a college dorm party with Kurt the Werewolf and Sean the Vampire in Bar Crawl of the Damned.

Comic book panels showing Ellen speaking with two boys about an upcoming dance.
Interior from Love Romances, no. 68 (June 1957).
Black and white panels show two men going to a college dorm party.
Interior from Bar Crawl of The Damned, no. 1 (1997).

If you would rather skip the romance and party scene in favor of something more studious, follow Yogi Bear’s college years as a science and art student.

Yogi Bear holds onto a rocket as it takes off past his professor.
Interior from Yogi Bear, no. 30 (Oct. 1967).
Yogi Bear sits on an easel, five paint brushes in one hand and a canvas in the other, while talking to an art teacher. The college Dean looks through the door.
Title page of “Creative Art Creature”. From Yogi Bear, no. 30 (Oct. 1967).

And for all you college football fanatics, try to keep up with Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig’s trick plays from their stint on the Hamm University football team.

Comic book panels showing Bugs Bunny tunneling his way to a touchdown in a football game, tricking the other team.
Interior from Bugs Bunny, no. 190 (Nov. 1977).

Some day you will all be able to look back at your school experiences like The Caped Crusader himself. Even Batman reminisces about his days as a star athlete and honors student in Criminology at Gotham College.

Batman and Robin look at a college year book.
Title page of “Batman’s College Days”. From The Batman Annuals Volume Two (2010).
Images of a young Bruce Wayne, also known as Batman, playing sports in college.
Interior from The Batman Annuals Volume Two (2010).

What are you reading before heading back to school? Tell us about your last-minute read in the comments below.

If you want to learn more about comic books in the classroom, check out “Back to School: Comic Books and Literacy.” And to learn more about the comic book collection at the Library of Congress, take a look at our guide to collections in the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room.

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