Comics are a specific art-form in their own right. As products of the print media (newspaper, magazine, book) and the electronic media (Internet) they have a global presence and are yet controversial in terms of their cultural acceptance. The present volume gives insights into the specifics of comics, comic research and comic criticism, and also into the history, production and distribution of this phenomenon. It attempts to define the comic from the principle of a 'story in pictures' and to develop a theory and an aesthetic of comics. In addition it draws on the huge range of narrative and other varieties to point up its highly variegated reception requirements.