Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Amazing Fantasy #15 original Spider-Man artwork given to Library of Congress
The first appearance of Spider-Man, an 11-page story which includes his origin, now belongs to the American people. According to curator Sara Duke, an anonymous donor has given the 24 pages of original interior artwork from Amazing Fantasy #15 to the Library of Congress' Prints and Photographs division. The artwork, drawn by Steve Ditko and written by Stan Lee, first appeared in print in 1962, and is in good shape. The art has some whiteout where features of the women were modified, apparently not by Ditko, as well as pasteup word balloons. According to Sara, who called it a "lovely and generous gift," the donor checked with Ditko before donating it, and was told that since the story was a gift to him (although not from Ditko), he could do what he liked with it. The donor declined to have it appraised when giving it to the Library so the actual value of the gift is unknown, although certainly in the six figures range. Three other non-superhero stories were in the book - "The Bell-Ringer", "Man in the Mummy Case", "There are Martians among us!" - and were also donated.
Sara hopes that the Library's collection of comic book art will continue to grow with similar donations since they can't afford to buy them.
The donation has been given the accession number 2008.043. All unprocessed collections require an access to unprocessed collections request form to be filled out prior to making an appointment to see art: http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/info/022_unpr.html
Members of the press should contact Donna Urschel in the Public Affairs Office, 202-707-1639.
This post has been corrected from an earlier version.