Showing posts with label Library of Congress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Library of Congress. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Today: Dav Pilkey tickets go on sale at 10 AM

NBF Presents: Dav Pilkey | DOG MAN: FOR WHOM THE BALL ROLLS

 by Politics and Prose 

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nbf-presents-dav-pilkey-dog-man-for-whom-the-ball-rolls-tickets-72788980801 

Event Information

Come see Dav Pilkey talk about his books and his Do Good initiative!

About this Event

Please join us for a special evening with Dav Pilkey, a Library of Congress National Book Festival Presents event.

International bestselling author/illustrator Dav Pilkey will appear at the Library of Congress on his Do Good Tour. The tour connects children, parents and educators while highlighting how books inspire readers. It also explores how individuals can make positive differences every day. At the event, attendees will:
  • HEAR Dav Pilkey's inspiring story of his struggles with ADHD and dyslexia
  • SEE Dav Pilkey’s interactive presentation with live drawing
  • SEE a special performance of scenes from the critically-acclaimed Dog Man: The Musical featuring the original off-Broadway cast
  • MEET and have your picture taken with Dav Pilkey himself after the show (with the purchase of a copy of Dav’s new book from Politics and Prose when you register or at the event)
  • PURCHASE a signed copy of Dog Man #7 For Whom The Ball Rolls at the event itself
  • MEET and take photos with Captain Underpants and Dog Man characters!
  • CREATE your own stories at Harold’s Drawing Station
  • SHARE how you make a positive impact on the #DoGood Wall
  • GET a Reading Gives You Superpowers Cape and other fun giveaways (while supplies last)!
  • HAVE an amazing time! It's going to be SO MUCH FUN!
Copies of Dog Man #7 For Whom The Ball Rolls are available for pre-purchase during ticket registration. In addition, Dog Man # 7 For Whom the Ball Rolls and other Dav Pilkey books will be available for purchase at the event.

There will be a signing after the presentation. To join the signing line for this event and meet Dav Pilkey, attendees must purchase a copy of his latest book Dog Man #7 For Whom The Ball Rolls when registering for a ticket or onsite at the event. No memorabilia or books from home will be signed.

The event is free and open to the public; however, tickets are required for entry. Seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis. A ticket does not guarantee entry into the event.
When the auditorium reaches capacity, some ticketed guests will be seated in the Library’s magnificent Great Hall and view most of the program on screens. A small portion of the program will take place in the Great Hall and the guests in the auditorium will watch on screens.
Doors open at 5:45 p.m. Latecomers will be seated at the discretion of house management. We recommend arriving when doors open.

Please request ADA accommodations at least 5 days in advance by contacting (202) 707-6362 or ada@loc.gov.

Ticket holders will be invited to view a display of items from the Library’s extensive comic collection in the Whittall Pavillion prior to the start of the event. The display will be available for viewing from 5:45 pm – 7:00pm on the night of the program.

Politics and Prose is proud to be the bookseller for this event.

 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

PR: Library of Congress National Book Festival Announces Full Author Lineup

[Comics arts people that I know of are marked in bold; corrections welcomed]

June 25, 2019 

Library of Congress National Book Festival Announces Full Author Lineup

More than 140 Authors to Participate in 19th Annual Event on Aug. 31


 Amy Tan speaks with National Book Festival Literary Director Marie Arana on the Main Stage, September 1, 2018. Photo by Shawn Miller, Library of Congress.

The 2019 Library of Congress National Book Festival will offer an outstanding lineup of authors for readers of all ages for the festival's 19th year, with more than 140 nationally recognized authors, poets and illustrators, as well as the addition of stages devoted to science and international subjects.

On Saturday, Aug. 31, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, doors will open at 8:30 a.m., with programs beginning at 9 a.m. and running until 8 p.m.

The stellar lineup includes U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, eminent historians David McCullough and Michael Beschloss, celebrity D.C. chef and humanitarian José Andrés, graphic novel superstar Raina Telgemeier and Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction recipient Richard Ford.

The 2019 festival also will invite visitors to Explore America's Changemakers, part of a yearlong initiative coinciding with a series of exhibitions, events and programs at the Library. Among numerous festival programs dedicated to the theme of Changemakers, a special panel will feature new books on Winston Churchill by Andrew Roberts, Frederick Douglass by David Blight and visionary women including Rachel Carson, Jane Jacobs, Jane Goodall and Alice Waters, by Andrea Barnet.

Here are a few festival highlights:
  • U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will participate in a conversation with NPR correspondent Nina Totenberg; Ginsburg will discuss her career and her book "My Own Words."
  • David McCullough, one of America's most-read historians, will talk about "The Pioneers: The Heroic Stories of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West."
  • José Andrés will review his humanitarian work, especially when he helped feed the people of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Diane Rehm, whose radio show on NPR aired for nearly 40 years, will interview Andrés, who will also discuss his new vegetable cookbook.
  • Raina Telgemeier will greet thousands of her fans and introduce them to "Share Your Smile: Raina's Guide to Telling Your Own Story."
  • American historian Henry Louis Gates Jr. will offer two presentations, one for children on his new book "Dark Sky Rising" and one for adults on Race in America.
  • Presidential historian Michael Beschloss will talk about "Presidents of War."
  • Matthew Gray Gubler, one of the stars of CBS' "Criminal Minds," will present his children's book "Rumple Buttercup."
  • Graphic novelist Ngozi Ukazu, who has rewritten the rules of publishing, will discuss "Check, Please!"
  • Award-winning novelist Laila Lalami will talk about "The Other Americans."
  • Julia Álvarez will look back on her novel "In the Time of the Butterflies," an international sensation when it was published 25 years ago.
  • Susan Choi will discuss her highly acclaimed novel "Trust Exercise."
Authors participating in this year's festival will make their presentations on the following stages:
Stages for Adults
Main Stage: José Andrés, Michael Beschloss, David Brooks, Richard Ford, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David McCullough and Raina Telgemeier
Fiction: Louis Bayard, Ann Beattie, Susan Choi, Barbara Kingsolver, Laila Lalami, Rebecca Makkai, Thomas Mallon, Sigrid Nunez, Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Powers and Roxana Robinson
Genre Fiction: Charlie Jane Anders, Johnny D. Boggs, James Ellroy, Margaret George, Philippa Gregory, Anne Hillerman, Paul Andrew Hutton, Joe Ide, Craig Johnson, Brianna Labuskes, Seanan McGuire, Sara Paretsky, John Scalzi and Victoria Schwab
History & Biography: Rick Atkinson, Douglas Brinkley, Colin G. Calloway, Joanne B. Freeman, Casey Gerald, David Maraniss, Andrew Roberts, Evan Thomas, David Treuer, Elaine Weiss and Brenda Wineapple
International: Liliana Colanzi, María Dueñas, Melba Escobar, Inga Gaile, Cristina Rivera Garza, Amitav Ghosh, Olga Grjasnowa, Caoilinn Hughes, Claudia Salazar Jiménez, Jeanine Leane, Brenton McKenna, Kim Scott and Kim Thúy
Poetry & Prose: Julia Álvarez, Sheila Black, Jericho Brown, Nathan Englander, Aminatta Forna, Ilya Kaminsky, R.O. Kwon, Dorianne Laux, Valeria Luiselli, Alberto Manguel, Madeline Miller, Brendan Mathews, Lydia Millet, Pamela Paul, Linda Sue Park, Maria Russo, Jon Scieszka, Natasha Trethewey, Renée Watson, Emily Wilson, and Jenny Xie
Science: Peter Brannen, Alexandra Horowitz, Beth Macy, Thomas W. Malone, Lisa Margonelli, Jim Ottaviani, David Quammen, Douglas Rushkoff, Daniel Stone, Frans de Waal and David Sloan Wilson
Understanding Our World: Andrea Barnet, David Blight, David Epstein, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Judge Richard Gergel, Reyna Grande, David Grann, Amy Gutmann,  Joshua Hammer, Aleksandar Hemon, Parag Khanna, Steve Luxenberg, Alberto Manguel, Suketu Mehta, Jonathan Moreno, Elaine Pagels, Steven Pearlstein and Andrew Roberts

Stages for Young People
Children: Mac Barnett, Cece Bell, Sophie Blackall, Tonya Bolden, Fred Bowen, Max Brallier, Molly Brooks, Pablo Cartaya, Fabien Cousteau, Lucy Ruth Cummins, Gale Galligan, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Brian Floca, Matthew Gray Gubler, Shannon Hale, Jennifer Holm, Matthew Holm, Jon Klassen, Ann M. Martin, Juana Medina, R.J. Palacio, Linda Sue Park, LeUyen Pham, Matt Phelan, Greg Pizzoli, Sherri Duskey Rinker, Sharon Robinson, Adam Rubin, Victoria Schwab, Jon Scieszka, Ronald L. Smith, Jennifer Swanson and Steven Weinberg
Teens: Holly Black, Monica Hesse, Kathleen Glasgow, Ellen Hagan, Faith Erin Hicks, Linda Holmes, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Mitali Perkins, Rainbow Rowell, Misa Sugiura, Ngozi Ukazu, Renée Watson, Scott Westerfeld and Markus Zusak
Poetry Slam: The National Book Festival Youth Poetry Slam will include some of the nation's top youth slam groups from the nation's capital. Champion delegates from these groups will compete to be named the festival's top youth slammer by performing new works.

The National Book Festival is made possible by the generous support of private- and public-sector sponsors who share the Library's commitment to reading and literacy, led by National Book Festival Co-Chairman David M. Rubenstein. Charter sponsors are the Institute of Museum and Library Services, The Washington Post and Wells Fargo; Patron sponsors are the James Madison Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities; the Champions are Thomas V. Girardi, the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, PBS and Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program; and, in the Friends category, Booklovers Circle Members, Bookshare - a Benetech initiative, Buffy Cafritz, Embassy of Australia, Embassy of Canada, Embassy of Germany, Embassy of Ireland, Embassy of Latvia, Embassy of Peru, Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction administered by The University of Alabama School of Law, The Hay-Adams, Inter-American Development Bank, The Junior League of Washington, Andy King, Leon Levy Center for Biography (CUNY), Library of Congress Federal Credit Union, Mexican Cultural Institute, Timothy and Diane Naughton, Planet Word, Scholastic Inc, Small Press Expo (SPX), Spain Arts & Culture and Western Writers of America; Media Partners are C-SPAN2's Book TV, The New York Times and NPR. Those interested in supporting the National Book Festival can contact the Library at devofc@loc.gov.

Later this summer, the National Book Festival app for iOS and Android smartphones will be updated with complete presenter, schedule and wayfinding information. Follow the festival on Twitter @librarycongress with hashtag #NatBookFest, and subscribe to the National Book Festival Blog at loc.gov/bookfest/.

The Library of Congress is the world's largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.
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PR 19-068
2019-06-25
ISSN 0731-3527

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Library of Congress collection used for wartime comic book research

#22 from Grand Comics Database
Paul Hirsch used the papers of the Writers' War Board held in the Library of Congress, specifically Box 11 of the collection, to look at how a semi-official government body influenced the depiction of the Axis in comic books during the war. DC Comics, Fawcett Comics, and Street & Smith are specifically mentioned.

The WWB also encouraged racial reconciliation in America at the same time, with a 'Race Hatred Committee' which helped with an anti-lynching story in Captain Marvel, Jr. #22.

Here's the citation and the abstract:

"This Is Our Enemy" The Writers' War Board and Representations of Race in Comic Books,1942–1945
Author(s): Paul Hirsch
Source: Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 83, No. 3 (Aug., 2014), pp. 448-486
Published by: University of California Press

Abstract

During World War II, the U.S. government, through the Writers' War Board (WWB), co-opted comic books as an essential means of disseminating race-based propaganda to adult Americans, including members of the armed forces. Working with comic creators, the WWB crafted narratives supporting two seemingly incompatible wartime policies: racializing America's enemies as a justification for total war and simultaneously emphasizing the need for racial tolerance within American society. Initially, anti-German and anti-Japanese narratives depicted those enemies as racially defective but eminently beatable opponents. By late 1944, however, WWB members demanded increasingly vicious comic-book depictions of America's opponents, portraying them as irredeemably violent. Still, the Board embraced racial and ethnic unity at home as essential to victory, promoting the contributions of Chinese, Jewish, and African Americans.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Steve Geppi's collection goes on display at the Library of Congress


by Mike Rhode (more photographs here)

The Library of Congress put a small fraction of items from Steve Geppi's donation on display on Election Day. The timing was probably a coincidence, and not an attempt to remind Americans of their shared love for popular culture including icons Superman, G.I. Joe, Mickey Mouse, Captain America, and Popeye, that brings the country together and drives the economy.

As previously noted here throughout the summer, Geppi's Entertainment Museum (GEM) closed in Baltimore and the Library was offered a choice of items from it. Exhibit director David Mandel introduced Geppi at a press preview, noting "Steve has donated over 3,000 items from his personal collection of comic books and popular art, the largest donation of its kind in the Library's history. The multi-million dollar gift includes comic books, original art, photos, posters, newspapers, buttons, pins, badges and related materials."

"It is really an honor to donate this collection because quite frankly it belongs here," noted Geppi as began his remarks. He continued, "Going forward this is not a matter of me donating my collection, dropping it off and saying goodbye. I have plans to be involved going forward because who knows what evolves from this one event?" Geppi continually invoked nostalgia and childhood memories as the reason he collected, and that people visited his museum. "We don't know what triggers our memories. And yes, these comic books are valuable, but what the Library of Congress represents is the recognition and acceptance of them as fine art."

2018 is the 90th anniversary of Mickey Mouse, and Geppi owned the storyboards for the cartoon Plane Crazy. "These are the first drawings of Mickey Mouse. in 1927, Walt Disney was on a train with [animator] Ub Iwerks and Lindbergh had just crossed the Atlantic. Walt said, 'You know the whole world is plane crazy right now. We need to do a cartoon short.' Most people when asked what was the first Mickey Mouse cartoon say Steamboat Willie, but that was the first cartoon released. There were two before it. The first one was Plane Crazy. They chose to release Steamboat Willie first because talkies were coming out [and it had whistling and music].
The original art on display for another first appearance is of Captain America. "Martin Goodman, who owned Timely Comics, which is now Marvel Comics, said to Joe Simon, of Simon and Kirby, "Go draw me a character called Captain America." The inscription on the drawing reads, "Martin - Here's the character. I think he should have a kid buddy, or he'll just be talking to himself all the time. I'm working up a script. Send schedule. Regards, Joe." The original model for G.I. Joe, the first action figure is also included in the exhibit's Patriotism case.
When asked if there's anything he's hoping to find and donate in the future, Geppi said, "In comics and animation, things were thrown away. I doubt seriously that the original art or cover to Action Comics #1 exists, but every time we say that, we find something that no one thought existed. As they say, it's the thrill of the hunt. I think from the Library's perspective, it will encourage more people to donate material that they think belongs. In addition, it will probably spook more stuff out of attics and hopefully whatever ends up here will be the best of the best. I still have a few more secrets that I have yet to give."


Obviously the entire GEM display, a full museum with multiple galleries, couldn't be replicated in the Library. Initially, five small cases of material are on display in the historic Jefferson building, although Geppi repeatedly mentioned that a room would be forthcoming, presumably similar to the Bob Hope or Gershwin galleries. The cases are organized thematically by Patriotism, Early Comics Materials and Marketing, Mickey Mouse, Exploration, and About the Geppi Entertainment Museum. Early Comics features an 1818 comic magazine, The Idiot, or, Invisible Rambler as well as other nineteenth-century material including a printing block for the Yellow Kid, and oddly enough, boxes for Quick Mother's Oats and Kellogg's Rice Krispies which have no characters on them (and seem more appropriate for the National Museum of American History's food exhibit). Exploration has science fiction themes including a Superman Krypto-Raygun. About GEM ranges all over including a Captain Marvel Club code letter, a ticket to Woodstock, Pac-Man cereal, the packaging for McDonald's Star Trek Meal (1979), and a toy Beatles guitar.

At the conclusion of the press conference, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, the former Baltimore librarian who agreed to accepting Geppi's collection, stopped in and the two posed for pictures.




 The following is material that will not be on display including a Maud the Mule comic strip by Opper, a Cathy comic strip by Cathy Guisewite, Big Little Books, buttons and pins, and more pages from Mickey Mouse in Plane Crazy.









Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Sept 1: Cartoons and comics at the National Book Festival UPDATED

The Library of Congress' National Book Festival is free and at the Convention Center.



2:40 pm-3:10 pmPatrick McDonnell5:30 pm-6:30 pm
3:10 pm-3:40 pmTillie Walden5:30 pm-6:30 pm
3:10 pm-3:40 pmPénélope Bagieu5:30 pm-6:30 pm
3:40 pm-4:10 pmEd Piskor5:30 pm-6:30 pm




It appears that the above is the biggest chunk of time to see cartoonists, all on the 'genre' stage. Corrections and additions are welcomed.



Pénélope Bagieu

At the 2018 National Book Festival

Presentation

  • Genre Fiction
    Saturday, September 1
    3:10 pm - 3:40 pm

Book Signing

  • Saturday, September 1
    5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Pénélope Bagieu was born in Paris in 1982 to Corsican and Basque parents. She is a best-selling graphic novel author, and her editorial illustrations have appeared all over the French media. In America, her graphic novels include "Exquisite Corpse," "California Dreamin'" and, most recently, "Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World" (First Second). She blogs, plays drums in a rock band and watches lots of nature shows. Bagieu is also the creator of the animated film "No More Laughter," and she has done work on many advertising campaigns.

At the 2018 National Book Festival

Presentation

  • Children's Green Stage
    Saturday, September 1
    10:40 am - 11:05 am

Book Signing

  • Saturday, September 1
    noon - 1:00 pm
Harry Bliss is a cartoonist and cover artist for The New Yorker. He has illustrated many picture books, including the No. 1 New York Times best-selling series by Doreen Cronin that began with "Diary of a Worm," and he has both written and illustrated several picture books, including "Grace for Gus" and "Luke on the Loose." Harry Bliss lives in New Hampshire. His new book is "Good Rosie!" (Candlewick), written by Kate DiCamillo.

Previous National Book Festival Appearances

 

Roxane Gay

http://www.loc.gov/bookfest/author/roxane_gay

At the 2018 National Book Festival

Presentation

  • Genre Fiction
    Saturday, September 1
    4:10 pm - 4:40 pm

Book Signing

  • Saturday, September 1
    5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Roxane Gay’s writing appears in “Best American Mystery Stories 20140,” “Best American Short Stories 2012,” “Best Sex Writing 2012,” and the magazines Harper’s Bazaar, A Public Space, McSweeney’s, Tin House, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Virginia Quarterly Review and many others. She is also a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. Gay is the author of the books “Ayiti,” “An Untamed State,” the New York Times best-selling “Bad Feminist,” the national best-selling “Difficult Women” and the New York Times best-selling “Hunger: A Memoir of My Body.” She is also the author of “Black Panther: World of Wakanda” (Marvel) and the editor of “Best American Short Stories 2018.” Gay is currently at work on film and television projects, a book of writing advice, an essay collection about television and culture and a young adult novel, “The Year I Learned Everything.”

Previous National Book Festival Appearances

 

Patrick McDonnell

At the 2018 National Book Festival

Presentation

  • Genre Fiction
    Saturday, September 1
    2:40 pm - 3:10 pm

Book Signing

  • Saturday, September 1
    5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

At the 2018 National Book Festival

Presentation

  • Genre Fiction
    Saturday, September 1
    10:00 am - 10:45 am

Book Signing

  • Saturday, September 1
    11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Brad Meltzer is the No. 1 New York Times best-selling author of "The Inner Circle," "The Book of Fate" and nine other best-selling thrillers, including "The Tenth Justice," "The First Counsel," "The Millionaires" and "The President's Shadow." His newest book is "The Escape Artist" (Grand Central). In addition to his fiction, Meltzer has been on the best-seller lists with the nonfiction "History Decoded," children's books such as "Heroes for My Son" and "Heroes for My Daughter," and for comic books such as "Justice League of America."

Previous National Book Festival Appearances


At the 2018 National Book Festival

Presentation

  • Genre Fiction
    Saturday, September 1
    3:40 pm - 4:10 pm

Book Signing

  • Saturday, September 1
    5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Ed Piskor is the writer and artist behind "X-Men: Grand Design" (Marvel). This deeply personal and heavily researched reimagining of the origins of the world famous X-Men incorporates the past 40 years of the title's history and has been met with critical acclaim from all corners of the comics world. Piskor is also the creator behind "Hip Hop Family Tree," the New York Times best-selling series that won the 2015 Eisner Award for best reality-based work. Piskor's other published works include "Wizzywig" and, in collaboration with Harvey Pekar, "American Splendor" and "The Beats: A Graphic History." Ed teaches classes on comics and lives in Pennsylvania.

Previous National Book Festival Appearances


At the 2018 National Book Festival

Presentation

  • Genre Fiction
    Saturday, September 1
    3:10 pm - 3:40 pm

Book Signing

  • Saturday, September 1
    5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Tillie Walden is a cartoonist and illustrator from Ausin, Texas. She is a graduate of the Center for Cartoon Studies and is a two-time Eisner nominee and Ignatz Award winner. She is the author of the graphic novels "Spinning" (First Second) and "On a Sunbeam." "Spinning" is about Walden's years as a competitive figure skater. She lives in Los Angeles.


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Sara Duke discusses Steve Geppi's Museum donation to the Library of Congress


By Mike Rhode

Shortly after the announcement that Steve Geppi of Baltimore would be closing his Geppi’s Entertainment Museum in Baltimore and donating its holdings to the Library of Congress, I reached out to Library of Congress graphic arts curator Sara Duke (a personal friend of mine) for her thoughts on the donation.

MR: Whose idea was this donation? Did it come from the top down?

SD: My understanding is that Dr. Hayden and Steve Geppi have been long-term friends going back to her days at the Enoch Pratt library. The directive from inside the Library came from her, but the staff in the Prints and Photographs and Serials divisions were enthusiastic about the opportunity.

MR: Do you know what the offer consisted of originally? Was it the entire contents of the Geppi’s Entertainment Museum (GEM)?

SD: Yes, we were told that we could have whatever we wanted from the museum. We don’t collect many three-dimensional objects, even though we’re in the process of building three more storage modules at Fort Meade to store our book collection, but even with that we don’t have sufficient space to store objects properly. So the decision was made to be very selective about 3-D works of art, but to be inclusive of works of arts on paper, photographs, newsprint, comic books, Big Little Books, sheet music and even some recorded sound.


MR: How was material selected? Did each department in the Library handle its own specialty?

SD: Teams of people from the Prints & Photograph and Serials divisions went to Baltimore. We were provided with a spreadsheet from the Museum, probably created by an appraiser, and from the inventory list, we worked room by room deciding what was wanted, what was actually on the walls or in the cases but not on the inventory list, and trying to ascertain what would come to the Library. It took several trips to do that as you would imagine. We sat down as a team and we reached out to colleagues in other divisions about what they would and would not take. We created a list of desiderata to give to Mr. Geppi’s representatives.

MR: Was material that was not on display included as well?

SD: No.

MR: Where is some of the non-art or serial material such as the Big Little Books going?

SD: They’ll go to Rare Books. They already have a collection.
101_7594

MR: Are they taking all of them or cherry picking?

SD: I believe they’re cherry picking so they don’t create a duplicate set. But the Serials division decided they would be inclusive and make the Geppi comic book set the exhibit-only set, while the existing comics in the Library would be the reference collection that researchers could handle. It’s been a research collection, and people have been looking at them… it’s a double-edged sword. If we never let anybody look at them, they’d be pristine, but we’re a research institution and people are supposed to look at and handle things.
101_7598

MR: I’ve seen some lists of the donation in various press releases. What are the highlights for you or your department?


SD: There are memorable pieces like the nine-sheet Bambi poster. We have a few nine-sheet posters in our collection, some attached and some detached, but that’s in spectacular condition. I know we have the display space for it at the Library of Congress, but it’s never going to look like it did in Geppi’s Entertainment Museum. That makes me sad. It was an over-the-top lovely gem (pun intended) of a museum. What stood out to me beside that? There’s some great comic strip drawings, an overwhelming number of posters -- some of which may be duplicates of what we have, but without taking a photograph of every one on the wall and comparing them against our collection, we just don’t know, and we didn’t have time to do that. So we’re taking every single poster that was on the wall.

101_7819
And just because something wasn’t on the walls doesn’t mean it’s gone from the collection. Michael, the curator there, said he was forever moving art in and out. Between the times we went out during a snowstorm in March and then again in April, he had rotated things from the warehouse and the Museum.

MR: What does that mean for you guys? If you get to pick from the Museum, does that include the warehouse too?

SD: That has not yet been offered to us.

MR: When did this start? Obviously it would be a complex negotiation.

SD: Late last year, or very early this year. Mr. Geppi came to visit the Library two or three times last year. One time he saw the original art for Amazing Fantasy #15 (aka the first appearance of Spider-Man – MR). He came back down for a private conversation with Dr. Hayden and then we started talking about going up to Baltimore to figure out what it would mean as an institution to absorb his collection. For a lot of institutions, absorbing 3,300 items would be overwhelming but for us it’s routine.

MR: The material is going to be divided by divisions when stored in the Library?

SD: Right. There’s some pressed records that are quite rare that are going to Recorded Sound. There are some videogame sets that the Motion Pictures Division has expressed interest in. The Rare Book Division is in charge of the Big Little Books and maybe some of the early bound volumes. Prints & Photograph and Serials are the benefactors, overwhelmingly.

MR: Will there be a Geppi Collection, or is the material being integrated into existing material? Is there going to be an organizing principle so someone could rebuild the collection?

SD: That will depend, division by division. We’ll be sitting down to hammer out a plan, but Prints & Photographs will record the provenance to the nth degree and it will be known as the Stephen A. Geppi Collection of Comics and Graphic Arts.

MR: Is he giving you any money to catalog the material?

SD: No.

MR: Do you have any more personal favorites besides Bambi?

SD: It’s a sweet poster, but there’s some spectacular early Yellow Kid material, there’s some really great trading cards, some patches minor league baseball teams and a poster marketing them… What’s really intriguing in the ability with this acquisition to tell a story that you would think we could tell through copyright deposits, but cannot. Some of it is so ephemeral that I don’t think people thought to copyright it and some of it, more recent material, hasn’t been required to be deposited for copyright so we just didn’t acquire it. As an institution that has been so dependent on copyright deposit for its growth, until 1978 when the rules about what was required to be deposited changed, it’s really refreshing to have a popular culture collection come into the institution. It resets that type of collection and gives us what we’re lacking.

MR: I’ve heard that the Copyright department doesn’t necessarily keep a lot of what comes in…

SD: The majority of material sent in is reproductions, so if it’s not up to a standard that we consider acceptable, such as color photocopies, we are selective about what we acquire for the permanent collections. We want as original and as best an edition as we can possibly have. The changes in copyright law meant that people have copyright protection from the moment of creation so they no longer have to pay a fee to protect their interest and copyright, so we just don’t get the volume that we got 100 years ago.

MR: Did you take the Yellow Kid buttons?

SD: We’re intending to. We’re also getting the Mickey Mouse animation drawings for Plane Crazy, so sitting next to the ‘birth certificate’ for Spider-Man will now be the ‘birth certificate’ for Mickey Mouse and that’s a pretty enormous acquisition for the Library.

MR: The ones he donated to Mort Walker’s museum and then had to buy back when they auctioned them off to keep their doors open?

SD: It’s sad [when you consider] the number of cartoon museums that have closed in the last twenty years. Art Wood’s to Mort Walker’s to the Toonseum in Pittsburgh, and now Geppi. It’s a hard economy for something that’s so popular with America. It’s interesting that George Lucas is now opening an entertainment museum in California, but it seems like it’s a hard sell. Why is that? Is it that people of a certain income are willing to patronize fine art, but are not willing to patronize cartoon art? Is it just not enough of a draw to make people go back again and again? I certainly went to the Geppi Museum several times, and my son always had it on his required activity list for Baltimore. But apparently it wasn’t on enough people’s required activity list unfortunately. So who has benefited? It’s been larger repositories. 
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MR: My suspicion is that most mid-size cities have a comprehensive art museum, such as Indianapolis or Omaha, that covers 1000 years of art history without anyone thinking twice about it, but a standalone specialty museum probably always have more trouble than any other type. You can have a science, or natural history, or art museum and people can find enough different things to keep coming back for. When it’s a specialized museum that doesn’t change, or not as often, it probably affects attendance.

SD: For small museums, with small staffs, I think it’s hard to build programming to get people in the door consistently. And for all museums, they’ll never make more than 15% of their revenue in admission fees. They’re dependent on grants, memberships, special events, things like that.

MR: What else should I have asked about?

SD: What I try to make clear to everybody, is that while the Library is honored to have this collection, we are very saddened by the circumstances that led it to coming here. They did the right thing. The museum code of ethics says you don’t sell your collection, but you donate it to another institution. It’s a magnanimous gift. It really is. Quite frankly, it blows my socks off. We could never afford to buy or build this collection. People think the Library of Congress has bottomless pockets, but we don’t. We can’t afford to compete at auction for comic books and cartoon art and posters. We can buy selectively, but very few items come to us each year by purchase compared to what we get from gifts. This gift is amazing.

I think we can do it justice. There will be people that will resent that we can’t recreate GEM in its entirety and we can’t, but anybody with a reader’s card is welcome to come in and make use of the collection.

MR: There’s always going to be a difference between a museum, a library, and an archive, and no museum can put everything on display anyway.

SD: Right, and our exhibit space represents the wealth of the Library’s collections, so the graphic arts display is always going to be much smaller than GEM’s footprint. We will start exhibiting selections later this summer and we have every intention of creating a space in which comics and other works from the collection are featured prominently. It’s going to be very difficult to get it down to the Library. The Bambi and Ten Commandments posters are 90 x 90 inches. Finding physical room to store it and make it accessible to researchers is going to be challenging to say the least, but it’s a labor of love.

There were about 125 pieces of ‘original art’ – hand-drawn comic strips and animation cels – but we consider the posters and ephemera to be original art, so what’s coming to Prints & Photographs is probably equal to the number of comic books. It might not be equal in monetary value, and people would argue if it’s equal in historical value, but I make a case that it is. Monetary value aside, original art, posters and ephemera are equally important in understanding American popular culture. It’s a very, very generous gift and not one that we could replicate any other way.