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

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Exhibit Review: Comic Art: 120 Years of Panels and Pages


by Mike Rhode


Comic Art: 120 Years of Panels and Pages. Sara W. Duke and Martha H. Kennedy, Prints and Photographs Division and Georgia M. Higley and Megan Halsband, Serial and Government Publications Division. Washington, DC: Library of Congress. September 12, 2019- September 2020. https://www.loc.gov/exhibitions/comic-art/about-this-exhibition/

Since I am friends with all four of the curators of the exhibit, consider this more of an exhibit overview rather than a review. Located in the historic Jefferson Building, the site of many fine exhibitions besides those of comic art, the Swann Gallery’s exhibits are always interesting and this one is no exception. The exhibit showcases highlights of the Library’s collection of comic art, meaning in this exhibit at least comic strips and comic books, including its very latest forays into collecting.

The exhibit is divided rather arbitrarily into five sections – “Early Years: 1890s-1920s,” “Mid-Twentieth Century: 1930s-1960s,” “Late-Twentieth Century and Onward: 1970s-2000s,” “Comic Books and Beyond: 1940s-2000s,” and “Webcomics.” Although the sections are clearly delineated on the website, this is less true for the actual exhibit except for the comic books which are displayed in cases in the middle of the gallery, and the webcomics which are on a screen by the exit door.


 

Taking the three original art sections first, there are some very good original cartoons on display, beginning in Early Years with the copyright drawing for the Yellow Kid, and originals from Winsor McCay, Frank King’s Gasoline Alley, George Herriman’s Krazy Kat, and some tearsheets from the Geppi Collection. The next section has a fine Batman & Robin page, a lovely Burne Hogarth original of Tarzan, and an early Peanuts original, although the Hulk page by Marie Severin has been shown too many times in recent exhibits. The latest section definitely plays into the interests of the two curators. There are two 9-11 pieces, one from Will Eisner and one from Alex Ross that were collected after that tragedy, a Sunday strip from local cartoonist Richard Thompson’s Cul de Sac, a page from the New Yorker's Chris Ware, items from women cartoonists Trina Robbins, Lynn Johnston and Marguerite Dabaie, and posters and prints from the Small Press Expo collection. 



The comic book section is limited by both space and the difficulties in displaying bound printed matter, (as the Post Office classified comics when they were sent through the mail to subscribers). Again reflecting the interests of this sections curators, there are some rare pieces such as the recently-acquired All-Negro Comics no. 1 and DC’s World Best Comics no. 1, along standards such as a Disney issue of Dell’s Four Color Comics, EC’s Weird Fantasy, Lobo (an uninspired Western distinguished only by having an African-American hero), Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor, Mad no. 6, Twisted Sisters no. 1 and an fanzine among others. The Webcomics section just shows strips on a computer screen, made up from some of the electronic comics that the Library has begun collecting digitally including Ryan North’s Dinosaur Comics, Randall Munroe’s XKCD and Kate Beaton’s Hark! A Vagrant. It is nice that the curators are including this new form, but seeing them on a large computer screen in an exhibit gallery does not add anything to the understanding of the strips. 



The exhibit will be switched out around February to preserve the paper items. In a small room next to the exhibit, Sara Duke’s selection of Herblock cartoons from fifty years ago is worth looking at, especially since the topics he drew and she selected are still problems and in the news.


(This review was written for the International Journal of Comic Art 22:1, but this version appears on both the IJOCA and ComicsDC websites on January 8 2020, while the exhibit is still open for viewing.)

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.