The Library of Congress to Host Collection of SPX’s Best Indie Comics

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Here’s one pretty big endorsement of the legitimacy of independent comics in American culture: the Library of Congress itself will be working with the Small Press Expo to help curate their collection of indie comics on an ongoing basis. SPX director Warren Bernard describes how the partnership came about:

[I]t evolved first out of my noticing that the Prints and Photographs collection of original cartoon art stops in the last century, and they had very little independent comic art in the collection as a whole. I had also became friendly with Georgia Higley, who is the comic book and serials curator in the Serial and Government Publications Division. I was talking to her about SPX a few years ago, and she was telling me about how little of the kind of comics exhibited at SPX was in the Library’s collection.

Between the two, it was clear that a hole in the Library of Congress collection could be fixed and the indie comics world could get some cultural cache at the same time. All that was needed was the right approach that could work for both organizations. After talking to Georgia and Sara many times about the Library’s collections and what they were looking for collections-wise, about a year ago I put together the proposal for the partnership between SPX and the Library of Congress, which both the Board of Directors of SPX and the Library of Congress accepted formally a few weeks ago.

SPX’s recommendations will remain limited to guests and exhibitors of the Expo, but even that field is chock full of artists and comics that are very much worth the recognition, like Jess Fink, Jim Woodring, Roz ChastBecky Dreisdadt, Meredith Gran, and Kate Beaton. And that’s just from this year. The SPX’s resident award show, the Ignatzs, will also be included in the collection. Every nominee will be incorporated into the Library of Congress, whether or not they win. The winner of Best Online Comic will have its archive added to the Library’s digital collection, and we’re wondering if that is retroactive, because then somebody could go to the Library of Congress and read all of, say, Achewood or The Perry Bible Fellowship.

And that’s a world I want to live in.

(via The Beat.)

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Susana Polo
Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.