Comics Presentations Future and Past

Two images. The top shows text that says National Book Festival and then a picture below that is an orange background with plants with books growing at the top and more text overtop that reads Open a Book Open the World. Below is a blue image with dark blue and white paterns and visible text that reads SPX 2021.

Homepage images from the National Book Festival and the Small Press Expo websites, accessed September 13, 2021.

This weekend will bring an exciting 10-day, extended National Book Festival, as well as the 2021 Small Press Expo. These events have both gone virtual, and there are going to be some exciting comics presentations up online for you to watch! As the library with the largest publicly available comic book collection in the world, we want to encourage you to learn more about our collections from these videos.

Don’t miss seeing these upcoming presentations during the 2021 National Book Festival:

With Great Responsibility: The Spider-Man Origin Story in Art and Comic Books
Thursday, September 23, 2021, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm EDT
Starring our own Megan Halsband and the Prints and Photograph Division’s Sara W. Duke, this interactive event aimed at children and young adults will highlight and discuss the imaginative possibilities of a talented writer (Stan Lee) and artist (Steve Ditko) working as a team.

Trung Le Nguyen is known for artwork with Image Comics, Boom! Studios and Oni Press and is now the author of the graphic novel, “The Magic Fish.” Nguyen will have a video available and will have a live Q&A.

Roxanne Gay, known for her novels, essays, and short stories, will be discussing her newly published graphic novel, “The Sacrifice of Darkness.”

Before you dive into these online events, we thought you might want to remember some of the notable comics related presentations from the Library in years past.

National Book Festival Presentations

A headshot of a man with dark hair and glasses is next to the image of an orange book cover that reads Dragon Hoops and a yellow book cover that reads Superman Smashes the Clan.

Still image from “Gene Luen Yang: National Book Festival 2020,” September 25, 2020.

These are only a few of the many wonderful presentations given by both authors and illustrators at the National Book Festival in previous years. Check out the National Book Festival website for a full listing of previous presenters.

Gene Luen Yang: National Book Festival 2020

Gene Luen Yang Live Q&A: 2020 National Book Festival

Raina Telgemeier: 2019 National Book Festival

Read & Meet / Comic Books & Pop Culture: 2019 National Book Festival

Politics & the Comic Strip: 2017 National Book Festival

Rep. John Lewis & Andrew Aydin: 2016 National Book Festival

Representative John Lewis stands in front of a yellow banner that reads Book Festival over a blue background.

Still image from “Rep. John Lewis & Andrew Aydin: 2016 National Book Festival,” September 24, 2016.

Noelle Stevenson: 2016 National Book Festival

Stephan Pastis: 2015 National Book Festival

Lynda Barry: 2013 National Book Festival

SPX Talks

Comics to a T: The Triumphs and Troubles of Telling the Tyler Story, Seventh Annual SPX Talk, September 14, 2018. Carol Taylor discusses her creative life.

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund: Comics & the Power of Intellectual Freedom. Sixth Annual SPX Talk, September 15, 2017. Charles Brownstein discusses comic book censorship.

Fantagraphics Books and the Advent of the Graphic Novel, Fifth Annual SPX Talk, September 16, 2016. Comic book editor and publisher Gary Groth discusses his company, Fantagraphics Books.

Independent Comix Art & Mini-Comix: Dean Haspiel & the Small Press Expo, Annual SPX Talk, September 14, 2012. Dean Haspiel discusses the new collection of mini-comics in the Serial & Government Publications Division.

Special Programs

Peculiar Pop: Genre Comic Books at the Library of Congress, July 29, 2021. Jesse J. Holland and Megan Halsband discuss the Library of Congress comics collection, as well as the place of comics in American culture.

Jim Lee and Asian American Superheroes, May 6, 2021. Former National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Gene Luen Yang moderates a discussion between DC Chief Creative Officer and Publisher Jim Lee, illustrator Bernard Chang, and writers Sarah Kuhn and Minh Lê.

75 Years of DC Comics: The Art of Modern Mythmaking, March 29, 2018. Former DC publisher and president Paul Levitz and DC writer and artist Dan Jurgens discuss the history of superhero comics and celebrate 80 years of Superman.

Library of Awesome: A Conversation with Lynda Carter, June 17, 2017. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden interviews Lynda Carter, the actress known for playing Wonder Woman in the 1970s television series.

A woman in a purple suit sits on the left, while a woman in a black jacket and skirt sits in a chair on the right, both facing toward us. An old television sits in between them. On the television screen are the words Wonder Woman.

Still image from “Library of Awesome: A Conversation with Lynda Carter,” June 17, 2017.

The Unacknowledged History of Black Creators and Black Characters in Comic Books, November 10, 2016. Darrell Goza discusses the history of black creators and characters of comic books, as well as the degree to which early African-American superheroes generally adhered to common stereotypes of black men.

Eisner on the Graphic Novel, April 1, 2003. Renown comic book author and artist Will Eisner discusses the graphic novel.

Women’s Fashion History Through Newspapers: 1941-1960

Simple lines and ready-to-wear clothing dominated women’s fashion in the 1940s, heavily influenced by clothing rationing and Utility attire during World War II. By the end of the war, women desired more extravagant and stylish things.  A “New Look” created by Dior in the late 1940s led to a focus on femininity, elegance, and formality that defined women’s fashion throughout the 1950s. This is part 3 of a 3-part series that spans fashion history from 1900 to 1960.