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SDCC Program and flyer for the Popular Arts Caucus Panel (Image by Megan Halsband)

Lets Talk Comics: SPX, SDCC, and more!

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It’s September and that means its time for comics and the Small Press Expo (SPX)! Every year the Library hosts a speaker in connection with SPX – usually accompanied by a small display and of course, a lively conversation. This year’s lecture will be a bit different than years past – as it will be this Thursday September 7, 6-7 pm, as a part of the Library’s Live! At the Library programs. Derf Backderf will join us to speak on recreating history with comics and his Eisner award winning graphic novel “Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio” in room LJ 119 in the Thomas Jefferson Building.

Image of Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio and Derf Backderf. (Images courtesy of Derf Backderf)

The accompanying display will feature additional works by Derf, as well as other materials from the Small Press Expo Collection and additional comic books and graphic novels. The comics will highlight just a few of the many non-fiction and history comics in the Library’s collections. To entice you to join us in person – here is a sneak peek of some of the items we’ll be displaying from 5:30 to 7:30 in room LJ113 (right next to LJ119):

True Stories no. 1-4 (2014-2018); Trashed (2015); My Friend Dahmer (2012)
Black Panther Party (2021); Darwin: An Exceptional Voyage (2019); Freedom Hospital (2016); Graphic Memories (2019); June 4, 2020; Sapiens (2020)

We’ll also have a display of some of the 2022 Ignatz Award winners in the Newspaper & Current Periodical Reading Room during the month of September. Come check it out!

Display of 2022 Ignatz Award winners in the Newspaper & Current Periodical Reading Room.

SPX is this Saturday September 9-10, and I’m looking forward to seeing friends both old and new. And getting to see all the amazing new comics available! I’ve been going to SPX for about 12 years now, and every year I find something wonderful and exciting. This year in particular I will be on the lookout for all things related to comics journalism and romance comics. This is in part inspired by my trip to San Diego Comic Con this past July – my first! And I can confidently say that seeing pictures online is nothing like being there in person. From the “Preview” of the expo floor Wednesday night to the close of the con on Sunday, it felt like non-stop walking, talking, and looking. So. Much. Looking. In fact, I was so busy looking that I forgot to take photos! Here are some of the few I did take:

Images from San Diego Comic Con 2023 (All images by Megan Halsband)

I was invited to be a part of the panel convened by Congressman Robert Garcia to announce the Congressional Popular Arts Caucus! It was an honor and a privilege to be able to be a part of the panel, and I hope to continue to work with Congressman Garcia and the Caucus on future events!

SDCC Program and flyer for the Popular Arts Caucus Panel (Image by Megan Halsband)

In addition to being on a panel, I was able to attend a few myself: Comics Journalism: Looking at Panels Beyond the Page and Who Says Romance is Dead? I learned so much and have so many ideas to follow up on. Researchers have been coming in to look at dozens of our romance titles recently, so the romance panel was very timely. I even got to meet THE Trina Robbins. I had a few other fangirl moments as well – there were so many other artists, authors, and other comics nerds! Did you attend SDCC? What was your favorite fan moment? For my next post I want to share more of our recent acquisitions – but I can’t resist sharing a couple of the romance comics that have recently arrived.  And I hope to have more amazing finds to share with you soon!

Cinderella Love no. 9 (1952); Daring Love no. 1 (1953); It Rhymes with Lust (1950)


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