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Library of Congress Celebrates the World of Comics

Wonder Woman 77 v 1

If you’re going to be in Washington, DC, over the next few days, check out the cool comics exhibit at the Library of Congress! The events include a live interview with Wonder Woman herself, Lynda Carter, which will be live-streamed—tickets are already sold out. Here’s a press release with all the details! (Image from DC Comics’ Wonder Woman ’77, vol. 1.)

The Library of Congress is gearing up for a super summer treat celebrating the role of comics and graphic novels in promoting literacy, as collectibles, in the arts, advertising, sociology, popular culture and history. Making a variety of collection items more accessible to the general public, the “Library of Awesome” features a pop-up display of famous comic-book issues, drawings, original comic strips and related items. Programming for all ages will be offered.

Nearly 100 comic-book collection items will be on display for “Library of Awesome,” a pop-up exhibit featuring items from the Library’s comic-book collections presented in conjunction with Awesome Con, Washington, D.C.’s annual convention of comics, cosplay and pop culture. The display will be on view Wednesday, June 14 through Saturday, June 17 on the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington D.C. Tickets are not required.

“Comic books attract fans and collectors of all ages. What many people might not know is that the Library of Congress is a collector as well,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “We have the world’s largest collection of comic books, and I am so pleased we can share some of them during this special display. I hope this experience will inspire visitors to further explore our collections and discover other surprises.”

The collections of the Library of Congress include nearly 140,000 comic books dating back to the 1930s. Visitors will see famous editions of such comic-book characters as Wonder Woman, Superman and some of the most significant artwork and storylines in comic-book history. These include original artwork for the first appearance of Spider-Man and the American classic known as Famous Funnies No. 1 (1934), considered by many to be the first American comic book. First appearances of Batman, the Fantastic Four and the Incredible Hulk will be on display, as well as rare early science fiction and children’s comics. The exhibit will also feature first issues of Archie, Luke Cage: Hero for Hire and Supergirl.

Additional programming includes a family-friendly costume contest with a chance to win a pair of tickets to Awesome Con 2017, workshops and demonstrations.

Events are free and open to the public. Visitors who come to “Library of Awesome” dressed in a superhero character costume will receive a 15 percent discount on merchandise at the Library of Congress Shop.

The excitement can be followed on Twitter at @librarycongress and #LCcomics.

Thursday, June 15
10 a.m. – 4 p.m., LJ 113, first floor
“Library of Awesome” Comic-Book Display
Visitors are invited to explore this pop-up display of more than 100 iconic comic-book issues of today’s most popular characters. The display will feature multiple themes including Wonder Woman and milestones, Marvel Comics, DC Comics, children’s comics and sci-fi comics. Free and open to the public. No tickets required.

2 p.m., Young Readers Center
Cosplay Demonstration

Library Technician Ashley Dickerson and other cosplayers will demonstrate how they develop characters. Free and open to the public. No tickets required.

3 p.m., Young Readers Center
Cosplay Workshop

Library of Congress Young Readers Center staff and cosplayers will teach visitors how to make superhero arm gauntlets using basic craft supplies. Kids are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite characters. Free and open to the public. No tickets required.

Friday, June 16
9:30 a.m., Neptune Plaza
Costume Contest

Get your capes ready! Come dressed up as your favorite comic-book character for the ultimate costume contest. There will be separate categories for children and adult participants. The winners of the adult contest will receive a pair of passes to 2017 Awesome Con to be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Free and open to the public. Reservations required; visit Eventbrite for reservation and official contest rules.
NOTE: Participants must comply with Cosplay & Costume Weapons Guidelines, below.

10 a.m. – 3 p.m., LJ 113, first floor
“Library of Awesome” Comic-Book Display

Visitors are invited to explore this pop-up display of more than 100 iconic comic-book issues of today’s most popular characters. The display will feature multiple themes including Wonder Woman and milestones, Marvel Comics, DC Comics, children’s comics and sci-fi comics. Free and open to the public. No tickets required.

2 p.m., Coolidge Auditorium
Lynda Carter Speaks with Librarian Carla Hayden

Actress Lynda Carter, star of the 1970s “Wonder Woman” television series, will be interviewed by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. Carter will discuss how her legendary character empowered generations of girls and boys. The interview will be live-streamed on the Library’s Facebook page at facebook.com/libraryofcongress and its YouTube channel at youtube.com/LibraryOfCongress. More information on this event: loc.gov/item/prn-17-081/.

Saturday, June 17
9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Young Readers Center

“Library of Awesome” themed activities and displays
Young Readers Center staff will host activities all day, including drawing comic books, creating props, and assembling costumes. Visitors will also be able to explore comic books, graphic novels and other Young Readers Center collections and partake in superhero and sci-fi-themed photo shoots.

10 a.m. – 4 p.m., LJ 113, first floor
“Library of Awesome” Comic-Book Display

Visitors are invited to explore this pop-up display of more than 100 iconic comic-book issues of today’s most popular characters. The display will feature multiple themes including Wonder Woman and milestones, Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Children’s comics and sci-fi comics. Free and open to the public. No tickets required.

11 a.m., Walter E. Washington Convention Center
“Comics Conversation: Collections and Preservation at the Library” *

Join Library of Congress staff members, including Senior Rare Book Conservator Claire Dekle, Curator of Popular and Applied Graphic Art Sara W. Duke, Reference Specialist Megan Halsband, Head of the Newspaper Section Georgia Higley and Curator of Popular and Applied Graphic Art Martha H. Kennedy, for a panel discussion about the original art and collections held at the Library. Panelists will share highlights of the collections, provide insights on the conservation and preservation of this material, and suggest how attendees might come to use the Library’s collections for their own research.
* Awesome Con 2017 ticket required for attendance. For more information on Awesome Con, visit the site.

The Library of Awesome is made possible by gifts to the Library of Congress Fund. Those interested in supporting free programs at the Library can contact devofc@loc.gov.

The Serial and Government Publications Division maintains one of the most extensive newspaper collections in the world. It is exceptionally strong in United States newspapers, with 9,000 titles covering the past three centuries. With over 25,000 non-U.S. titles, it is the largest collection of overseas newspapers in the world. Beyond its newspaper holdings, the division also has extensive collections of current periodicals, comic books and government publications. The comic-book collection is available for research use by scholars, collectors, and other researchers in the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room; for more information visit loc.gov/rr/news/coll/049.html.

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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Brigid Alverson About Brigid Alverson

Brigid Alverson, the editor of the Good Comics for Kids blog, has been reading comics since she was 4. She has an MFA in printmaking and has worked as a book editor and a newspaper reporter; now she is assistant to the mayor of Melrose, Massachusetts. In addition to editing GC4K, she writes about comics and graphic novels at MangaBlog, SLJTeen, Publishers Weekly Comics World, Comic Book Resources, MTV Geek, and Good E-Reader.com. Brigid is married to a physicist and has two daughters in college, which is why she writes so much. She was a judge for the 2012 Eisner Awards.

Comments

  1. I liked your story about Lynda Carter. I posted copyright free photos of her at the event at Wikimedia commons. Please feel free to us them. My best regards, Gerald Shields

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