The Small Press Expo (SPX), the preeminent showcase for the exhibition of independent comics, graphic novels, and alternative political cartoons, announced the establishment of the Small Press Expo Collection at The Library of Congress.
In a first of its kind relationship, SPX is creating with the Library of Congress an ongoing collection that will focus on the craft and diversity of the independent comics community. Only those who have attended SPX as guests or exhibitors can have their works considered for the collection.
The primary emphasis will be on those works that are not submitted as part of the Library of Congress copyright deposit program, allowing the Library of Congress to expand its collection in areas that would not be otherwise available to its collections staff. This will include self published mini-comics and comics, as well as the new wave of tabloid comic sections that have become popular in the last few years.
Every year, SPX will team with Library of Congress curators and collections staff to solicit selected exhibitors for works to be included in the collection. In addition, all Ignatz Award nominees in the various print categories will automatically become part of the collection, with the winner of the Ignatz Award for the Best Online Comic to be archived as part of the Library of Congress digital collections program. The collection will also include all posters, flyers, badges, and other artistic ephemera created for SPX by comic artists, as well as having the SPX web site digitally archived.
“The Library of Congress has been collecting comic books and original cartoon art before most collectors took it seriously as an art form. The Small Press Expo (SPX) Collection will enhance the Library’s existing holdings and allow future researchers to see the full spectrum of cartoon art that is available today,” said Sara W. Duke, curator of popular and applied graphic art in the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division.