Comics, Comic-Con and SDSU: A Symbiotic Relationship
Since fall 2011, the San Diego State University Library’s Comic Arts Committee has been exploring ways for the library and campus to optimize participation in and association with Comic-Con International. The first project undertaken by the committee was to survey SDSU faculty to ascertain their use of alternative media in the classroom and involvement with Comic-Con. The survey results were posted to the committee’s Website, which serves as a clearinghouse for the comic arts collections and resources in the SDSU Library, as well as for the committee’s activities.
Comic-Con International banner at the San Diego Convention Center during Comic-Con 2011. Roberta Niederjohn photo.
Currently, the committee is preparing to present a poster session titled “Comics, Comic-Con and SDSU: A Symbiotic Relationship” at the Comic Arts Conference during Comic-Con International at 2:00 p.m. on July 14. Alumni and friends of the university are encouraged to visit the session and pick up a free button featuring the work of Aztec alumnus Lalo Alcaraz. Results of the faculty survey will be presented at the poster session, as will the recorded oral histories of the remaining founders and early participants of Comic-Con and information about the library’s comics collection.
“We’re very excited to have the opportunity to share the committee’s work with researchers and others in the comics community. In addition to strengthening SDSU’s relationship with Comic Con, we’re interested in establishing stronger ties to those groups as well,” said Markel Tumlin, reference librarian and chair of the Comic Arts Committee.
Artist Kenneth Hill at work during Comic-Con 2011. Roberta Niederjohn photo.
The SDSU Library’s Department of Special Collections and University Archives has a growing collection of alternative media and science fiction, with an emphasis in drawn books, independent, small press and mini-comics as well as materials that document the history of comic book culture and the creative process behind comic book production. Highlights include the Donna Barr Collection, RawMagazine: The Full Run, and the West Coast Zines Collection.
“While it’s an alternative rather than mainstream comics collection, it shares what many comics are about and what excites so many Comic-Con attendees – creative ideas, inspiration, fantastical dreams, and wild imaginings – in short, mythology, but a mythology for moderns. Ironically, the edgy, underground content in our collection which used to be marginalized is now not that uncommon, and what had been seen as ‘low-brow’ literature is now considered by many ‘high-brow’,” said Robert Ray, head of Special Collections and University Archives.
For more information about the collection, please contact Robert Ray
, head of Special Collections and University Archives, at (619) 594-4303; or Markel Tumlin
, reference librarian and chair of the Comic Arts Committee, at (619) 594-6875.