2009 in the Comic Art Collection at Michigan State University Libraries. <http://comics.lib.msu.edu/>
The International Comic Art Collection continued to thrive in 2009. Some acquisitions highlights were the donation of nearly 1,000 British weekly comic books (Dandy, Beano, Victor) from the 1970s, the purchase of 1,000 issues if the Argentine magazine Tit-Bits (a children's magazine with lots of comics) from the 1940s and 1950s, and a quick buying trip to Mexico City which added 300 items to our still random, but ever larger, collection of over 5,000 Mexican comics. We completed or very nearly completed our runs of the Spanish comics Cimoc, Creepy, and 1984. Other donations continued to arrive, mostly American comic books in quantity. An important local development is the beginning of a studio art class, called Comics and Visual Narrative, which has now been taught for two semesters by autobiographical comics artist and MFA Ryan Claytor. His class is also being taught at the University of Michigan-Flint. The final projects of almost fifty students have been deposited in our collection, and with this it begins to feel like Michigan State is contributing to the future of comics and not just the preservation of comics. A two-day forum on comics was held in March, and was attended by 200 people. Undergraduate use of comics for class work remains strong, averaging one student per day. This has reoriented our priorities somewhat toward recent "mainstream" comic books, as that's what the undergraduates are asking for. We have welcomed traveling scholars from Australia, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, and Ann Arbor, Mich. Two graduate students in the History Department here began their programs this fall by volunteering in the comics collection, and another from the library school at Champaign-Urbana is now doing a three-week stint of volunteer comics cataloging. One big event was the finalizing of a gift of about about three million comic strips in proof sheet format from King Features Syndicate. Three publishers have used this new collection: IDW Publishing has released a volume of Rip Kirby, Classic Comics Press has published The Heart of Juliet Jones, with other titles in the works, and Hermes Press has a volume of The Phantom on the way. The King Features strip collection is almost completely organized and cataloged, and re-housing in acid-free boxes and Tyvek envelopes is under way. SPEC Productions used our scrapbook collection of George Wunder's Terry and the Pirates for a forthcoming reprint. Cataloging in general has gone well this year, with 3,500 new titles added to the library's online catalog.
News about the premier academic journal devoted to all aspects of cartooning and comics -- the International Journal of Comic Art (ISSN 1531-6793) published and edited by John Lent.