Thursday, October 2, 2008

Portland State University and Dark Horse Comics Open First Comic Book Archive

Dark Horse Comics logoThis week has turned out to be a pretty cool news week in the world of comic books. The Portland Monthly Magazine is reporting that Portland State University’s Branford P. Millar Library will house the country’s very first comic book archive. Dark Horse Comics, home to Star Wars, Hellboy and Sin City, has “so far donated over 3,000 volumes to the library’s shelves (that’s three copies of every title the company has ever produced), making PSU the first university in the country to keep such an archive.” (link) I think this is wonderful news and it is about time that the comic book industry is given the respect it deserves as both works of literature and art.

Dark Horse Comics Maverick Imprint Character Poster
Dark Horse Comics - Star Wars: Dark Empire #1 Cover ArtworkFor those of you wondering how such a collection ended up at Portland State University, it turns out that Dark Horse, the third largest U.S. publisher of comic books after Marvel and DC, was founded in 1986 by two PSU alumni, Mike Richardson and Neil Hankerson. In the article, librarian Helen H. Spalding is quoted as saying the Dark Horse Comics archive “is an important international research collection, it holds an interest for those studying American pop culture, gender studies, violence in literature—almost anything. We wanted to make the university a hub of comic-book studies.” (link)

Dark Horse Comics - Paul Chadwick's Concrete Cover ArtworkIf you’re in the Portland area then I highly recommend stopping by the PSU Millar Library and checking out the new Dark Horse section! I’d love to hear what it’s like and will one day hopefully get to see for myself. You can expect to see comics such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Concrete, Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot, Barb Wire, The Goon, Grendel, Groo, The Mask, Usagi Yojimbo, and Aliens in the newly created comic book archive.
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