September 3, 2011

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SPX Provides Short Ignantz Samples, Teams with Library of Congress

As we move closer to the 2011 Small Press Expo, the convention keeps announcing new and interesting things that make the show even better.

The most impressive news is that SPX is now partnering with the Library of Congress to start a collection of mini-comics and independently published works.  Given the ephemeral nature of mini-comics (we personally own a mini of Kate Beaton's that I bet has a bit of rarity, from SPX 2008), I think it's great that the LOC is not only taking an interest in them, but also teaming up with a great show that highlights these under-the-radar creations.

Here are some details about what is being archived:


This collection at the Library of Congress firmly establishes independent comics as being both culturally revelevant and historically important enough for ongoing collecting and preservation.
Only those guests and exhibitors who have attended Small Press Expo are eligible for inclusion in the collection, with the scope focusing on the following areas:
- Mini-comics, comics, tabloid comic sections and graphic novels that are not sent for copyright deposits to the Library of Congress.
- All posters, flyers, banners ads and other collateral created to promote SPX, including the original art, where possible .
- All Ignatz Award nominees in the print categories.
- Original art by Small Press Expo exhibitors and special guests
In addition, both the winner of the Ignatz Best Online Comic as well as the Small Press Expo web site will become part of the Library of Congress Web Archiving Collection.

Also, the Ignantz Awards page has been updated, with small samples from each of the nominees.  The samples are a great idea, especially in a year where I think the nominees are a bit more obscure than usual (though I have no real evidence beyond that beside a few casual conversations).  They load quickly and have an easy navigation screen, so props to whomever designed the previews.  My only complaint is that they are incredibly short, in some cases barely two pages each.  It's less a sampler and more a tease, in a way.  I'd love if they were able to have a larger sampling online for 2012.

The Small Press Expo is held every year at the Marriott in Bethseda, Maryland.  This year, the show is on September 10th and 11th.  Hope to see you there!