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Wednesday, April 22 • 3:00pm - 4:20pm
Promoting Minicomics in Special Collections and Special Collections in Minicomics

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The Information Age has empowered a wide range of sequential artists to pursue narratives and art styles not represented within major comics publishing companies. Web publishing has the benefit of being less-costly than traditional print runs, but independent creators often still need physical products to sell at comic conventions and in their online stores. Many of these creators turn to minicomics for inexpensive merchandise. Minicomics, also known as small press or ashcan comics, are often printed and assembled by the artists themselves. This inexpensive and accessible format creates inspiring collections in libraries, especially in special collections and archives.

This session will address the relationship between special collections and mini-comics creators in two ways. First, the presenters will discuss how they have partnered with sequential art faculty on a minicomics assignment. This assignment is coupled with a visit to special collections and will educate them on special collections, handling archival collections, and primary source research. The students’ assignment will be a mini-comic inspired by special collections that can then be reproduced by the library for promotional purposes. Students will be provided with a sheet that specifies what information must be included with on the back page of each minicomic as well as suggested minicomic topics. At the end of the quarter the students will promote their works at a minicomics expo where the library will also have a table to promote the minicomics in special collections.

Second, the presenters will discuss how they have promoted the minicomics held in special collections. The minicomics collections are a mix of student and faculty work and work from outside artists. The special collections librarian and the sequential art liaison librarian teamed up to identify the most engaging student minicomics to feature in social media posts. These posts not only highlight materials with lower usage statistics but also draw more students to the library’s social media and encourage them to donate their work to the library. By promoting student work in special collections, the library fosters a lasting relationship with students. The students from the minicomics class also each select a favorite minicomic held by special collections to be highlighted in library social media posts. These guest posts encourage the students to engage in deeper primary source research, explore a variety of minicomics formats, and provide a student view of special collections on library social media.

avatar for Christine Mannix

Christine Mannix

Instruction Librarian, Columbus College of Art & Design
Instruction librarian and keeper of the CCAD Historic Art Book Collection.


Stephanie Noell

Special Collections Librarian, University of Texas at San Antonio

Sauda Mitchell

Savannah College of Art and Design

Wednesday April 22, 2020 3:00pm - 4:20pm CDT
Chase Park Plaza: Maryland A