One of the special treats of living in the Washington, DC, area is the abundance of unique opportunities that take place all year long. And I’m here to tell you about another one. If you live in the area or are planning to come into town for next week’s Awesome Con, then you might want to take note of this.
The Library of Congress is shaking off its staid reputation and embracing the geeky side of life. With the Library of Awesome, they’re “celebrating the role of comics and graphic novels in promoting literacy, as collectibles, in the arts, advertising, sociology, popular culture, and history.”
Timed to coincide with Awesome Con, the library has a pop-up exhibit that will be on view Wednesday, June 14 through Saturday, June 17 on the first floor of the library’s drop-dead gorgeous Thomas Jefferson Building (10 First Street S.E., Washington D.C.). Tickets are not required to see the exhibit, but you will have to wait in line and go through security, so plan accordingly.
I’ll be on site for a special sneak preview of the exhibit on Tuesday, so if you can’t make it but are curious to see what’s there, follow along on Twitter (@theroarbots and @geekdads). Also, we’re giving away a pair of 3-day tickets to Awesome Con, so don’t forget to enter!
The collections of the Library of Congress include nearly 140,000 comic books dating back to the 1930s. Visitors will see famous editions of such comic book characters as Wonder Woman, Superman, and some of the most significant artwork and storylines in comic book history. These include original artwork for the first appearance of Spider-Man and the American classic known as Famous Funnies No. 1 (1934), considered by many to be the first American comic book. First appearances of Batman, the Fantastic Four, and the Incredible Hulk will be on display, as well as rare early science fiction and children’s comics. The exhibit will also feature first issues of Archie, Luke Cage: Hero for Hire, and Supergirl.
In addition to the pop-up exhibit, the Library is also hosting a whole slate of programming, including an event with the Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden, in conversation with Wonder Woman herself: Lynda Carter! Tickets to the event – which will happen at 2 p.m. on Friday, June 16 – are available at this website, and the interview will be live-streamed on the Library’s Facebook page at facebook.com/libraryofcongress and its YouTube channel at youtube.com/LibraryOfCongress.
If you’re going to Awesome Con, might we recommend adding these two panels to your schedule?
11 a.m., Saturday, Room 150
“Comics Conversation: Collections and Preservation at the Library”
Join Library of Congress staff members, including Senior Rare Book Conservator Claire Dekle, Curator of Popular and Applied Graphic Art Sara W. Duke, Reference Specialist Megan Halsband, Head of the Newspaper Section Georgia Higley and Curator of Popular and Applied Graphic Art Martha H. Kennedy, for a panel discussion about the original art and collections held at the Library. Panelists will share highlights of the collections, provide insights on the conservation and preservation of this material, and suggest how attendees might come to use the Library’s collections for their own research.
1:30 p.m., Sunday, Room 149
“GeekDad Celebrates Father’s Day: Raising Geek Generation 2.0”
Join some of the writers from GeekDad.com to discuss raising the next generation of geeks. They’ll talk about introducing various fandoms to kids, sharing old and new geeky passions with kids, and choosing which things are appropriate for different ages. Some of them may even be joined by their kids who will discuss what it’s like growing up geek. Come for the unabashed geekery, stay for some great surprises! Join in the conversation and bring your own experiences and questions!