The Washington Post

Dean Haspiel donates his mini-comic collection to Library of Congress’ SPX holdings

DEAN HASPIEL, the seriously gifted recipient of the Eisner and the Emmy, is donating his mini-comic collection to the Library of Congress, the Small Press Expo announced Tuesday.

Haspiel’s 600-plus mini-comics — which will be part of the library’s Small Press Expo Collection — include the work of such talents as Charles Burns, Leela Corman, Kevin Huizenga, Alex Robinson, Jeff Smith, Raina Telgemeier and Craig Thompson.

“I can't think of a more honorable home for my massive mini-comics collection than the Library of Congress,” Haspiel said to Comic Riffs in a statement. He also thanked SPX employees for “years of allowing me to discover and enjoy so many diamonds in the rough that turn into comix gold.”


Several mini-comics from the massive collection of Dean Haspiel. (Used by permission of Small Press Expo / Library of Congress )

Haspiel — whose tremendous range as a cartoonist spans from Big-2 superheroes to semi-autobiographical indie comics — has been a prominent supporter of webcomics through projects like ACT-I-VATE, and he co-curates He created the Eisner-winning Billy Dogma; won an Emmy for his work on HBO’s “Bored to Death”; and has collaborated with such creatives as Harvey Pekar, Inverna Lockpez (co-creator of the Harvey Award-winning “Cuba: My Revolution), Jonathan Lethem, Ben McCool (“The Five-Dimensional Adventures of Dirk Davies”) and “Bored to Death” creator Jonathan Ames (“The Alcoholic”).

“From the tiny, two-inch-square mini-comic to the oversize hardback, and from the promising newcomer to the long-established publisher, it’s obvious that the independent comic book is alive and well and now is represented at the Library of Congress,” Georgia Higley, head curator of the library’s Serial and Government Publications Division, said in the SPX announcement.

Last August, Maryland’s Small Press Expo announced the launch of its ongoing collection with the Library of Congress — with the aim to “focus on the craft and diversity of the independent comics community.”


From Dean Haspiel’s mini-comic collection: Political cartoons by “Bone” creator Jeff Smith. (Used by permission of Small Press Expo / Library of Congress )
Writer/artist/visual storyteller Michael Cavna is creator of the "Comic Riffs" column and graphic-novel reviewer for The Post's Book World. He relishes sharp-eyed satire in most any form.

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