Some people just talk about the dream — Dean Haspiel is living it. Not only is he a cartoonist with a following, the fashion-forward originator of the whole shirtless artist look and an Emmy-winner: now he’s managed to get
rid of all his old junk donate his “massive hoard” of minicomics to the Library of Congress.
A few months ago it was announced that the Library of Congress is now starting an SPX collection which will assemble comics from SPX exhibitors but also items they donate. The LoC is wary of having tons of other people’s weird old crap dumped on them; however, the minicomics collection is just the kind of essential folk art that the LoC was created to preserve.
We were totally joking about this collection being a lot of junk above, BTW. Dean is a fanatical collector (like a lot of us) but he keeps his stuff NEAT. Ignatz coordinator Eden Miller writes more about the collection:
There was an incredible amount of stuff in this collection, which probably dated from the late ’90s until the late ’00s. There were comics I didn’t even know existed and plenty of things I kept threatening to take (but I didn’t. You’re welcome, America).
Some of these delighted me because they were things friends of mine have done — like one of the Full Sanction minis from 2000 — and a couple of Chris Pitzer’s Procrastination Comics.
Others just made me feel this awe of “I can’t believe I’m looking at this” like a preview mini of Craig Thompson’s Blankets and a set of portrait sketches done by Charles Burns. I was also amazed by the Alfe and Horace minis which I can find no record of existing anywhere (they didn’t have a creator’s name on them, but it’s a safe assumption that they were done by Ben Jones). There were also several minicomics by Jeff Smith, which I didn’t even know he had made.
All joking aside, it’s awesome that this collection has found a good home. Makes us wonder what to do with all OUR old minicomics (10 shoeboxes and counting.) Maybe we can just quietly drop it off at Dean’s house and hope nobody notices?
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.