“Comics at Columbia: Past, Present, Future” presents art, manuscripts, and ephemera from Columbia’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library, including items associated with the university’s history, as well as art from Mad artist Al Jaffee, Elfquest artist Wendy Pini, and New Yorker cartoonist Charles Saxon; drafts and notes from X-Men writer Chris Claremont and Legion of Super Heroes writer Paul Levitz, and correspondence from mainstream and indie comics luminaries Stan Lee, Harvey Kurtzman, and Howard Cruse–and much more. The exhibition demonstrates how long comics have been part of special collections at Columbia.
An irreverent comic strip confiscated from undergraduates in 1766 joins political cartoons from Thomas Nast and Rube Goldberg, Jerry Robinson’s early sketches of Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne, Milt Gross’s contracts with The New York World, and a Joe Shuster Superman sketch, along with work from up-and-coming cartoonists. The exhibition also features works “on the fringes” of comics, such as Rodolphe Töpffer’s The adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck and Lynd Ward’s wordless woodcut novels.
Comics at Columbia is curated by Karen Green, Librarian for Ancient & Medieval History and Graphic Novels Librarian at Columbia University.
Come to the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Butler Library, 6th floor east, Monday through Friday, from October 6 through January 23.