Stephen A. Geppi, a collector and entrepreneur based out of Baltimore, is donating over 3,000 comic books and pop-culture collectables to the Library of Congress. The new additions to the library include the 1938 comic book in which Spiderman makes his debut, Beatles memorabilia, and American cartoonist Richard Outcault’s printing blocks. The donation even includes Mickey Mouse storyboards from the 1929 cartoon Plane Crazy, which has the single greatest synopsis on IMDB I have ever read: “Mickey builds a plane to take Minnie for a trip involving some necking, though Minnie objects to the necking.” Nice.
The donation is valued in the millions, according to the Library of Congress, but even more important than the value of the donation is the message that it sends. Both Geppi, the donor, and Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, have similar views on comic books as valuable pieces of cultural history.
“Can you imagine having Action Comics No. 1 sitting right next to the Gutenberg Bible in a display — putting it on that level of importance in pop culture?” Geppi told The Washington Post, referencing Spiderman’s debut comic.
Hayden also spoke of the value of comic books, especially in terms of drawing a new pool of patrons to the Library. She explained, “When Steve asked about making this gift, I was just thrilled, because it supports something here that is a touchstone for many people who might not otherwise think the Library of Congress is a library for them.”
The Library currently has over 140,000 issues of about 13,000 comic-book titles, and will start displaying some of the pieces from Geppi’s donation this summer.
Featured Image Via The Liberty Conservative.