Starting tomorrow, Wednesday June 14, and continuing on through Saturday June 17, you can catch an incredible pop-up exhibit at the Library of Congress called (very aptly) the “Library of Awesome.” The pop-up was timed specifically to complement Awesome Con, going on from the 16th through the 18th of June at the Washington Convention Center. Incidentally, if you had no idea Awesome Con was going on until now, the Library of Congress will be giving away tickets to the convention –one of many special events taking place his weekend. More details below.
In this small but mighty pop-up exhibit, a series of rooms are laid out with beautifully preserved comics from different eras. Wonder Woman is front and center, represented through her many iterations and costume changes. Both the Marvel and the DC universes hold a table, with preserved issues from the 30s and 40s. Despite the cheap pulp used to print these mass-consumption comics, the preserved samples are still vibrant and colorful, and provide an important historical record that reflects the mores of the times –both the good (diversity, acceptance) and the bad (wars, hate). There is also science-fiction table and a table about kid cartoons, where the PowerPuff Girls hold court next to Little Lulu, Archie and Bone– the most nostalgic table for me. Seeing the talent and painstaking work that goes into some of the hand-drawn panels is awe-inspiring, so give yourself plenty of time to explore each and every room.
The exhibit is open to the public, does not require tickets and is free, so it’s a must-see if you’re a fan of comic books. There is also a fun selfie station at the end, with custom props to live out your superhero dreams. Be warned, however, that the artifacts on display are very sensitive and fragile. Although children are welcome to the pop-up, it might be stressful to walk through the rooms with busy toddlers.
Lynda Carter, of the 70s “Wonder Woman” series, will be at the Library on Friday from 2-3 p.m. Unfortunately, that event is sold out. However, there will be a Costume Contest by the Neptune fountain on Friday morning at 9 a.m. If you nail your cosplay, it may get you tickets to Awesome Con. You can RSVP for that event by clicking here.
Finally, if you would rather look at a curated selection of the best webcomics from the comfort of your house –pants optional– then you can head over to the Webcomic collections at the LOC by clicking here.