Washington, D.C. — A new exhibition at the Library of Congress explores the fascinating evolution of visual storytelling styles in comic art – from panels in early newspapers to contemporary images of some of the most famous and funny characters in print. Comic Art: 120 Years of Panels and Pages opened Sept. 12 and will be on view for a year in the Graphic Arts Galleries of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building.
The exhibition draws from the Library’s extensive collection of comic art, which includes some of the earliest comics, including the first successful newspaper comic strip featuring Richard Outcault’s “The Yellow Kid,” early drawings of “Peanuts,” superheroes including Batman, Superman and the Incredible Hulk in modern comic books, and much more.
The lively visual content, dramatic narrative, and strong character development found in comics have attracted devoted audiences who follow the latest installment in whatever format the story appears. Over time, comic art and its characters have permeated film, television, books, and marketing—making characters familiar to viewers who may or may not read comics themselves.