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Columbia University library acquires Kitchen Sink Press archives

kitchen sink press archivesColumbia University Libraries’  Rare Book & Manuscript Library has acquired the archives of Kitchen Sink Press, comprised of more than 50,000 letters, plus 30 years’ worth of draft artwork and published and unpublished story ideas.

Operating from 1969 to 1999, Kitchen Sink Press published the work of cartoonists ranging from Al Capp and Will Eisner to Trina Robbins and Art Spiegelman. According to the library, publisher Denis Kitchen meticulously date-stamped virtually every letter he received, kept the envelope and even attached a copy of his own response.

“Apparently I am a natural-born archivist,” Kitchen said in a statement. “I will miss the rows of file cabinets full of handwritten letters, illustrated letters, and even letters that came out of devices called typewriters, all created before the digital age made traditional correspondence all but obsolete, but I hope they provide scholars with insights into the development of underground comix and the work of the multiple generations of creators I had the distinct pleasure of working with.”

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library, under the stewardship of Robin Green, earlier this year acquired the archives of Al Jaffee and ElfQuest creators Wendy and Richard Pini.

Comics A.M. | Chargers oppose San Diego Convention Center plan

San Diego Convention Center

San Diego Convention Center

Conventions | The San Diego Chargers are opposing the proposed $520 million expansion of the San Diego Convention Center — viewed as crucial to keeping Comic-Con International in the city past 2015 — saying it will interfere with plans for a new football stadium. Instead, the NFL franchise proposes building a second venue a few blocks away, which would be part of a complex that included the stadium but would not be contiguous with the existing convention center. [Los Angeles Times]

Conventions | Meanwhile, on the other coast, New York Comic Con is about to begin, and Luke Villapaz has seven tips for surviving the con. One additional point, though: While it’s nice that NYCC has its own mobile app, chances of its actually working inside the Javits Center, which is notorious for its many cell phone dead zones, are slim. [International Business Times]

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Al Jaffee donates archives to Columbia University

Joyce and Al Jaffee

Joyce and Al Jaffee

Acclaimed cartoonist Al Jaffee, whose work for MAD Magazine spans nearly six decades, has donated his archives to Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

According to the press release from Columbia University Libraries/Information Services, the archives will arrive in several stages, beginning with Jafee’s artwork for Esquire and Playboy, notebooks of ideas for the Harvey Kurtzman-edited magazine Humbug and Timely Comics’ Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal, press clippings, fan mail, photocopies of strips never submitted for publication, photographs, biographical material for Al Jaffee’s Mad Life and more.“I feel privileged and honored to have my work added to Columbia University’s collections,” Jaffee, widely known for the long-running MAD Fold-In feature, said in a statement. “Columbia is a jewel in the crown of New York City; keeping my work here is my way of giving something back to the city in appreciation for all that was given to me.”

The 92-year-old Jaffee, who lives with his wife Joyce in Providence, Massachusetts, still contributes to MAD.

Established in 2005, Columbia University Libraries/Information Services began its push to acquire special collections of comics work following the donation in 2011 of Chris Claremont’s archives.

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