The webcomics blog about webcomics

Respectability, Dammit

I was halfway through a post for today when news broke from the nation’s capital; I guess working for a local paper like The Washington Post means that when you’ve got DC-based webcomics news, they get the story instead of, say, hack webcomics pseudojournalists, not that i am envious.

Where was I? Oh, yes. The invaluable Michael Cavna has the news that the Library of Congress has discovered webcomics and is going big:

The library will announce Tuesday that the Webcomics Web Archive is officially launching at as part of its growth in “born-digital” collections.

The first phase of the webcomics online collection will include nearly 40 titles, including such long-running works as Josh Lesnick’s Girly and Zach Weiner[smith]’s Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.

More precisely, 40 (so far) webcomics sites are archived with years worth of comics, making for a Wayback Machine-like archive, with the imprimatur of cultural significance. Kate Beaton is there (2009-2016), as is Zach Weinersmith (ditto). Ryan North has comics from 2010, and Randall Munroe from 2007.

It’s a hell of a job of curation, too — I don’t want to say that anybody looked at my sidebar, but a lot of my recommendeded starting places are there: Charles Christopher, Nimona, Nedroid, Sin Titulo, SFAM, Girls With Slinghots, Octopus Pie, Darwin Carmichael, … the list goes on and on.

A lot of the listed comics are award winners or nominees (Eisners, NCS, etc); some are no-brainers, like the Library of Congress including the library-themed Unshelved¹, and the importance of politcal cartooning makes The Nib a shoo-in. But how to explain the presence of As The Crow Flies, Chester 5000, or DAR!, except that somebody over at The LOC really pays attention to work in a wide variety of genres² and story styles, over the past decade, from creators of all backgrounds?

Go check out the list, congratulations to the creators who’ve been found to be culturally important, and let’s see what gets added in future; I have a feeling new tranches will get the same scrutiny in our weird little cultural circles that additions to the National Film Registry get. I suspect that a lot of that scrutiny will come from me, as I got opinions.

Spam of the day:

Free & Clear Diapers

I have no infants at home, nor incontinence issues, nor any kinks along those lines. Hard pass.

¹ Which, thanks to my writeups of the Coffee Cup Lid Challenge, means I might be in the Library of Congress! Neat! Except I just noticed that Unshelved is only contained from 2010 to 2016 and the CCLC was in 2007. Boo!

² Speaking of which, the countdown to some moralizing tool complaining that the collection exists at all (but particularly about godless science, brown people, lesbians, and robot smut) starts in 3 … 2 …

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