On Friday, March 1, the Michigan State University Libraries will publish The MSU Student Comic Art Anthology, the first-ever collection of comic art by MSU students and the first book to be published by the MSU Libraries.
The 80-page anthology includes 12 stories by 11 artists, all of whom are current MSU students or recent graduates. Priced at $12, the book will be available for sale at the Main Library, from shop.msu.edu and on Amazon.com.
“Technology allows libraries to share the unique materials they’ve acquired and curated more widely than was ever possible before,” said Cliff Haka, director of the MSU Libraries. “We’re delighted to take this one step further by developing a publication that will also benefit MSU students.”
Submissions for the anthology were sought from current students and from alumni. The works to be included were chosen by Randy Scott, curator of the MSU Libraries’ Comic Art Collection; Ryan Claytor, director of the MSU Comics Forum and a faculty member in the Department of Art, Art History and Design; and Samuel Thomas, professor emeritus in the Department of History, who has published scholarly work on editorial cartoons.
Many of the contributors are already starting to build their careers in the art world. Junior Stephanie Zang has a strong interest in Japanese comics, and has taught anime and manga drawing to teens at the East Lansing Public Library. Alisa Maiville publishes a webcomic, “Raccoon Party,” and Leslie J. Anderson has published her artwork in “SPACE Anthology 2012,” and poetry in “New Myths, Strange Horizons and Star*Line.” And contributors Bridget Flanagan and Diana Busby will be showing their work at this weekend’s MSU Comics Forum.
The anthology was printed on the MSU Libraries’ Espresso Book Machine, a print-on-demand installation that allows the library to print trade-quality paperback books in-house.
“We had a number of different goals when we acquired the EBM,” said Ruth Ann Jones, who organized the publication. “One was to use our book printing capabilities to showcase the creativity of MSU students. The Libraries’ Comic Art Collection is internationally recognized, so this was a natural genre for us to start with.”