November 22, 2004 Cartoonist and Writer Brian Walker to Discuss American Comic Strips

Press Contact: Bibi Martí, (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Sara Duke, (202) 707-3630
Contact: Request ADA accommodations five days in advance at (202) 707-6362

Cartoonist, curator and writer Brian Walker will discuss two of his books, the recently released "The Comics Before 1945" (Harry N. Abrams, 2004) and "The Comics Since 1945" (Harry N. Abrams 2002) at the Library of Congress at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 1, in the sixth floor Montpelier Room of the Library's James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. This event is free and open to the public. A book signing will follow the talk.

Walker's lecture is a Center for the Book "Books & Beyond" author series event. Since 1996, the series has brought authors to the Library for presentations and discussions about their newly published books. The event is co- sponsored by the Prints and Photographs Division's Caroline and Erwin Swann Memorial Fund for Caricature and Cartoon, which has promoted scholarship, exhibition and preservation of cartoon drawings at the Library of Congress since 1977.

Newspaper comics have been enjoyed by millions of American since 1895, beginning with the first appearance of "The Yellow Kid." Lavishly illustrated, "The Comics Before 1945" highlights the first 50 years of this truly American art form. In the book, Walker provides a chronological history of the development of the comic strip, organized by decade. He used the collections of the Library of Congress in his research and reproduces a number of works from the Library's Caroline and Erwin Swann Collection of Caricature and Cartoon and the Art Wood Collection of Cartoon and Caricature, as well as individual gifts such as Jeanne Young O'Neil's original "Blondie" comic strips.

Walker's expertise is multifaceted. He is a professional cartoonist, a cartoon scholar and a founder and former director of the Museum of Cartoon Art (now the International Museum of Cartoon Art), where he worked from 1974 to 1992. In addition, he has contributed gags for the comic strips "Beetle Bailey" and "Hi and Lois" since 1984. Walker has written and edited more than a dozen books on cartoon art, as well as numerous exhibition catalogs and magazine articles. He has curated 65 cartoon exhibitions, including the retrospectives "The Sunday Funnies: 100 Years of Comics in American Life" at the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport, Conn. and "100 Years of American Comics" at the Belgian Center for Comic Art in Brussels.

The Center for the Book was established in 1977 to use the Library of Congress' resources to stimulate public interest in books and reading. For more information about the center and the activities of its affiliates in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., visit the center's Web site at

The Prints and Photographs Division co-sponsorship of this public program is part of its continuing activities to support the study, interpretation, preservation and appreciation of cartoon art. For more information about the this event as well as fellowship opportunities, visit the Prints & Photographs Division Web site at


PR 04-201
ISSN 0731-3527