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The Sol and Penny Davidson Collection

Sol Davidson's doctoral dissertation, Culture and the Comic Strips, earned him the first PhD in comics in 1959. There was no institutional support for Comics Studies at the time, but Dr. Davidson's interest in comics has never flagged. The University is proud to announce the creation of the Sol and Penny Davidson collection, a unique set of comic books, anthologies, newspaper sections, magazines and rareities slowly accumulated by the Davidsons.

Sol Davidson at Special Collections (April 8, 2005)




Victorian Age Comics

European comic strips and books developed out of an existing tradition of caricature and illustration. This sub-collection holds early comics and proto-comics. (The term “Victorian Age” as well as the subsequent “Platinum,” “Gold,” “Silver,” and “Bronze” Ages were first developed by the collector’s market and should be considered approximate for research purposes.)





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Platinum Age Comics

The the rise of the American comic strip to mass popularity is generally dated to 1897. This date is the accepted beginning of the “Platinum Age”. Reprint volumes became popular long before the appearance of the first staple-bound comic book in 1937 (the beginning of the Golden Age). The Platinum Age sub-collection consists principally of reprint and original volumes from this period.






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Special Purpose Comics

Some of the hardest to find and most rare comics were originally free: given away at gas stations, restaurants and campaign rallies as well as in classrooms and meetings they were intended to do everything from sell outboard motors to teach customer service. This sub-collection includes both freebie and retail comics whose goal is to educate, inform, propagandize and/or sell goods and services.





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Preventative Maintenance Monthly (PS)

From its creation in 1951 until 1971, Will Eisner illustrated and co-wrote Preventative Maintenance Monthly for the Army. Self-descriptive in purpose, it featured a mix of illustrated articles, diagrams and comics. The collection holds issues 36, 40, 44, 49, 85-6, 89, 108, 112, 142, 148-57, 164-71, 173-4, 177, 182-4, 186-96, and 198-209 (from 1955 through 1970).





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Sunday Comics

The Sunday pages in this collection include pull-out sections dating back to 1901, including many from Hearst’s Chicago American/Examiner-American/Examiner dated 1902-11 and nearly complete runs of the New York Sunday News from 1934-41 and '46-54, as well as compete serialized Classics Illustrated pull-outs. Due to preservations issues, access to this collection is highly restricted at present.

Harold Teen Proofs

This collection includes original proofs given to Carl Wise for examination before publication. They are presented here as Wise kept them, in complete books by year. The collection includes complete runs of proofs from 1921, '23, '27, '29-31, '38, '40, '49 and '51.

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