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With Great Responsibility: The Spider-Man Origin Story in Art and Comic Books

Thursday, September 23, 2021
3:00 pm EDT4:00 pm EDT
Library of Congress National Book Festival 2021 logo which states, "open a book, open the world."

Before Spider-Man leaped off the pages of comic books into the movies, Steve Ditko, a cartoonist, and Stan Lee, a scriptwriter, sat down at their desks and invented him. The Library of Congress possesses the original drawings for their collaboration, which appeared in the August 1962 issue of “Amazing Fantasy.” Together we look at the moment the radioactive spider bit Peter Parker, turning him from a lonely teenager into a superhero. We discuss how Steve Ditko changed his art in reaction to Stan Lee’s editorial notations in the margins of the drawing. Specialists present the art in an interactive format, highlighting the artistic creative process, including how Ditko drew the costume for the first time and how it differs from what Spider-Man wears today. We also discuss how Peter comes to learn “with great power there must also come — great responsibility!” Conceived as an interactive event aimed at children and young adults who may be aware only of the Marvel movies, Library staff will highlight and discuss that the story came from a book — a comic book — and the imaginative possibilities of a talented writer and artist working as a team.
Captioning will be provided for this event, which will be streamed to our library's television. If you'd like to participate from home, please see the registration link below.