Q-Collection Comic Book Preservation Project

Project Objections/Questions

We have received a number of questions, observations and suggestions about our preservation project. Here are a few of those:

  1. THE COMIC BOOK SELECTION: Several people inquired about the selection of the comic books. Our selection criteria included key comic books published between 1933 to 1972, the first issue of a series, the introduction of an important character and comic books that have classic covers. In addition, many individuals have made excellent suggestions of their own concerning comic books we should include in the collection. We have accepted many of those suggestions and, a result, have added nearly two dozen key comic books to the project that we had not previously considered.

  2. The Library of Congress already has most the comics that are in the Q-Collection. Actually they don't. The LoC did not begin collecting comic books until 1950. So the vast majority of the LoC collection of 120,000 comic books were published after 1950. Georgia Higley of the LoC Collections Department stated that a majority of the goldenage comics in the Q-Collection are not part of the LoC collection. It is important to realize that the LoC does not own a preserved reading collection. The copies in their collection are all restricted and cannot be read by the general public nor casual researchers. The Q-Collection not only includes comic books that are missing from the LoC collection, but we have also solved their problem of public access to these historically important comic books.

  3. One person seemed concerned over all of the tax dollars going to pay for this project. No tax dollars have gone toward this preservation project. The Q-Collection has been paid for my the Sindall Family and will be a gift to the Library of Congress. However, the Library of Congress did spend approximately one million dollars between 2001 and 2006 having a professional preservation company deacify their 120,000 comic books. That deacification process has extended the life of their comic books from 100 years to between 500 and 800 years. The Q-Collection preservation process extends their life of these key comic books by many thousands of years. That is a gift that keeps on giving. Everyone should also be aware that no brittle LoC comic books were deacified. Those comic book are rapidly deteriorating with no effort on the part of the LoC to preserve them.

  4. Several people were concerned that preserving these comic books brings down their value. That's true. Once the preservation process is complete, the comic books cease to be a commodity. They revert to what they were meant to be - a form of entertainment and a forever stimulus to the imagination of the reader.

  5. Is this preservation process reversible? No. Once the pages have been put through the laminator, the Mylar has melted into the fibers of the pages. That, quite happily, can never be reversed.

  6. Will this collection be available to the public? That is the one condition of this gift. The Sindall Family is determined that any person who enters the Library of Congress in the future should be allowed access to these comic books at no cost. And that includes visitors to Washington DC from any country in the world. This is the Sindall Familys gift, not merely to the LoC, but to anyone who would like to read an original key comic book during the next 10,000 years.

Project Supporting Comments

We have received an almost endless number of supporting statements from around the world for our project. Here are a few of those:

  1. AMANE CHU YI MIN (pen name: JDC Amane):   (Singapore)   "Comic drawing is highly popular in developed countries as well in some developing countries. Singapore is a highly developed country and yet the comic drawing skills among the young artists are very limited. For instance, some young artists who draw manga quite well but do not know how to use screen tone, and some even worse - don't know or have never heard of the name "screen tone"! They are the "Handicap Mangakas". I hope one day I can share with them what is screen tone both traditionally and digitally"

  2. HARLAN ELLISON:   (USA)   "The Q-Collection Project is of enormous importance. The participants have found a wonderful method of preserving this part of our cultural heritage. Until this project was begun time was affecting these fragile comics. The special comic book binders are now time capsules to the future. High praise should be given to those involved in this preservation project."

  3. PROFESSOR WILLIAM FOSTER:   (USA)   "Saving these incredible relics of the past is such important work. It is ironic that just as comic books are finally being recognized by society at large as remarkable markers of popular culture and American history, it's almost too late. I am proud to be a part of this effort."

  4. CYRIL GRANDIN:   (Charles de Gaul University, Nord, France)   "First being my favourite toys when I was a child, I learnt to read their life as a teenager. The comics' heroes are now part of my personal culture and I try to transfer my passion to my little brother. Their origins have often been modified during the last decades while their first adventures were disappearing. However, these ones are the most important ones, the ones everybody would like to see once but thanks to John and the different members with whom I am proud to discuss, they will be saved for centuries. That's why I support the Q-Project."

  5. DOCTOR MICHAEL HILL:   (Australia)   "In a world in which comic books have been treated for far too long as consumables and ephemera the Q-Collection Comic Book Preservation Project represents a significant plan to preserve key items of these as popular culture artifacts. This project also provides physical protection against the transitory status of comic books by means of coating, wrapping and encasement in protective materials that will ensure defense against their decay. The selection and acquisition of these rare comic books that have become classics of popular culture, their preservation treatment, deposit and safekeeping and subsequent availability for reading and research by future generations has my support and deserves backing by business benefactors, patrons of popular culture and by an appropriate public collection institution."

  6. USMAN ALI KHAN:   (India)   "Comics are just not books for having fun only infact it can be a key for Learning, it represent the culture of some Country. Around my environment in last 3rd decade there was a huge community and group of people who loved Comics, but in recent years when technology grown up very rapidly craze of comics world goes down. and people usualy spends their time on Internet and Television So a huge step was required to overcome from this problem and Q-Collection Project is a way to preserve Comic World and helps in making back intrest of people in Comics."

  7. CHRIS LAUNDER - Project Advisor since 2002:   (Canada)   "I joined the Q-Project in it's 2nd year back in 2002. At that point a lot of the project was mostly ideas about wanting to preserve the comics. I immediately recognized the need for such a project and wanted to come on board. Why the need? Comics have been an important medium in many aspects throughout their history. In the early 1900's the characters were used to advertise everything from shoes to gum to gas. As time went on they influenced other medium's such as other literature, radio, TV and now film. Such an important part of our culture needs to be saved in it's original format for future generations to learn from. Thus I suggested these comics should go into Smithsonian where other important items such as this are stored for people to see and be educated from. This preservation project is the only and best way of achieving that. "

  8. PROFESSOR JOHN A LENT:   (USA)   "You are assembling a fine crew with Trina, Michael, and Igor on board. I will send you one or two Asian and African individuals soon for your consideration. Keep up the great work. John."

  9. ANTONIUS "TONI" MASDIONO:   (Indonesia)   "Comics have come a long way, maybe from the beginning of our modern culture. It has also evolved over many, many centuries to find its contemporary styles, and is still evolving today. This project is a stepping stone in comic evolution."

  10. PROFESSOR FUSAMI OGI:   (Japan)   "In the last decade, in a global sense, comics scholarship has developed incredibly. Comics studies no longer holds a minor position and Comics is no longer trash culture. Comics which have been created are a crucial part of our culture and should be preserved forever. It is a great pleasure for me to advise in Q-Collection Comic Book Preservation Project from outside the US."

  11. IGOR PRASSEL:   (Slovenia)   "It was about time that a serious historical preservation project in the field of comic art - I see it as a Cinematheque for comic books - got started. Even if the main objective of the project is to preserve comic books from the 1930's to 1960's for the Smithsonian Institute reading collection, i hope it will not deal only with American comic books, but with time will spread into an international collection."

  12. SCOTT PRESTON:   (USA)   "All my life I've collected comics and marveled at the comic book characters & their heroic exploits. When I read what John planned to do with the Q-Collection I immediately supported his preservation efforts. I have always felt that certain comic issues must be saved for posterity. Although the generations since the 1930’s have had endless comics to collect and enjoy, future generations may never get to see the original comics that began this worldwide phenomenon. John has given his all in this endeavor to save these treasures. The Q-Collection Comic Book Preservation Project is one of the noblest causes I've ever known - not just within the field of comic books but for posterity in itself."

  13. TRINA ROBBINS:   (USA)   "The preservation of comic books of major historical importance is an excellent and neccesary project, and I'm happy to be of any help. Trina Robbins"

  14. JOHN OFFERMAN SINDALL, Ph.D. - Project Founder:   (USA)   "When I began this project in 2001 it was meant to preserve the rarest key comics from the 1930s to the 1960s. As I accumulated these rarities I found many of the comics had become so brittle that they could no longer be opened without crumbling. The preservation project had become a rescue mission and our race against time had begun. In 1989 Ernest Gerber wrote in THE PHOTO-JOURNAL GUIDE TO COMIC BOOKS. --Friends the clock keeps ticking and cannot be reversed. Lives of perishable pulps can be easily extended if you want them to be.-- I have found a way to stop time from destroying an important part of our culture. Not just for a few generations, but for thousands of years to come. Each of the 75 wooden comic book box binders is a rescue mission that has succeeded, and will become a time capsule we are sending into the future."

  15. DEZ SKINN:   (UK)   "It is a frightening fact that the ever-dwindling number of key moments in the uniquely US creation of comicbooks are being hoarded away as future investments or permanently "slabbed" in sealed sleeves of Barex, a highly gas-impermeable plastic polymer. No other medium which had such an impact on the entire entertainment media and had such a profound inspiration on several generations of filmmakers, writers and artists would be treated in this cavalier fashion. At a time when no others seem to care, thanks to the efforts of Q-Collectables alone, researchers and historians will be able to read these key issues and appreciate the roots of a phenomenon for many, many years to come. This is a worthy goal which should embraced by all.".

  16. RICHARD WILLIAMS:   (UK)   "I believe that the Q-Project is of the utmost importance in preserving key comic books for individuals to read for generations to come. Imagine being given the opportunity to hold and read rare comics from American history that usually reside in the clutches of wealthy collectors and investors? It’s wonderful to finally be able to read and enjoy these historic key comic books without the need for white gloves or a pair of tweezers."

  17. HUGO YONZON:   (Philippines)   "These boxed comics are like windows to the culture of a nation. The storytelling, the balloons, the actions, the design of characters, and all those elements speak much not just about comics only but about the the world immediately outside of it. That is why the Q-Project is a milestone endeavor. Consider its rich collection as evidences of a civilization like those found in the diggings of ancient temples. People of tomorrow can learn much from the treasures of the Q-Project."

  18. STEVE YOUNIS:   (Australia)   "Far from the 'funny pages' they were once considered, comic books are a viable and important medium for both art and storytelling. They can be an important tool for reading in early childhood, and the efforts of the Q-Collection is a must for future generations to understand the history and value held within their pages."