Comic books from Special Collections are featured in three of the Melville Library’s first floor display cases.
Case one highlights the July 1976, issue #158 of The Amazing Spider-Man – “Hammerhead is Out”! Set at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Spiderman finds himself in a battle with Doctor Octopus and the Ghost of Hammerhead…”Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island’s thriving North Shore: Usually these quiet buildings are merely devoted to extensive research in the field of atomic energy, but today they are an arena, a burgeoning battlefield destined to witness combat of a most unlikely nature!”
Case two showcases “It Aint Me Babe” the first comic book to be produced solely by women. In July 1970, Trina Robbins, Barbara “Willy” Mendes, and other noted artists created this feminist, underground comic book. “Conceived by the Women’s Liberation Basement Press,” the cover art features Wonder Woman, Olive Oyl, Elsie the Cow, Sheena – Queen of the Jungle, Little Lulu, and Mary Marvel, along with the phrase “womens liberation.” Only one issue was produced (it sold for 50 cents), although due to its popularity, second and third runs were printed.
Case three houses “A Spy for General Washington.” Produced by Rayhnam Hall Museum in Oyster Bay, NY, the comic book traces the history of the Culper Spy Ring in Setauket and New York City. Established by Washington in 1778, the Setauket, Long Island-based spy ring successfully gathered intelligence on British activities by using invisible ink, informants, and code names (Culper, Jr.). Their efforts proved to be critical to the war effort. Also included in the case are snippets of Special Collections’ 1779 George Washington letter. Washington’s direct involvement in spycraft is clearly evinced in the letter, as he provided detailed instructions for how to obtain and conceal information.
The original comic books are available to read and consult in Special Collections. For more information, please visit the website for the department.
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