Portland State University alumni Mike Richardson, founder and president of Dark Horse Comics, Inc., and Neil Hankerson, executive vice president, have donated copies of all publications generated by Dark Horse over the years to Portland State, and will continue to provide copies of all future items produced by the company. This generous gift will result in a complete collection of the Dark Horse corpus to be preserved in the Portland State University Library Special Collections.
"As a Portland State University alumnus, I am elated to be part of this monumental Dark Horse archive event," said Neil Hankerson. "Being able to bring this locally grown publishing company together with PSU exemplifies the unifying nature of Oregon and demonstrates the amazing advantages of having comics in schools. This archival program solidifies Dark Horse Comics' legacy, not only as a company dedicated to organic growth, but also as one of the world's foremost comic book publishing companies, committed to contributing quality works to the comic literary canon."
This valuable collection will be a destination resource for researchers in American studies, popular culture, art, sociology, gender studies, English literature and many other fields. So far, more than 2,000 Dark Horse comics, manga and books have been received, catalogued and made available for students and faculty to check out at the Millar Library. Dark Horse publications in more than 15 different languages are already being used as a resource by students studying foreign languages, and by international students enjoying material in their own languages.
"Neil Hankerson and Mike Richardson are stellar examples of engaged Portland State University alumni who give back to their community and to their university," said Helen H. Spalding, PSU's university librarian. "Their generous gift of the corpus of the Dark Horse Comics, Inc., is a significant destination collection for those researching the history of comics, popular culture, sequential art and many more facets of inquiry. Because of the reputation and size of the Dark Horse collection, the Library hopes to attract additional comic collections from other publishers and collectors, creating one of the largest research collections of its kind."
One copy of each available title or product given to the Portland State University Library will be catalogued, preserved and housed in Special Collections with supervised access. An additional copy will be added to the general Library collection, where they will be available to more than 207,000 students and faculty in Oregon and Washington through the Orbis Cascade Alliance, and internationally through the Library's interlibrary loan services.
On October 16, 2008, Portland State held a special event in the Smith Memorial Student Union ballroom to recognize and celerbate the gift. The free event was open to the public, and featured Dark Horse materials and a keynote by Mike Richardson.
Dark Horse Comics, Inc.
Founded in 1986 by Mike Richardson, who sought to establish an ideal atmosphere for creative professionals, Dark Horse Comics has grown to become the third-largest comics publisher in the United States and is acclaimed internationally for the quality and diversity of its line. By attracting the top talent in the comics field, Dark Horse continues to change the shape of the industry and grow its brand throughout the world. In conjunction with its sister company Dark Horse Entertainment, Dark Horse Comics has more than 350 properties currently represented under the Dark Horse banner, serving as the jumping-off point for comics, books, films, television, electronic games, toys and collectibles. In 2008, Dark Horse distributed its characters and concepts to more than 50 countries, continuing its mission of content creation and distribution in all of its forms throughout the world.
Portland State University Library
At the heart of an engaged university, the Portland State University Library supports the information, research, teaching and learning needs for more than 1,800 faculty members and 27,000 students at Portland State, covering 125 undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees as well as graduate certificates and continuing education programs. The Portland State Library has over 1.4 million volumes, subscribes to almost 19,000 journals with access to over 45,600 electronic journals and over 32,000 electronic books. In addition, Portland State Library is a collaborative regional depository for federal documents and a member of the Portals and Orbis/Cascade Alliance library consortia, collaborating with other libraries to serve the region and scholarly community at large.
By: Haili Jones Graff - PSU Office of University Communications
Source: Helen Spalding - PSU Library
Photos copyright 2008 Burk Jackson.