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Monday, April 23 • 2:45pm - 3:05pm
Megaton Goes Boom: Archiving and Preserving My Father's First Comic Book (PERSONAL EXPERIENCE)

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The 1980s were an interesting time to be a comics fan. The previous decade saw well-known creators leaving the industry’s two big companies (Marvel and DC) for new, independent publishers. Cheerful, do-gooding superheroes gave way to more personal (and, in some cases, darker character studies) in this market, paving the way for a wave of do-it-yourself comics publishing. In the early ‘80s, my father, Gary S. Carlson, stepped into this arena with “Megaton,” a self-published anthology comic featuring talented artists and writers he had met at Midwestern comic conventions. Megaton lasted eight issues, folding at the end of the decade as the market glutted with independent comics and the big companies plucked his stable of collaborators. He stayed in comics for another three decades, but the Megaton chapter was over. In 2016, my father began inventorying his Megaton files with the goal of creating a “remastered” digital version of his comic. This presentation will share my father’s experiences in personal digital archiving as he confronts the now-obsolete techniques that produced the original comics, faces disintegrating master materials, and juggles several different surviving sources of varying quality. The presentation will also discuss the importance of preserving DIY comics and Megaton’s effect on the founding of Image Comics, a powerhouse 1990s publisher.

avatar for Scott Carlson

Scott Carlson

Metadata Coordinator, Rice University
Scott Carlson is the Metadata Coordinator at Rice University's Fondren Library. Scott received his MLIS from Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. He was an award-winning cartoonist in college, but is now interested in data analysis, archiving, preservation, and woodwor... Read More →

Monday April 23, 2018 2:45pm - 3:05pm CDT
Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavillion University of Houston M.D. Anderson Library, 4333 University Drive, Houston, TX

Attendees (5)