February 18th, 2008
The Shirrel Rhoades Collection of Sequential Art contains over 8000 issues of comic books, graphic novels, and other related materials. Rhoades, a former executive with Marvel, donated several collections to the SCAD. Rhoades’ initial collection has been expanded over with other generous donations from smaller sequential arts collectors and from exchanges with other institutions.
A reader and collector of comic books since childhood, Rhoades has appreciated the fun and fantasy of the art as well as the metaphors contained in the stories applicable for living in the world today. He felt his collection could function both as an artistic and an educational resource. Rhoades felt SCAD offered the best possibility of display and as a practical resource for students of sequential art. He became interested in SCAD when his son, Kevin, a 1992 film and video graduate, was a student. Donating to SCAD gives him “an excuse to visit.” In a 2003 interview with the Campus Chronicle Rhoades said “I’ve been involved with other schools, but SCAD seemed an appropriate home for this kind of material.”
Rhoades is widely known and well respected in the publishing industry. He has served as general manager of the Health Division, U.S. Books & Home Entertainment, for Reader’s Digest Association form 1999-2002, as vice president and associate publisher at Harper’s Magazine Co. and as corporate circulation director of Ladies Home Journal, Redbook and Sport Magazine. He also served as vice president and group publisher for Scholastic, Inc., Vice President of Open Court Publishing, and as Vice President and publisher of Marvel Comic Group. In 2002, he joined DRG, as Director of Marketing, a family of businesses in catalog, printing, catalog, and magazine fulfillment.
The Esteban Fuertes Collection of Sequential Art was donated to SCAD in 2007, with an additional gift in 2008 and a future gift in 2009. It consists of both comic books and graphic novels and is exclusively from publishers DC and Vertigo. The date range is from the late 1980’s through the mid 1990’s. Dr. Fuertes said of his collection:
I had collected comics as a kid but had stopped reading them for many years. In college I picked up a couple and kept seeing references to DC’s ‘Crisis’ and how it had changed things. I was curious and ordered the series from a dealer. Once I started reading again I was hooked and from 1989 on I bought thousands of comics; mostly DC (I was always partial to their titles) and a few others. I also collected some graphic novels and hardbound collections. By the late nineties there had been changes in my life. I was already working (I’m a doctor) and was in a relationship and the comics again faded away into the background. Nowadays, I do pick up a few issues now and then.
A collection of Graphic Novels donated by Catherine Cupps in Memoriam for Mary Catherine Cope recently arrived in the department.
If you are interested in a particular title or genre, please ask or email. The collections are not completely cataloged, but most titles are in a database and can be located with a little prior warning.