Comic books donated to Western


By Communications Staff
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
The University of Western Ontario has acquired what is believed to be the largest and most valuable collection of comic books ever donated to a Canadian university.
Local collector and former Huron University College professor, Eddy Smet, is in the process of gifting a significant portion of his 10,000-plus, single-issue and original graphic novel collection to Western Archives, the archival research department of Western Libraries. Smet retired in 2006 after 30 years of award-winning teaching.
With an estimated value in the tens of thousands of dollars, the Dr. Eddy Smet Comic Book Collection includes rare Batman appearances from the seventies and eighties written by living legend Denny O’Neil, Frank Miller’s revolutionary run on Daredevil, Alan Moore’s complete runs on Watchmen, Miracleman and Swamp Thing, and the first 14 issues of Captain Canuck, arguably Canada’s most popular and important superhero comic.  
Smet, who owned and operated the Comic Book Collector during his tenure at Huron, says he’s pleased generations of students will be able to further explore the increasingly influential medium through his collection.  
“It’s like cutting off my own arms because I’ve been collecting for more than 40 years, but I know giving my collection to a place like Western will provide a wonderful resource for students and faculty who are studying pop culture, visual arts or even women’s studies,” says Smet, who is delivering the collection to Western in regular instalments and will continue to do so in the months and years ahead.
John Lutman, the James Alexander & Ellen Rea Benson Special Collections Librarian at Western Archives, has been working on the donation with Smet since 2008 and says, “Comic books are a serious area of academic study and this donation will significantly support those pursuits at Western for our students, our faculty and our visiting scholars.”

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