The characters ─ or rather the comic books that feature them─ will be part of large collection showcased in the Rare Books Gallery in the lower level of the library. 

The opening reception for The Ardi and Dick Wilson Comics Collection, which includes nearly 2,000 vintage comic books, will be 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 8. The full exhibit will be display through Oct. 7.

Local philanthropists Ardi and Dick Wilson donated the collection. Dick Wilson began collecting the comics several decades ago, and the collection contains such comics as X-men, Batman, Superman, Howard the Duck, Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge as well as cult favorites Devil Dinosaur and Man-Thing.

We have made this gift to encourage other meaningful gifts to this reading form and to preserve comics from the dangers of parents cleaning out rooms and attics and losing them forever, Dick Wilson said. I know this is not nuclear science but it really does represent an art and reading form that is meaningful to a broad swath of this community.

Dick Wilson is the immediate past president of the UofL Library Associates Board of Directors. He is also a member of the university’s Board of Overseers, chair of the UofL Geriatric Board and chair of the JCTCS Foundation Board.

Ardi Wilson has worked on numerous community projects including Ardi’s Bears, a program that collects stuffed animals and distributes them worldwide to children with chronic or critical illnesses. She also helped establish libraries at regional nursing homes.