The Illustrated Word Gallery is presenting the Joe Parente Collection – Little Nemo Shop Collection exhibit and sale. It runs on August 2 through October 14, 2023 at the Society of Illustrators in New York City.

Parente was a pioneer in comic book and comic art collecting and dealing, who opened the Little Nemo Shop in 1969. Devoted to comics, comic art, pulps, tear sheets, and other comic material, the store was one of the first of its kind focused on those types of collectibles.

The store was open for 27 years, hosting appearances and signings with well known creators, and became a hangout spot for artists who lived in New York. In fact, Howard Chaykin launched American Flagg at the store, and Walt Simonson signed Beta-Ray Bill there on the first day of its release.

Parente’s involvement in the comics industry extended beyond the Little Nemo Shop. He was at convention promoter Phil Sueling’s first comic convention and traveled with him to the first San Diego Comic-Con. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, he was the American liaison for the Prato Comic Con in Italy, bringing talents like John Buscema, Will Eisner, and Jim Steranko to the show. Parente and Steranko also published two original art catalogs in the ‘70s.

The art that will be displayed in the exhibit comes from Parente’s collection, which spanned 45 years of buying and selling. The catalog featuring his collection will be available at societyillustrators.org starting on August 2.

The Society of Illustrators is located at 128 East 63rd Street in New York. Questions and sales inquiries can be addressed to Zaddick Longenbach by emailing senbach@hotmail.com or texting (646) 261-7038.