Category: Library Events (page 1 of 20)


OhioStateLogoContact: Caitlin McGurk
The Ohio State University
Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum
1813 N High St.
Columbus OH 43210-1393


Upcoming Exhibitions at The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum




July  25, 2015 – January 24, 2016

World War I and America’s first humor magazine are the subjects of two new exhibits opening in July at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.

SEEING THE GREAT WAR: This exhibit explores the power of images generated during wartime, through the work of James Montgomery Flagg, Bud Fisher, Billy Ireland, Percy Crosby, Nell Brinkley, Frederick Burr Opper, Louis Raemaekers, and others. It will also feature Charles Schulz’ reinterpretation of the Great War’s legacy as shown through Snoopy as the Flying Ace. World War I represented a watershed in the history of warfare, both on the battlefield and in communication. The importance of the media to the American war effort was affirmed when President Woodrow Wilson signed Executive Order 2594 to form the Committee on Public Information (CPI). The CPI enforced voluntary press censorship with compliance dependent “entirely upon honor and patriotism.” Its Bureau of Cartoons published a weekly bulletin of tips and ideas that was distributed to more than 750 cartoonists nationwide. Original costumes from WWI will be displayed, as well as original art, film lobby cards, sheet music, and posters. Curated by Professor Emerita Lucy Shelton Caswell.

WHAT FOOLS THESE MORTALS BE! THE STORY OF PUCK: Discover the history and highlights of Puck, America’s first and most influential humor magazine of color political cartoons. This show presents some of Puck‘s greatest cartoons featuring politicians, personalities, and issues that dominated its forty years of publication. Puck was a training ground and showcase for some of the country’s most talented cartoonists. This exhibit will include chromolithographs by Joseph Keppler, Rose O’Neill, Frederick Opper, F.M. Howarth, Rolf Armstrong, Bernhard Gillam, J.S. Pughe, and more. As David Sloane has said in American Humor Magazine and Comic Periodicals, Puck “created a genre and established a tradition,” spawning dozens of imitators. It also led the way for that great American institution, the comics. Curated by Richard Samuel West and Michael Alexander Kahn . Their recent book, “What Fools These Mortals Be! The Story of Puck,” was published by IDW Publishing (October 2014).


About the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum:  The BICLM is one of The Ohio State University Libraries’ special collections. Its primary mission is to develop a comprehensive research collection of materials documenting American printed cartoon art (editorial cartoons, comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, sports cartoons, and magazine cartoons) and to provide access to the collections.  The BICLM recently moved into its newly-renovated 30,000 sq. ft. facility that includes a museum with three exhibition galleries, a reading room for researchers and a state-of-the-art collections storage space.   The library reading room is open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 – 5 p.m. The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from 1 – 5 p.m.  See for further information.

Student post – Art Spiegelman and Françoise Mouly French Magazine Collection!

We are so happy to have a post today by our guest-writer, Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum student employee Maggie Lynch! Maggie was tasked with organizing and inventorying a truly unique collection that came to us from Art Spiegelman and Françoise Mouly, and was kind enough to write about the collection for our blog. Enjoy!



Maggie Lynch

BIO: Maggie is a third year French major at The Ohio State University. She started her career in French four years ago and has had experiences abroad in Montréal and throughout France, including an internship with WorldTeam in Paris this past summer of 2014. She plans on pursuing translation, English education to french speakers and more possible work with WorldTeam in Paris after graduation.

Thanks to a generous donation from Art Spiegelman and Françoise Mouly, we now have 509 magazines in French ranging from 1970-2003, including Charlie mensuel, Hara-Kiri, A Suivre, Metal Hurlant, L’Echo des Savanes, and more. Through this donation, our library collection has expanded to facilitate more areas of research that include French language and culture, the French Women’s Liberation Movement, gender studies, the history of France during the riots of 1968, sociology, international studies and more. Even for non-French speakers this could be a good collection to search for inspiration in art or architecture. The topics that interested me the most were unique aspects shown of French culture, positive and negativepisser opinions of American media in the eyes of the French, a huge range of beautiful art, and some satire about the feminist movement of the late 1960’s. I alsbaldo did some research on how Charlie mensuel became Charlie Hebdo.

To start, French culture is unique. For example for those who don’t know, it is nearly impossible to find a place to pee in big cities, especially in Paris. Fluide Glacial gives its readers a useful guide, “Où pisser à Paris et quel prix?” (Where to pee in Paris and at what cost?). I also loved this fake ad in Hara-Kiri where it coaxed readers to buy a wine bottle and a glass on two separate watches. That way, you could keep holding your cigarette, and pour wine, all at once. Americans respond to the same problem, “how do I keep doing things while drinking?” in a similar, yet different way. Most Americans know the idea of the classic beer hat: two beers attached on each side of a trucker hat with straws leading to the mouth. It’s the American way to solve that same dilemma. Maybe we’re more similar than we think. As Americans reading our library’s new French magazines, there are endless similar cultural connections to be made.beerhat

As a French major in Columbus, people always ask me, “do the French hate Americans?” I can’t speak for every French person, but I’ll present some positive and negative perceptions of the French through their opinions of American media I found in our new collection. First, in Charlie mensuel, there are a good amount of American comics translated into French primarily with the intent of sharing them with the French people, probably because they’re valuable and funny. In fact, the magazine title Charlie mensuel came from the character Charlie Brown from Peanuts. In addition, there are reviews of American music and films in Jazzman, Jade, and Fluide Glacial probably because they were admired by the French. However, I ran across some fairly negative reviews, including a review of Octopussy with the first sentence stating that the film is “naze” (stupid), and another review of Gumby and Pokey stating the creator was “un idiot américan dont j’ai oublié le nom” (a stupid American whose name I forget).gumbypeanuts

ouiRegardless, I think the influence of American comics on French comics is inevitable. While flipping through our magazines, I noticed the action sounds like splash, plop, crash, zonk, or slam which are English onomatopoeias in French comics. Thepresence of English-language sounds communicate that the American influence remains. On a different note, French onomatopoeias can be interesting to English speakers, like the sound of birds, “cui” (k-WEE), when we usually say “tweet”. There are many more gems like these in our new collection.

To start about art, there is a great range of comic art styles in this collection. The mediums range from watercolor, to printmaking, pencil, photo with captions pasted in, and more.There are many different styles from very simple pencil drawings with no shading, to very busy pieces with many conflicting lines and colors. There were also many different color schemes, ranging from pastel and soft colors, to loud and bright colors. Overall, it it was fascinating to see the many different styles. Also, there was a very unique magazine that focused balloonon comic architecture (A Suivre Hors Serie 1985). I suggest looking through them for any visual artist.

In view of the recent shootings at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris, the world has beenfeiffer curious, “what in the magazines provoked such a response?” Our magazines contain some of Charlie Hebdo’s history. Charlie mensuel and Hara-Kiri are like the two parents of Charlie Hebdo. These magazines both began in 1969 with a mutual vision, bandes déssinées with bête et méchant (stupid and nasty) humor, partly inspired by Mad Magazine but a more crude version. Charlie Hebdo began with the end of Hara-Kiri in November of 1970. Hara-Kiri was banned because of a snide headline about the death of Charles de Gaulle. Promptly a week later, the vision of Hara-Kiri and the name of Charlie Mensuel gave birth to Charlie Hebdo. So, Charlie Hebdo is like the son of Hara-Kiri that carried on the family business of bête et méchant humor. Today, these same themes of satirical humor and comments on current events remain in Charlie Hebdo DNA. For more satirical publications from a different era, the BICLM also has L’Assiette au Beurre (Issues from 1903-1912).


“Dad… this is Simone” – “Hello, Simone” – “Simone is a part of the Women’s Liberation Movement” – “Isn’t that nice, great movement”

Hara-Kiri was also banned in 1966 and gained support from impactful philosophers Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. De Beauvoir’s well-known publication The Second Sex was in line with the demands of the riots of 1968 in Paris. The people of this social movement were the direct audience of Hara-Kiri, young people in revolt. But also in the spirit of Hara-Kiri, the writers had to make fun of it. The cartoon on the side is poking fun of the Women’s Liberation Movement through a father’s relationship with his son.

Obviously by scooting further down the couch, the father does not actually support the feminist movement, unable to express his true sentiments in his first encounter with his son’s girlfriend. This comic has a mild but direct message that not everyone, apparently not older generations, supported the Women’s Liberation Movement.

These few themes are the ones I saw, but there could be many more! Come stop by the Cartoon Library and see for yourself!


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