Sneak Preview of tonight’s Bill Watterson and Richard Thompson Exhibition Debut!

Wet your appetite for tonight!  Join us FRIDAY, MARCH 21st
6-8PM
THE BILLY IRELAND CARTOON LIBRARY & MUSEUM:

Exploring Calvin and Hobbes


The Irresistible Force 
Meets
the 
Immovable Object:

A Richard Thompson Retrospective

For more info visit: http://tinyurl.com/l9kdo23

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/431754650261009/

New Interview! Calvin & Hobbes creator Bill Watterson and Cul de Sac creator Richard Thompson talk libraries, comics, and the creative process with Ohio State

Dear Friends:

We are delighted to welcome you to two exhibitions of original cartoon art by Bill Watterson and Richard Thompson at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, opening March 22, 2014. The shows will provide a unique opportunity to see—up-close—the original art of these two gifted cartoonists.

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The exhibition will include the very first “Calvin & Hobbes” strip. November 18, 1985. © Bill Watterson – Used by permission of the artist. Bill Watterson Deposit Collection, The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Curator Jenny Robb recently chatted with Bill Watterson about comics and the upcoming exhibit:

Jenny Robb: Why did you choose to place your collection at The Ohio State University’s Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum?

Bill Watterson: Long ago my friend Rich West recommended the library to me. I met Lucy Caswell and was much impressed with her vision and scholarly professionalism. Some years after I stopped the strip, I wanted to get my work into a more protective, permanent environment, so the choice was a no-brainer. And now of course the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum is even better. It’s a remarkable institution, and the fact that this fabulous resource is right in my home state is icing on the cake.

JR: The library and museum is focused on preserving and providing access to materials documenting the cartooning art form for public viewing and research. How do you feel this arrangement benefits the public? 

BW: The library helps counteract the art world’s condescension to the “low art” of cartoons, and it protects work that would otherwise be scattered or lost. In making original work available for anyone to study, it also gives us access to our own history. You know, if you’re a painter, it’s simply taken for granted that you’ll spend a lot of time in museums studying great paintings, but if you’re a cartoonist, it used to be very hard to see an original cartoon drawing. When you see an original “Steve Canyon” daily strip—they’re gigantic—it’s an entirely different experience than seeing a newspaper or book reproduction.  There is much to appreciate and learn about this wonderful art.

JR: It’s been almost 30 years since Calvin and Hobbes launched, and almost 20 since it ended. How did it feel to revisit the strip for this exhibition? 

BW: Oh, it’s fairly weird. There’s a sort of jet lag when you time-travel to your own past.

JR: When conceiving of a new strip, did the words or images come first? Or, is it a hybrid process?  Is the process fraught or does it flow?

BW: Most often I’d begin with the words. Generally, the writing underwent so many revisions that there was no point in drawing anything until the dialog was fully set.  I could always visualize the pictures anyway.  It was the writing that gave me fits.

JR: As newspaper readership—and, subsequently, production—declines, do you think there will be fewer opportunities for the average person to forge a lasting bond with a character the way that people did with Calvin and Hobbes

BW: That would be my guess. I can’t really picture the average person going to the trouble of curating his own little comic section, much less reading a new and unfamiliar strip for months to build up a relationship with it. There’s so much other content available—instantly and all for free—that there’s no reason to stick around if you’re not immediately enthralled. We consume everything like potato chips now.  In this environment, I suspect the cartoonist’s connection with readers is likely to be superficial and fleeting, unless he taps into some fervent special interest niche. And that audience, almost by definition, will be tiny. It’s a very different world from the days when everyone in America knew who Popeye, Dick Tracy or Charlie Brown was.

JR: How has the digital era and social media freed cartoon artists?

BW: Anyone can publish now, and there are no restrictions of taste, approach, or subject matter. The gatekeepers are gone, so the prospect for new and different voices is exciting. Or at least it will be if anyone reads them. And it will be even more exciting if anyone pays for them. It’s hard to charge admission without a gate.

JR: Richard Thompson’s work will be on display along with yours.  What makes him a standout to you? 

BW: Very few cartoonists do so much, so well. Richard is a wonderful writer and one of the rare ones who can write truly unique, hilarious characters. He’s drawn incisive caricatures, lavish illustrations, and one of the most beautiful comic strips I’ve ever seen. And just when you think it couldn’t be better, sometimes he paints the stuff. Richard has the extra-deluxe, jumbo-size skill set. It’s an inspiring body of work.

Calvin&Hobbes

Illustration from “The Indispensible Calvin and Hobbes”, 1992. © Bill Watterson - Used by permission of the artist. Bill Watterson Deposit Collection, The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

_____________________________________________________________________

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Richard Thompson’s “Cul de Sac”, January 29, 2008 © Richard Thompson, collection of the artist – Used by permission of Richard Thompson

Exhibited along with Bill’s work is the immensely talented creator of Cul de Sac, Richard Thompson. Exhibition Curator Caitlin McGurk got the opportunity to chat with Richard:

Caitlin McGurk: What are your favorite comics currently being published, in the newspaper pages and beyond?

Richard Thompson: Pearls Before Swine, Frazz, and a few others. Currently the comics scene is so atomized, it’s hard to limit favorites to newspaper strips

CM: What is your take on how the digital era and social-media has affected cartoonists, and further more, what are your thoughts on the “death” of print?

RT: It’s sad and confusing.

CM: Tell us about your process with creating Cul de Sac.  Were the characters speaking to you after a while, or were the storylines a struggle?

RT: It was frighteningly easy. The characters came alive and I lost control of them early on. It was like dictation. The plots were so tenuous it didn’t matter what direction they went in. I always thought of it as an organic process. I’d just stand back and let it grow.

CM: How much of Cul de Sac is based on your own memories of childhood, or your experiences with your family?

RT: A lot. Almost none of it is specific enough that you could point to a given situation and easily find its inspiration.

CM: What is the best advice that you could give a young cartoonist?

RT: Run.

Try everything. Comics are, as they say, blowing up. The chance for invention is great but the chance for moneymaking is small. Right now creators are pretty much screwed.

CM: Where did you derive your inspiration for Richard’s Poor Almanac, and were there other reasons to discontinue it beyond a focus on Cul de Sac?

RT: I’ve gotten several dream jobs. Richard’s Poor Almanac was one of them. Each cartoon was sui generis (a curse and a blessing). I ended it when it became clear it was suffering in relation to Cul de Sac. I couldn’t juggle both cartoons.

CM: Who or what were the biggest influences on you as a cartoonist?

RT: Any cartoonist whose name begins with an ‘S’: Sorel, Steadman, Steinberg, Sempe…I’m considering changing my name to “Sthompson.” Basically anybody who makes me want to draw. The list is endless.

CM: I understand that you and Bill Watterson have a close friendship. Can you tell us about the history between the two of you, and your thoughts on his work?

RT: I guess you could say that the whole world has a close friendship with Calvin and Hobbes (I know I do).  I’d known Rich West, one of Bill’s closest friends, for years.  Unknown to me, he sent Bill some of my old work and Bill liked it.  God knows I admire his work and comic genius immensely, so getting approbation from him made my head swell noticeably.  It was like receiving an ‘atta boy’ from Jesus Christ.

LowRes richard thompson 3

Richard Thompson’s “Cul de Sac”, November 4th, 2007 © Richard Thompson, collection of the artist – Used by permission of Richard Thompson

_____________________________________________________________________

Join us this summer for Exploring Calvin and Hobbes and The Irresistible Force Meets the Immovable Object: A Richard Thompson RetrospectiveMarch 22 – August 3, 2014 / free / Tuesday-Sunday – 1pm to 5pm / Monday – Closed 

As an added bonus, the Wexner Center for the Arts will be screening the documentary Dear Mr. Watterson at 4pm on Saturday, March 22, followed at 7pm by John Hubley at 100, a viewing of the incredible animation by the creator of Mr. Magoo.

And if you visit campus after May 17, take a short walk over to the Wexner Center for the Arts and check out famed cartoonist Daniel Clowes’ show: May 17 – Aug 3, 2014 / Tuesday-Sunday – visit wexarts.org for hours and admission fees. It is going to be the summer of cartoon art at Ohio State!

 

For reprint and image use permissions, please contact Jane Carroll at carroll.296@osu.edu.

STEPHEN R. BISSETTE: Swamp Thing and the Birth, Life, and Death of the Comics Code Authority

BissetteTalkImage
STEPHEN R. BISSETTE: Swamp Thing and the Birth, Life, and Death
of the 
Comics Code Authority

7pm, Tuesday April 29th, 2014
Wexner Film/Video Theater
FREE FOR ALL AUDIENCES

Veteran comics artist, writer, editor, publisher, and Center for Cartoon Studies instructor Stephen R. Bissette is perhaps best known for his landmark collaboration with writer Alan Moore and artists John Totleben and Rick Veitch on DC Comics’ Saga of the Swamp Thing (1983–87). Many credit that run as a catalyst to the demise of the Comics Code Authority (1954–2011), the mainstream comics industry’s self-regulatory institution formed in response to social, commercial, and Congressional pressure after the spring 1954 publication of Seduction of the Innocent by psychologist Dr. Fredric Wertham. On this 60th anniversary of Wertham’s book and the Comics Code’s initiation, Bissette reflects upon the controversy, launch, and impact of the Code and its eventual dismantling.

For more information visit: http://wexarts.org/film-video/swamp-thing-and-birth-life-and-death-comics-code
Visit the Facebook page for this event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/726968467347491/

Co-sponsored by the Wexner Center for the Arts and The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Additionally, we are thrilled to be making this announcement during the ongoing Will Eisner celebration this March, held annually in association with the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, the fighters of free speech in comics.

UPCOMING EXHIBIT: CALVIN & HOBBES AND RICHARD THOMPSON

The Ohio State University logo

Contact: Caitlin McGurk
The Ohio State University
Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum
1813 N. High Street
Columbus OH 43210-1343
614-292-0538
cartoons@osu.edu

For Immediate Release: February 7, 2014

Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum Announces Two New Exhibitions:

Exploring Calvin and Hobbes

&

The Irresistible Force Meets the Immovable Object: A Richard Thompson Retrospective

March 22 – August 3, 2014

 

Two new exhibitions of original art by cartoonists Bill Watterson and Richard Thompson will delight fans of Calvin and Hobbes and Cul De Sac. The exhibitions open March 22 at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (BICLM) and will be on display through August 3, 2014.  An opening reception on Friday, March 21 from 6 – 8 p.m. is free and open to the public.  The companion shows provide a unique opportunity to see the original art of these two gifted cartoonists, who are friends and admirers of each other’s work.

Calvin&Hobbes

Exploring Calvin and Hobbes revisits the beloved comic strip created by Watterson from 1985 to 1995. The exhibition will feature original Calvin and Hobbes dailies and Sundays as well as specialty pieces by Watterson from his collection of more than 3,000 originals housed at the BICLM. This is only the second exhibition devoted to Calvin and Hobbes, which appeared in 2,400 newspapers worldwide at the height of its popularity.  Watterson won the National Cartoonists Society’s prestigious Reuben Award for “Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year” in both 1986 and 1988.

Six-year-old Calvin, named after the 16th-century theologian John Calvin, has a vivid imagination; an aversion to homework, chores, and girls; and a penchant for discussing the meaning of life.  Hobbes, named for the 17th-century British philosopher Thomas Hobbes, appears to most of the strips’ characters as a stuffed animal, but from Calvin’s perspective, he is a living, breathing—sometimes even dangerous—tiger.  He’s also a best friend, a playmate, a co-conspirator, and occasionally the voice of reason.  The strip follows the two as they navigate the bumpy ride of life, surrounded by a supporting cast that includes Calvin’s parents, his neighbor Susie, his babysitter Rosalyn, the school bully Moe, and his teacher, Mrs. Wormwood.

The exhibition, curated by BICLM curator Jenny E. Robb, explores Watterson’s mastery of the comic strip art form through engaging characters, thoughtful writing, and creative layouts.  It will also include original art by cartoonists who influenced Watterson, chosen by the artist from the BICLM’s collection, such as Charles Schulz, George Herriman, Jim Borgman, Berkeley Breathed, Garry Trudeau, and Ralph Steadman.

CulDeSac1

The 2011 winner of the Reuben Award for “Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year,” will be featured in the second exhibition, The Irresistible Force Meets the Immovable Object: A Richard Thompson Retrospective. This exhibit, curated by Caitlin McGurk, will not only include gorgeously hand-watercolored Sunday originals and black-and-white dailies from Thompson’s popular comic strip Cul de Sac, but will celebrate his lesser-known abilities as a master of caricature, gags, and editorial cartoons— both as cartoonist and painter.

The six-year run of Cul de Sac serves as an insightful, humorous, and at times sentimental illustration of suburban family life on the outskirts of the city, and therefore a meditation on the tiny and sacred universe we form with our family outside of the rest of the world.  The strip orbits around the activities of sibling child characters Alice and Petey Otterloop.  In an interview with Mike Rhode in 2008, Thompson explained, “Let’s have a comic strip with kids, because comic strips are only this big now, so if you can fit somebody into it, it better be a kid. I thought the kids should be the opposite—a small child who’s the unstoppable force and the brother who’s the immovable object and the way they collide would make some humor.”

This sentiment has grown to have a double meaning, as Thompson had to discontinue the strip in September 2012 due to the advancement of his Parkinson’s disease. Thompson’s work continues to be celebrated in the upcoming release of The Complete Cul de Sac and The Art of Richard Thompson (both to be published by Andrews McMeel), the $100,000 that was raised and donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation in Richard’s name by the Team Cul de Sac project, and this exhibition, the most extensive display of his work to date.

 

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.  Seehttp://cartoons.osu.edu/ for further information.

“Dick Tracy” Collection Donated to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

The Ohio State University logo

Contact: Caitlin McGurk
The Ohio State University
Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum
1813 N. High Street
Columbus OH 43210-1343
614-292-0538
cartoons@osu.edu

For Immediate Release: February 4, 2014

“DICK TRACY” COLLECTION DONATED TO THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY BILLY IRELAND CARTOON LIBRARY & MUSEUM

Gould photo

The family of the late Dick Tracy cartoonist Chester Gould has donated a substantial collection of original Dick Tracy comic strips and related materials to The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (BICLM). Gould wrote and drew Dick Tracy, one of the most popular and successful newspaper comic strips of all time, from 1931 until his retirement in 1977.

Chester Gould’s daughter, Jean Gould O’Connell, along with her son Tracy O’Connell and daughter Sue Sanders, made the decision to gift the Chester Gould Collection to Ohio State. The collection consists of more than 850 original Dick Tracy comic strips along with 64 original Sunday strips. Highlights include the original art for the first 30 days of the strip and Gould’s drawing board on whichDick Tracy was created, written and drawn for 46 years.

“As I got older, the time had come for me to make a decision about where to place my father’s work,” said Jean Gould O’Connell. “After traveling to Ohio State, my family and I were extremely impressed with the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. I know my father would have been very proud to have his work in such a prestigious place.”

Added Tracy O’Connell, “The material left our family with emotion, but with the knowledge my grandfather’s work will be accessible to the public as he originally intended.” The Chester Gould Collection will be housed in BICLM’s secure, climate-controlled storage space, which is part of the new library and museum facility. The materials will be catalogued and made available to researchers in the coming months.

“We are truly honored that Mrs. O’Connell has entrusted the Gould family’s collection to us,” said BICLM’s Curator and Associate Professor Jenny E. Robb. “These works of art and unique historical materials will delight researchers, fans, and visitors, and will be preserved for future generations to enjoy.”

Ohio State Vice Provost and Director of Libraries Carol Pitts Diedrichs said the enormously popular strip is a welcome addition to the BICLM collection. “It is wonderful that such a noteworthy donation as this is being added to the largest collection of cartoon art and comics material in the world,” said Diedrichs. “As one of the treasures of the BICLM, the Gould Collection can be viewed and studied by students and scholars from around the world.”

The Comic Art Price Guide author Jerry Weist wrote about the significance of the Dick Tracy comic strip, saying, “Anchored by some of the strongest inking in the history of comic strip art, Gould created a timeless black and white world of good versus evil that still captivates the art-lover’s eye today – and his story pacing is impeccable, with some of the most suspenseful and gruesome sequences of any comic strip.”

“To think that my grandfather’s creation, Dick Tracy, will be enjoyed and shared by generations to come is most exciting,” said Sue Sanders. “It gives us comfort in knowing his work will be respected, treasured and beautifully cared for at the museum.”

The collection is currently being catalogued and will be on display in the near future. Visit our website at http://cartoons.osu.edu for updates.

Chester Gould's drawing table and tabaret, on display at the entrance to our Treasures Gallery.

Chester Gould’s drawing table and tabaret, on display at the entrance to our Treasures Gallery.

 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 these 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 from 9 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 1-5 pm. See  http://cartoons.osu.edu for further information.

About The Ohio State University: The Ohio State University is a dynamic community of diverse resources, where opportunity thrives and where individuals transform themselves and the world. Founded in 1870, Ohio State is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 57, 000 in Columbus), the Wexner Medical Center, 14 colleges, 80 centers and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences and the professions.

…And we’re back!

The Cartoon Library relocation into Sullivant Hall is now officially complete! 

CaitlinSusanMove

Hello again, old friends! After a busy summer of busting out our move, we are thrilled to be reporting from our new home where we’re setting up our collections, settling into our new offices, and showing off a little more upper-arm strength than we had before it all began.

This week marks the Cartoon Library’s very first week in our new home, and we’ll be preparing  to officially open to the public on Monday, September 16th. Patrons will be able to visit the reading room and access the collections after this date, while we continue to work on our inaugural exhibits which will debut for the Grand Opening Festival in November.

We can’t begin this post without a shout out of thanks to the companies we worked side by side with over the past month during the long days of the move: Andrews, who transferred all of our office materials, Carney McNicholas, who carefully moved our precious collections, and Patterson Pope, who built our dazzling new shelving in Sullivant Hall. Additional thank yous are due for their willingness to star in some of the photos below, and for treating our comics and cartoons like their own.

Before we get to the real eye-candy images of our new home, for your viewing enjoyment below is just a small sampling of how to move a Cartoon Library:

HERE COME THE COMICS

The bulk of our collection was moved via book carts, bins, and on dollies. Shelf-by-shelf, keeping close attention to call numbers, millions of materials were packed onto the book carts, wrapped in plastic for protection, loaded onto the moving trucks, and brought over to our loading dock at Sullivant Hall.

Flat files packed with original artwork were hand-lifted, wrapped, and transferred on dollies, collection boxes made their way over in bins, and merchandise and decorations were all cocooned in plastic for their journey.

The move continued as such for weeks, gradually shifting to one of our offsite storage facilities that we were able to consolidate into Sullivant Hall as well. As our old home progressively emptied out before our eyes, the new one emerged.
BICLM entrance
We’re still in the process of setting up for the opening of our reading room, and there is much to be done before our big party in November, but here is a tiny sneak preview of the new home of The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum to whet your appetite:

Step into our lobby on Monday, or peruse the reference section of our reading room as we begin to fill the shelves…
main lobby (2)

Lucy Shelton Caswell Reading Room
…stay tuned for many more to come, as we continue to set up our new home!

We will be attending Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland this weekend, so if you are planning to be there please say hello! The year marks the one year anniversary of the Dylan Williams Collection, so we’ll be collecting mini comics donations, and spreading the word about our new facility and Grand Opening Festival of Cartoon Art.

For more information, contact mcgurk.17@osu.edu

ANNOUNCING THE 2013 GRAND OPENING FESTIVAL OF CARTOON ART!

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Registration for the 2013 Grand Opening Festival of Cartoon Art
Opens August 15 

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum is pleased to announce our Grand Opening Festival of Cartoon Art, to be held at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH November 14th-17th.   The Festival, a celebration of cartoons, comics and their creators, is held every three years.  This year we have more to celebrate than ever: the opening of our new expanded facility in Sullivant Hall.

Online registration will open on August 15, 2013 at the 2013 Festival website: cartoons.osu.edu/FCA/2013.
The general registration fee will be $75, and will include festival keepsake items, reserved seating for events, and more. Registration for students and senior citizens aged 65 and over will be $25. Space is limited, so register early! Registration closes on November 1st.

About the Festival:

A two-day academic symposium will kick off the Festival on Thursday and Friday, November 14th and 15th, including a keynote address by American media and popular culture scholar Dr. Henry Jenkins. Panels at the conference will focus on the strengths and special features of the Cartoon Library’s unparalleled collection. The academic conference is organized by Professor Jared Gardner and is co-sponsored by OSU’s Popular Culture Program and Project Narrative.

A special program and ribbon-cutting party are planned for Friday night, November 15th. The program will feature a conversation with two Ohio State alumni who both have new graphic novels debuting this fall: Jeff Smith and Paul Pope.

Our Festival Forum will take place on Saturday and Sunday, November 16th and 17th, and will feature presentations by talented creators including Brian Bassett, Matt Bors, Eddie Campbell, Kazu Kibuishi, and Stephan Pastis.  In addition, Jeff Smith will introduce a program of Looney Tunes to celebrate the 75th birthday of Bugs Bunny. The forum will also feature a screening of the documentary, Stripped, which will be introduced by its directors Dave Kellett and Fred Schroeder and will be followed by a Q&A with them and several of the cartoonists featured in the film: Dylan Meconis, Patrick McDonnell, and Hilary Price.

An Evening with the Hernandez Brothers: An Office of Diversity and Inclusion Distinguished Lecture Series Event:  A conversation with Love and Rockets creators Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez will take place on Saturday night, co-sponsored by the Wexner Center for the Arts and the Ohio State University Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Exhibits: Our new museum will feature two exhibitions.

Treasures from the Collections of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum: This exhibit will feature a selection of exceptional artwork and artifacts highlighting the breadth and depth of our collections.

Substance and Shadow: The Art of the Cartoon: Cartoonists have mastered an almost limitless vocabulary of graphic expression to entertain and enlighten their audiences, but the creative process is still a mystery to most readers.  This temporary exhibition curated by Brian Walker reveals the elements, methods, tools and techniques that cartoonists utilize to create their masterpieces of graphic communication.

Throughout the weekend, festival attendees can enjoy behind the scenes tours of our new facility, or take a break in our Will Eisner seminar room to enjoy a showing of home movies from the Milton Caniff and Billy Ireland collections.

Youth Programming: The Festival will include several youth events, including a WexLab teen comics workshop in conjunction with the Wexner Center for the Arts, and a special event for children ages 8-10 with French cartoonist Marc Boutavant. Mr. Boutavant’s participation is made possible by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy through the French Authors on Tour 2013 program. Separate registration is required for these events.

The host hotel will once again be the Hyatt Regency Columbus. Reservations can be made at the conference rate of $135 per night through October 22ndhttps://aws.passkey.com/g/20057528

2013 Festival is co-sponsored by: The Ohio State University Libraries, Wexner Center for the Arts, Popular Culture Program, Project Narrative, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.  With support from Mary F. Gau and Kevin Wolf, Milton Caniff Endowment, and the Mark J. Cohen and Rose Marie McDaniel Endowment. Additional sponsor information forthcoming.

For further information, see http://cartoons.osu.edu or email us at cartoons@osu.edu or 614-292-0538.

Cartoon Library blog hiatus: We’re moving!

A hush falls on the Cartoon Library Blog.
OnTheMove

But wait, what’s that sound? Thousands, no, millions of comics being sorted, packed, and prepared for a new home. Stickers being stuck on boxes. Measuring tape reeling. Blueprints being checked twice, three times, and once more again. No, a few more times still. Actually, let’s make copies of the blueprints for everyone to take home to read before bed each night, just to be sure everything is in place.

The doors to the space we’ve called home for the past 23 years officially closed to the public last week. Our exhibit has come down, and our office walls have been made bare of every cut-out Calvin & Hobbes strip, postcards from past students, and kind notes from folks who have been inspired by our collections. Even Aflred E. Neuman‘s head has been packed away.

The final finishing touches are being put on our new home in Sullivant Hall, and on our most recent walk-through of the facility, the potential for exhibits, programming, parties, and better ways to serve patrons seemed limitless. Over the next few weeks we’ll be moving in, setting up, and settling in- with our reading room doors set to re-open on September 9th.

During this busy time for us, the blog will be updated a bit less frequently, but we hope you will still continue to check in for updates on our 2013 Grand Opening Festival of Cartoon Art, and on our Twitter and Facebook page for photos along the way during the transition.

We look forward to returning to our regularly scheduled highlights from the collection when we are settled in to our new home, as well as updates on new programming, exhibits, and everything else that lies ahead in this new era for the Cartoon Library. Until then, stay tuned, dear readers!

I think we need a bigger box.

I think we need a bigger box.

 

Preparing Our Offsite Collections for the Move

If you are among the lucky who have set foot behind the scenes of the current location of the Cartoon Library, you know that our massive collection holdings cannot be contained to just this space. For many years, the Cartoon Library has occupied two offsite storage facilities for housing proofs, merchandise, and many of our bound volumes, as seen in the images below.

The expanded storage space in our new home in Sullivant Hall will afford us the ability to consolidate one of these entire additional housing areas into our archive home-base. Over the past few months, Assistant Curator Susan Liberator and Associate Curator Wendy Pflug have led our dedicated team of student workers in preparing these offsite materials to prepare for our move at the beginning of August.

The students have been sorting and rehousing items that will be relocating with us, and have come across a number of gems along the way. Of particular delight for the students was a large collection of various pop culture merchandise and memorabilia from the International Museum of Cartoon Art Collection, containing figurines, board games, oddities and artwork.

Below, some of our favorite finds:

StarTrekColorform

Colorforms Star Trek Adventure Set. From the International Museum of Cartoon Art Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.

We swear we fought the urge to play with the Star Trek Colorforms. Except for just a little–for the sake of making sure all pieces were accounted for, of course.

SmokeyTheBear

Warner Brothers plush toys and Smokey the Bear Appli-Press set. From the International Museum of Cartoon Art Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

The students also came across some vastly varying Disney memorabilia of yore:

DisneyBox

Disney-inspired Mexican souvenir. From the International Museum of Cartoon Art Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

DisneyWatch

Giant Disney wall watch. From the International Museum of Cartoon Art Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Eddie Pisarczyk unpacking a wood wall decoration from Disney's Jungle Book. From the International Museum of Cartoon Art Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Student assistant Eddie Pisarczyk unpacking a wood wall decoration from Disney’s Jungle Book. From the International Museum of Cartoon Art Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Hannah Schobel with a Disney toy shovel. From the International Museum of Cartoon Art Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Student assistant Hannah Schobel with a Disney toy shovel. From the International Museum of Cartoon Art Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Mickey's Haunted House antique pin-ball game. From the International Museum of Cartoon Art Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Mickey’s Haunted House antique pin-ball game. From the International Museum of Cartoon Art Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

All of these items and more have been wrapped in archival packing materials and rehoused in storage boxes, to be ready to go on moving day.

We truly could not be making this move without the help of all of our student assistants, who have accomplished so much during this process and kept us laughing the whole way. Thank you for all of your help!

Crowdsourcing The Dylan Williams Collection

Congratulations to Cartoon Library volunteers Joe Miller and Caitlin Naber for their milestone accomplishment in cataloging the Tom Spurgeon donation to The Dylan Williams Collection! This early donation, which arrived soon after the The Dylan Williams Collection was announced in September, totaled to 1,419 mini-comics and is one of the largest installments that we’ve received so far. Items from the collection are being entered into a finding aid, which will be made available through our catalog after our move into Sullivant Hall.

JoeAndCaitlin

Proud Cartoon Library volunteers Joe Miller and Caitlin Naber, amid the cataloged portions of The Dylan Williams Collection!

Joe and Caitlin are diving into the other donations and trucking right along, but we thought we would take pause in this moment of great achievement and pose some questions to the audience. Out of the hundreds and hundreds of items that they have cataloged so far, we’ve stumbled upon a mere few that have us stuck for bibliographic information. Although the beauty of mini-comics can be their departure from the structure of formally published books, and working anonymously has its perks, we want to be able to give all of the creators represented in our collection their due credit and are therefor turning a few unidentified items over to you, dear readers!

If any of the works below look familiar, we’d love for you to help us identify the creators or titles where necessary, as well as any other information you may have about them:

Ramsden McEllroy

Cover and title page of “Ramsden”, cartoonist unknown. Donated by Tom Spurgeon, forms part of The Dylan Williams Collection. The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

**UPDATE: “Ramsden” cartoonist has been identified as Sammy Harkham! Thanks to readers Neil Brideau and Robin McConnell**

DWCUnknownUntitled

Inside pages, cartoonist and title unknown. Donated by Tom Spurgeon, forms part of The Dylan Williams Collection. The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

**UPDATE: The above mini-comic “Jessica” was done by Jason Overby. Thanks to readers Robin McConnell, Derik Badman, and Chuck Forsman.**

Cover and inside page from “Things Are Bigger in Texas -or- The Misfortune of Betsy the Cow”, cartoonist unknown. Donated by Tom Spurgeon, forms part of The Dylan Williams Collection. The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

DWCunknownDigital

Cover page, cartoonist and title unknown. Donated by Tom Spurgeon, forms part of The Dylan Williams Collection. The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.

Cover of "Herzog Watusi", cartoonist unknown. Donated by Tom Spurgeon, forms part of The Dylan Williams Collection. The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.

Cover of “Herzog Watusi”, cartoonist unknown. Donated by Tom Spurgeon, forms part of The Dylan Williams Collection. The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.

Cover and inside pages of "Como Vacas Mirando el Tren No. 2", cartoonist unknown. Donated by Tom Spurgeon, forms part of The Dylan Williams Collection. The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.

Cover and inside pages of “Como Vacas Mirando el Tren No. 2″, cartoonist unknown. Donated by Tom Spurgeon, forms part of The Dylan Williams Collection. The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.

DWCunknownBrownPaperMouse

Inside pages, cartoonist and title unknown. Donated by Tom Spurgeon, forms part of The Dylan Williams Collection. The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.

**UPDATE: The cartoonist for the untitled comic above has been identified as Chris Ware! Made while he was still in school at UT to be sold in a vending machine. This comic was later reprinted in Quimby The Mouse. Thanks to reader Neil Brideau!**

If you can identify any of the creators of the mini-comics above, leave a note in our comments section or send us an email at cartoons@osu.edu!