Found in the Collection: Bill Blackbeard’s Cartoon Textile

Hey, all of you cartoon aficionados! Help us identify the characters in this incredible embroidered textile

When we received the Bill Blackbeard collection, among it was this textile of over 100 embroidered cartoon characters. Unfortunately, we do not know who produced such a marvel, but we’re working hard to at least identify each character they lovingly stitched into the fabric.

Do you recognize any of the characters? We have digitally numbered the textile, and you can enlarge the image by clicking on it (we recommend using your browser to zoom even further). Below it you will find our best guesses as well as a number of blanks that we would love your help on.

Please leave us a comment with your expert findings!

Cartoon Textile from The San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection, The Ohio State University Cartoon Library & Museum

—-UPDATE—-

Wow! Thanks so much, everyone! Incredible detective work- we’re all in awe and ever-so-grateful over here at the Cartoon Library. Thank you for your patience as we fact-checked and updated our list. There are still some more to go! Unfortunately, our blog software does not allow us to upload very large files. Instead, I have provided details below of the unidentified characters. We hope you’ll keep contributing!

Cartoon Textile [detail] from The San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection, The Ohio State University Cartoon Library & Museum

Cartoon Textile [detail] from The San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection, The Ohio State University Cartoon Library & Museum

1. Buck Rogers

2. Joe Stork (Krazy Kat) (Thanks to reader Steven Stwalley!)

3. Napoleon

4. Uncle Elby

5. Checkered Demon

6. Marsupilami (Thanks to reader Eric Newsom!)

7. Bug Rogers (Gordo)

8. Churchy LaFemme

9.

10. Pogo

11. Albert Alligator

12. Dick Tracy

13. Offisa Pup

14. Krazy Kat

15. Ignatz Mouse

16. Mock Duck (Krazy Kat) (Thanks to reader Paul!)

17. Rudy

18.

19. Hawkshaw the Detective

20. Major Hoople

21.

22. Farside

23. Giff Wiff (Katzenjammer Kids) (Thanks to reader Jean-Paul Jennequin)

24. Eugene the Jeep

25. Farside (Thanks to reader Eric Newsom!)

26. Sheena

27. Little Orphan Annie & Sandy

28. Sparkplug

29. Sunshine

30. Barney Google

31. Old Doc Yak (Thanks to reader Steven Stwalley!)

32. Mamie (Moon Mullins) (Thanks to reader Steven Stwalley!)

33. Baron Bean (Thanks to reader Steven Stwalley!)

34.

35. Emmy (Moon Mullins)

36. Uncle Willie ? (Moon Mullins)

37. Mr. Beans (Robert Dickey) (Thanks to reader Steven Stwalley!) & Tippie (Edwina Dumm) (Thanks to Tom Spurgeon!)

38. Farside (Thanks to reader Eric Newsom!)

39. Dirty Dalton (Thanks to reader Paul!)

40. Texas Slim (Thanks to reader Paul!)

41. Wimpy

42. Maggie & Jiggs (Bringing Up Father)

43. Maud

44. Happy Hooligan

45. George Booth dog

46. Felix the Cat

47. Salesman Sam (Thanks to reader Roger Langridge!)

48. Scrooge McDuck

49. character from Casey the Cop (by Charles Rodrigues) (Thanks to reader Frank Pauer!)

50. Buster Brown & Mary Jane

51.

52. Boob McNutt (Thanks to reader Steven Stwalley!)

53. Mutt & Jeff

54. Tige and Midnight (Buster Brown)

55. Shmoo

56. Little Joe (by Ed Leffingwell) (Thanks to reader Steven Stwalley!)

57. Bunky (Thanks to reader Steven Stwalley!)

58. Jerry on the Job (Thanks to reader Chris Mautner!)

59. Casey the Cop (by Charles Rodrigues) (Thanks to reader Louis Wysocki!)

60. Kitty (Polly & Her Pals)

61. Polly Perkins

62. Maw (Suzie Perkins)

63. Neewah (Thanks to reader Steven Stwalley!)

64. Paw (Sam’l Perkins)

65. Ashur Earl Perkins (Thanks to reader Steven Stwalley!)

66.

67. Tater (Snuffy Smith)?

68. Abbie the Agent

69.

70. Captain Easy

71. Wash Tubbs

72. Foozy (Alley Oop)?

73.

74. character from “Casey the Cop” (by Charles Rodrigues) (Thanks to reader Frank Pauer!)

75. Skeezix (Gasoline Alley) (Thanks to reader Steven Stwalley!)

76. Bennie the Swink (Wash’s pet in Captain Easy) (Thanks to reader Todd Hillmer!)

77.

78. Little Jimmy

79. Broom Hilda

80. Alley Oop

81. Bécassine, mother, and Uncle Corentin (From L’enfance de Bécassine) (Thanks to reader Jean-Paul Jennequin!)

82. General Halftrack (Beetle Bailey)

83. Der Captain (Thanks to reader Steven Stwalley)

84. Tehuana Mama (Gordo)

85. From Bécassine, unknown character (Thanks to reader Jean-Paul Jennequin!)

86. Oola (Alley Oop) (Thanks to reader Roger Langridge!)

87. The General (Little Joe) (Thanks to reader Richard Olson!)

88. Getafix (Thanks to reader Andres Denkberg!)

89. Obelix (Thanks to reader Mike Lynch!)

90.

91. Dolly Dimples (by Grace Drayton) (Thanks to reader Holmes from Barnacle Press!)

92.

93. The Sea Hag (Popeye) (Thanks to reader Brian Hagen!)

94. Alice The Goon (Popeye) (Thanks to reader Mike Lynch!)

95. Sappo (Popeye) (Thanks to reader Roger Langridge!)

96. Der Professor (Katzenjammer Kids) (Thanks to reader Mike Lynch!)

97. Popeye

98. Swee’Pea sitting in the mouth of Toar (Popeye)  (Thanks to reader Paul!)

99. Fritz (Katzenjammer Kids)

100. Mama (Katzenjammer Kids)

101. Hans (Katzenjammer Kids)

102. Little Nemo in Slumberland (The Imp, ?, Flip, The Princess, Little Nemo)

103. Snoopy

104. Oat Willie (Gilbert Shelton) (Thanks to reader Steven Stwalley!)

105. Woodstock

106. Fat Freddy’s Cat

107. Yellow Kid

108.

109. Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse

110. Mr. Jack (Swinnerton)

111. Physically Powerful Katrina (Toonerville)

112. Mickey “Himself” McGuire (Thanks to reader Mike Lynch!)

113. Snake (B.C.) (Thanks to reader Brian Bonelli!)

114. Fat Broad?

115. Count Screwloose (Thanks to reader Steven Stwalley!)

116. Senor Dog (Gordo)

117. Ponce De Leon (Gordo)

118. Poosy Gato (Gordo)

119. Uncle Bim (The Gumps) (Thanks to reader Jared Gardner!)

120. -Not numbered in image- anteater from B.C. (Thanks to reader Steven Stwalley)

Happy Birthday, Bill Blackbeard! (April 28, 1926 – March 10, 2011)

Here at the Cartoon Library, Bill Blackbeard is a regular household name. We hope the same goes for all of you readers, as the Man Who Saved Comics deserves much remembrance and praise.

Portrait of Bill Blackbeard, ink and gouache original by Alfredo Alcala. San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

This Saturday, April 28th would be Bill’s 86th birthday. In 1998, Bill Blackbeard’s life’s work–The San Francisco Academy of Comic Art collection–arrived at The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum in six semi-trucks, filled to the brim with 2.5 million newsprint clippings of comic strips, entire Sunday comics sections, and tearsheets. This collection had resided with Bill Blackbeard and his wife in their home in California since the 1960s.

The late Bill Blackbeard, among the SFACA collection in its California home. Photo taken by R.C. Harvey. From the San Francisco Academy of Comic Art collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Having collected the bundles of discarded daily newspapers at the end of the week from neighbors houses as a child, Bill’s enthusiasm and fixation on the newsprint comics form grew exponentially throughout the rest of his life. In the 1960′s, libraries across the country began to convert their large bound volumes of newspapers to microfilm in order to conserve shelf space. Once the papers were converted, these hundreds upon thousands of volumes were then discarded or transferred elsewhere. When Bill Blackbeard found out this was happening, he and his wife Barbara and some volunteering friends rescued these volumes of newspapers from around the country – specifically for the comics sections. Because of certain policies in place about the transference of library materials to an individual collector- in one week’s time Bill established himself as a nonprofit organization, The San Francisco Academy of Comic Art. Overnight, Bill and Barbara’s home became the Academy, and one of the most important establishments in comics history of all time.

SFACA collection while it was housed in California. Photo by R.C. Harvey. From the San Francisco Academy of Comic Art collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Declared as being open for visitors and researchers at “all hours of every day” (because Bill lived there), the SFACA collection made possible an endless amount of comics scholarship, reprint books, and inspiration for cartoonists and fans alike. Bill, with help of volunteers, spent his days, years, and entire life clipping these strips and organizing them chronologically under each title.

The SFACA collection continues to have an incalculable impact at its permanent home here at the Cartoon Library- where it is easily our most highly-used collection.

Further Information:

To find out much-much more about Bill Blackbeard’s legacy and the collection’s arrival at the Cartoon Library, follow this link to the OSU Knowdledge Bank for an exhaustive article by our head curator Jenny Robb entitled Bill Blackbeard: The Collector Who Rescued the Comics.

To see many more fantastic pictures of Bill Blackbeard and his collection, you can visit our “We Love Bill Blackbeard Album” by liking the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum on Facebook.

To browse the San Francisco Academy of Comic Art finding aid, visit this link. Due to the size of the SFACA collection, it is constantly under processing so this is in no way a complete representation. We are very proud to have about 40% of the collection processed at this time (remember, it contains  millions of items!)

Happy Birthday, Bill Blackbeard!

Portrait of Bill Blackbeard, original in ink and gouache, by Alfredo Alcala. San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection, The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

-Caitlin McGurk