Introduction | Edwina Dumm | Billy Ireland | Winsor McCay | Charles Nelan | Frederick Opper 
| Richard Outcault | Bibliography | Home

Libraries > Exhibitions > Ohio Cartoonists > Billy Ireland


Billy Ireland

Billy Ireland (1880-1935), a native of Chillicothe, Ohio, was hired by the Columbus Dispatch shortly after his high school graduation in 1898. A self-taught cartoonist, he worked for the Dispatch until his death and was famous both for his editorial cartoons and for his Sunday feature The Passing Show. Ireland had several books published, and he mentored many younger cartoonists including Milton Caniff and Noel Sickles. He turned down syndication contracts and several job offers from larger metropolitan newspapers, saying that he did not want to leave Columbus--he just wanted to get back to Chillicothe. Ireland's affection for his home state is reflected in his work.


Self-caricature by Billy Ireland. Detail from The Passing Show, January 24, 1932. 

Ireland created a different title design each week for his Sunday feature, and many featured his trademark self-caricature, the plump janitor of The Passing Show with a shamrock on his face.


Click to Enlarge


Click to Enlarge

Teck Haskins at Ohio State by Billy Ireland. Lea-Mar Press [1908?], [3] [LD4236.I7]

Ireland chronicles the adventures of Yellowbud's Teck Haskins as he travels from rural Ross County to the big university in the big city.
 


"Every Little Bit Helps" by Billy Ireland, Columbus Dispatch, February 16, 1917. Milton Caniff Collection [MAC P105 18]

Carrie Chapman Catt, leader of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, visited Columbus Dispatch publisher Robert F. Wolfe and persuaded him that the paper should support woman suffrage. As a result, Ireland drew a number of cartoons on the topic.


Click to Enlarge

"The Passing Show" by Billy Ireland, Columbus Dispatch, July 7, 1918. Gift of Philo R. King, III. [AC E9 68]

The first full-page color Sunday feature by Billy Ireland that was titled "The Passing Show" was published on February 9, 1908. The last appeared on June 2, 1935, the Sunday following his death on May 29.

Introduction | Edwina Dumm | Billy Ireland | Winsor McCay | Charles Nelan | Frederick Opper 
| Richard Outcault | Bibliography | Home

Contact Us