Noah Van Sciver Collection Donated to Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 12, 2018

Noah Van Sciver Donates Original Art to Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

COLUMBUS – Award-winning cartoonist Noah Van Sciver has donated more than 140 pages of original art, including near complete works, to The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.

As one of the most prolific and acclaimed contemporary cartoonists, Van Sciver’s career includes the publication of more than ten graphic novels in English and French, ten issues of the popular comic book Blammo published by Kilgore Books and weekly comic strips for the alternative newspapers Columbus Alive and Denver’s Westword. His work has appeared in Mad magazine, Mome and Mineshaft. In 2016, Van Sciver won an Ignatz Award at the Small Press Expo in the category of ‘Best Story’ for My Hot Date. Van Sciver’s graphic novel explorations of historic persons including Abraham Lincoln, Elijah Pierce Lovejoy, Johnny Appleseed, Eugene V. Debs (forthcoming), and Joseph Smith (forthcoming) successfully cut to the inner world of otherwise austere figures.

The donation includes nearly all pages from Saint Cole and the complete Fante Bukowski, both published in 2015 from Fantagraphics, as well as the story Wolf Nerd from NOW no. 3 (Fantagraphics, 2018) and a selection of unpublished pages.

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Van Sciver says of his donation, “It makes me proud to know that some of my earliest and most formative work has a home where it can be accessed by anyone and I know it will be excellently cared for.”

“As a cartoonist who’s spent time in multiple cities, including a few years in Columbus, I can appreciate how rare and important a place like the Billy Ireland is. I’ve personally enjoyed taking advantage of the Billy Ireland’s vast offerings to the public, including research in the reading room, outstanding events, speakers and exhibits,” states Van Sciver, who recently relocated to Columbia, South Carolina.

“It is so important that an early-career cartoonist like Noah Van Sciver has thought to preserve his work for future generations of scholars, students and fans,” notes curator Jenny Robb, “Van Sciver’s work in Saint Cole and Fante Bukowski is alternately hilarious, insightful, and deeply personal, and we are honored to receive this generous gift from him documenting the development of his impressive career.”

Van Sciver’s collection compliments those of other cartoonists that have placed complete works with the Billy Ireland, including Jeff Smith, Edie Fake and Katie Green.

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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 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from 1 – 5 p.m.  See http://cartoons.osu.edu/ for further information.

Student post: November Staff Picks

Disability in Comics and Cartoon Art

by Sarah Clawson, Student Assistant

Each month the student assistants at the Billy Ireland curate a selection of their favorite graphic novels and comics on a variety of topics to display in the Lucy Shelton Caswell Reading Room. For November, I chose to create a selection of pieces that demonstrate how disability is portrayed in modern comics and graphic novels. My interest in disability studies started a little over a year ago when I was placed at an inclusive school through a field experience at OSU. My classroom was composed 42% of students who had a developmental disability and 58% of typically developing peers. In this first experience with inclusion, I immediately saw the importance of representation in literature. There were so few books that provided my students with a mirror to see themselves represented. This inspired me to seek out books that included a diverse range of characters, especially those whose intersectionality included disability. When I began working at the Billy around this same time, I was thrilled to find comics and graphic novels in our collection representing a diverse range of characters, including those with varying abilities.

Over 20 disabilities are represented in the selections I chose for this month’s Staff Picks, ranging from mental illness, visual impairments, and hearing impairments to learning disabilities and cancer. There are over 30 titles included, which is just a sample from the collection of comics and graphic novels we have featuring characters with disabilities. I’ve learned about some of the books I chose in classes here at OSU, such as El Deafo by Cece Bell. El Deafo was one of the first graphic novels I found written about a main character who was hearing impaired, reflecting the author’s own hearing impairment. Many of the books in the selection are written autobiographically, telling the stories of the varying abilities that the authors lived with.

Each of the pieces I selected for this month’s Staff Picks feature disability in a different way. Some focus on the disability as the center of the story, such as Epileptic by David B. and Mis(h)adra by Iasmin Omar Ata. Other stories feature characters whose disability is not the main component of the story, such as Madame Web in The Amazing Spiderman by Stan Lee, who has a neuromuscular disease. Another such example is Ben from Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick, who is deaf. I also chose to include a reference text in the collection titled Death, Disability, and the Superhero: the Silver Age and Beyond by Jos Alaniz. This book explores representations of disability in superhero comics, and is a great place to find further sources for reading. I hope to continue to add pieces to this collection as they become available in hopes of providing our diverse community of readers with representations of themselves in comic and cartoon art, and providing those who may not have disabilities with opportunities to expand their knowledge on the subject. Stop in to the Lucy Shelton Caswell Reading Room to explore these selections, or email us at cartoons@osu.edu to learn more. The Reading Room is located on the north side of Sullivant Hall at 1813 North High Street and is open from 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday, as well as Sundays from 1:00pm-5:00pm during OSU’s Spring and Fall semesters.

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