FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 24, 2017
Mike Ritter Collection donated to The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum
COLUMBUS–The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum announces the acquisition of editorial cartoonist Mike Ritter’s collection of original art, sketchbooks, and manuscript materials. Ritter was an editorial cartoonist for the Tribune papers in Arizona for 13 years, and served as President of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) from 2003 to 2004. At the time of his passing in 2014 at age 48, Ritter was a Washington Blade contributor and Art Director for Georgia Voice, an LGBT newspaper in Atlanta.
Included in this donation are over 3,400 pieces of original art, from childhood drawings and early sketchbooks to hundreds of editorial cartoons. “It is a privilege to receive this collection, which illuminates the life of a true talent,” says Curator Jenny Robb. “Mike Ritter was a strong voice in the world of editorial cartoons. He left us too soon, but made an important impact over the course of his career.”
Student Assistant Jeni Dudley has been working with the collection, and she is particularly interested in how Ritter’s political voice reflected his personal life. “Mike Ritter’s views changed between his college and professional years as he became more accepting of his gay identity. He shifted from creating cartoons that were conservative to ones that were more liberal while coming face-to-face with the ugly realities of discrimination,” says Dudley. “Coming out gave Mike’s cartoons a raw edge.”
Ritter displayed an early talent for cartooning, and was especially adept at drawing caricatures of popular figures, inventing funny characters and storylines, and creating comic strips. Hundreds of published editorial cartoons define his prolific career as a satirist and an artist. Through a lifetime of cartoons, Ritter’s legacy lives on at the Billy Ireland, the largest collection of cartoon and comic art in the world.
If you own original art by Mike Ritter or have memories to share, we would love to hear from you. Email Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.