Tag: Puck


OhioStateLogoContact: Caitlin McGurk
The Ohio State University
Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum
1813 N High St.
Columbus OH 43210-1393


Upcoming Exhibitions at The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum




July  25, 2015 – January 24, 2016

World War I and America’s first humor magazine are the subjects of two new exhibits opening in July at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.

SEEING THE GREAT WAR: This exhibit explores the power of images generated during wartime, through the work of James Montgomery Flagg, Bud Fisher, Billy Ireland, Percy Crosby, Nell Brinkley, Frederick Burr Opper, Louis Raemaekers, and others. It will also feature Charles Schulz’ reinterpretation of the Great War’s legacy as shown through Snoopy as the Flying Ace. World War I represented a watershed in the history of warfare, both on the battlefield and in communication. The importance of the media to the American war effort was affirmed when President Woodrow Wilson signed Executive Order 2594 to form the Committee on Public Information (CPI). The CPI enforced voluntary press censorship with compliance dependent “entirely upon honor and patriotism.” Its Bureau of Cartoons published a weekly bulletin of tips and ideas that was distributed to more than 750 cartoonists nationwide. Original costumes from WWI will be displayed, as well as original art, film lobby cards, sheet music, and posters. Curated by Professor Emerita Lucy Shelton Caswell.

WHAT FOOLS THESE MORTALS BE! THE STORY OF PUCK: Discover the history and highlights of Puck, America’s first and most influential humor magazine of color political cartoons. This show presents some of Puck‘s greatest cartoons featuring politicians, personalities, and issues that dominated its forty years of publication. Puck was a training ground and showcase for some of the country’s most talented cartoonists. This exhibit will include chromolithographs by Joseph Keppler, Rose O’Neill, Frederick Opper, F.M. Howarth, Rolf Armstrong, Bernhard Gillam, J.S. Pughe, and more. As David Sloane has said in American Humor Magazine and Comic Periodicals, Puck “created a genre and established a tradition,” spawning dozens of imitators. It also led the way for that great American institution, the comics. Curated by Richard Samuel West and Michael Alexander Kahn . Their recent book, “What Fools These Mortals Be! The Story of Puck,” was published by IDW Publishing (October 2014).


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.  See http://cartoons.osu.edu/ for further information.

Preservation and the Cartoon Library

If there is one thing that makes us swell with pride more than our own pious treatment of comic art here at the Cartoon Library, it’s seeing the meticulous process by which these pieces are repaired over at our incredible Preservation & Reformatting studio. We are lucky enough to have the expertise of the amazing conservator Harry Campbell at hand, who regularly picks up worn and torn items from us and nurses them back to health.

Recently, Harry and his staff worked on a series of old Puck magazines that needed rebinding. We took a trip over there to snap some photos, and take a look at the facility. There are few places in the world where comics get the kind of treatment that they do at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum!

Like many of the old humor periodicals we collect such as Punch and Judge, issues of Puck magazine were collected and bound into hardcover volumes. The particular collection of Puck that we focused our photos around for today was from 1879, containing the issues from Volumes 5 & 6. As you can see in the images below (click to enlarge), the spine has been damaged severely and the sections had begun to separate from the rest of the text block.









During our visit, we were able to watch Conservation Assistant Brenda Goodwin begin the careful work of deconstructing the volume in order to begin rebinding it with a new spine and casing. Below, an overview of the process through pictures:

With an x-acto knife and a steady hand, Brenda separated the textblock from the binding by slicing it out of the spine lining and endpapers.









The text block is then placed in a vertical book vice (lying press) to hold it steady, while Brenda cleans the old spine off. Because of the strength of the old glue and brittleness of the paper, a softening agent is applied to the spine in order to more easily scrape away the old adhesive. Once the spine has been cleaned and exposed, a new cloth spine lining is applied.














The loose sections from the volume, pictured earlier, are then re-sewn back into place through the new spine lining as seen below. Back in the vice, endbands chosen to match the original format as well as a hollow tube lining is then attached to the spine.







New endpapers are then attached and trimmed down, and the textblock is ready to be glued into its brand new case. The case has been made to the precise measurements of the original binding, with dyed book cloth and a fresh label to replicate the old one.







Once the adhesive has dried and the book has been pressed, voila! We’re left with a brand new version of the same old book, ready to be read without worry of further damage. Below, the finished volume, and a spread from the J.A. Wales cover of  Puck V. 5, No. 129.

We are so thankful to have the help of Harry, Brenda, and the rest of the Preservation & Reformatting crew! They are always hard at work on our materials, so we look forward to posting more process updates as they continue to revitalize our collection.