The Dog Show: Two Centuries of Canine Cartoons

The Dog Show logo with cartoon dogs surrounding a fire hydrant
Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum
Sullivant Hall, Robinson Gallery
1813 N. High Street
Columbus, OH 43210

June 19, 2021 - October 31, 2021
Exhibit Hours: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Open Thursday–Sunday
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Humans and dogs have a special relationship that goes back to our earliest encounters. There is evidence of an enduring graphic legacy of dogs in art. An 8,000-year-old petroglyph mural recently discovered in the Arabian Desert depicts dogs with leashes helping a hunter who is holding a bow. Dogs continue to take on roles as loyal companions, dedicated workers, and talented performers. Today, canines are also celebrated icons of popular literature, art, and culture.

This exhibition documents the fascination that cartoonists have had with our furry friends. Beginning with political cartoons from the 19th century and moving through to 21st century creations like Dav Pilkey’s Dog Man, over one hundred different characters are showcased. There are original cartoons starring vintage comic strip canines, including Buster Brown’s Tige, Little Orphan Annie’s Sandy, Dagwood and Blondie’s Daisy, and Charlie Brown’s Snoopy. Modern mutts like Odie from Garfield, Otto from Beetle Bailey, Ruff from Dennis the Menace, Farley from For Better or For Worse, and Earl from Mutts are also here. All of the major cartoon genres are represented — comic strips, editorial cartoons, magazine cartoons, comic books, illustration, and animation. 

The Dog Show: Two Centuries of Canine Cartoons promises to be an entertaining and enlightening exhibit for visitors of all ages.

Curated by cartoonist and cartoon scholar Brian Walker

Image Credit: Art by Eric Reaves. Snoopy © PNTS; Biscuit © Jan Eliot; Grimmy © Grimmy, Inc.; Marmaduke © UFS; Farley © Lynn Johnston Productions, Inc.; Otto © Comicana, Inc.; Earl © Patrick McDonnell; Odie © Paws; Snert © King Features Syndicate, Inc.; Dawg © Comicana, Inc.; Sandy © Tribune Media Services, Inc.; and Ruff © North America Syndicate, Inc. Used by permission.

Photo of Brian Walker Brian Walker