Help us save comics! CBS Sunday Morning and the Bill Blackbeard Story

Caitlin McGurk, Curator of Comics and Cartoon Art interviewed by CBS Sunday Morning correspondent Luke Burbank

It’s happening! We are thrilled to share that, barring breaking news, this Sunday, April 30, the acclaimed and long-running staple of weekend television, CBS Sunday Morning, is scheduled to feature the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum! The segment is all about our famous San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection amassed by the great Bill Blackbeard – totaling over 2.5 million newspaper comic strip clippings and pages. Tune in at 9am ET to see familiar faces from the Billy Ireland! 

Bill Blackbeard’s story and unparalleled collection is the theme of our current exhibition, MAN SAVES COMCS! Bill Blackbeard’s Treasure of 20th Century Newspapers, curated by Caitlin McGurk and Ann Lennon. It is on display now through May 7, 2023. The exhibit celebrates the 25th anniversary of the arrival of this collection at Ohio State, and the many incredible discoveries that have been made since then. Check out a digital version of the exhibit here.

We need your help! Twenty-five years later, the process of unboxing, sorting, rehousing and cataloging this essential collection is still ongoing, and we are less than halfway through completing this work. Over 2,000 boxes of material from this massive collection remained uncatalogued and undiscoverable. We’ll be wrapping up Phase 1 of this enormous project, thanks to funding from the Hearst Foundation, and we’re now raising funds for Phase 2. We are seeking to raise $125,000 to be able to continue this critical work of rehousing and cataloging the collection. Thanks to an anonymous donor, we have already raised $75,000 and need $50,000 to reach our next goal. Check out our BuckeyeFunder campaign and consider a donation to support the completion of this massive undertaking.


The collection documents more than a century of newspaper comic strips, many of which are the only surviving copies in the world. Creating access to these irreplaceable source materials and artistic commentaries on the social, political, and cultural happenings across time will offer unique insights to researchers while inspiring audiences for generations to come. Every dollar helps our mission to save comics!

New Exhibit! Facing Feelings: The Art of Raina Telgemeier opens May 24 at the Billy Ireland

For Immediate Release: April 13, 2023

Media Contact:
Nancy J. Colvin

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum presents
Facing Feelings: The Art of Raina Telgemeier


(Columbus, OH) – The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum presents Facing Feelings: The Art of Raina Telgemeier May 24-Nov. 5. This retrospective exhibition showcases original artwork spanning over 20 years of Telgemeier’s career, including her graphic novels and earlier works.

Emotions are complicated, nuanced and messy. In comics and cartoon art, the link between emotion and expression has become an important visual language, as facial expressions can give us a clue into a character’s internal world. Facing Feelings explores how Telgemeier’s comics combine impeccable pacing and an approachable cartoon style with real-life experiences to carefully balance challenging emotional journeys with warmth and affirmation. Her work focuses on feelings, and relationships to drive the plot forward, resonating strongly with readers of all ages.

Telgemeier is the author and illustrator of the graphic novels Smile, Drama, Sisters, Ghosts, and Guts, all #1 New York Times bestsellers. She also adapted and illustrated four graphic novel versions of Ann M. Martin’s Baby-Sitters Club series and has contributed short stories to many anthologies. Raina’s accolades include six Eisner Awards, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, a Stonewall Honor and many best-of and notables lists.

About the exhibit, Raina Telgemeier states: “Facing Feelings offers exhibition visitors the chance to see what shapes a life in comics. Sharing art from my childhood, my early attempts at short story comics, and the thought process behind some of my favorite graphic novel pages, the exhibit connects the ‘Raina’ on the page with me, Raina: the cartoonist!”

In addition to Telgemeier’s work, Facing Feelings also includes works by artists who influenced her and show great skill in depicting human emotions, including Keiji Nakazawa, Lynn Johnston, Bill Watterson, Lynda Barry, Jeff Smith, Charles Schulz, Ernie Bushmiller, Robb Armstrong, Will Eisner and more.

Curated by Anne Drozd, the exhibition consists of works on loan from the artist and from the collections of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at The Ohio State University.

“We’re thrilled to share the first major retrospective of Raina Telgemeier’s work with our communities,” said Anne Drozd, curator of Facing Feelings, “by telling stories from her own youth — in an accessible manner, and with brave vulnerability —Telgemeier changed what comics for young audiences could be. Her graphic novels like Smile (2010) were read by adolescents who are now Ohio State students, and they remain beloved bestsellers for young people around the globe.”

A public event and reception for the exhibition will be held on Saturday, June 17 at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. Details forthcoming.

For more information on this exhibition and related programming, visit


About The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, part of The Ohio State University Libraries, houses the world’s largest collection of materials related to cartoons and comics, including original art, books, magazines, journals, comic books, archival materials and newspaper comic strip pages and clippings.

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