Congratulations to the 2024 Lucy Shelton Caswell Research Award Winners!

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (BICLM) is pleased to announce the winners of the annual Lucy Shelton Caswell Research Award for 2024. The award is named for Professor Emerita Lucy Shelton Caswell, the founding curator of BICLM, and provides $2500 to support researchers who need to travel to Columbus, Ohio to use the BICLM collections materials on site. We were delighted to receive a robust and diverse range of proposals from both national and international scholars and artists. A panel of reviewers from a variety of disciplines at Ohio State was appointed to assess the proposals.

The recipients for 2024 are Dr. Safiyya Hosein and Dr. Jonathan Najarian.

Dr. Safiyya Hosein

Dr. Safiyya Hosein is a lecturer at Toronto Metropolitan University and holds a PhD in Communication and Culture. Her research focuses on Muslim superheroes, Muslim audiences, and Muslim fandoms. Hosein has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as the Popular Culture Studies Journal, Feminist Encounters: A Journal of Critical Studies in Culture and Politics, and The Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, as well as in the popular press such as The Conversation, the CBC, Spice Radio, the National Post, and in many international media outlets. As a comics writer, her work appears in The Nib and several comics anthologies. In 2017, she was selected by Vice Media Motherboard for their “Humans of the Year” series. Hosein will utilize the Milestone Comics Collection at the Billy Ireland Library and Cartoon Museum to examine the representations of the pioneering Black Muslim superhero, Wise Son, for her upcoming book on Muslim superheroes.


Dr. Jonathan Najarian

Dr. Jonathan Najarian is Visiting Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric at Colgate University. He is the editor of Comics and Modernism: History, Form, and Culture (University Press of Mississippi, 2024), and is currently at work on a book on early American newspaper comics. Some recently published essays include Crazy Quilt, Advertising, and the Chicago Tribune as well as ‘And words were images to him’: Narrative Remediation in Rockwell Kent. Najarian will use his time at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum to support research for his current book project Immediate Fantasies: Comics in Context, 1890-1940. This monograph will explore materiality in newspaper comics in the United States: their leap from the page to billboards and merchandise, the stage and screen, fashion, etcetera—in addition to the cultural imaginary they inhabit.

Congratulations Safiyya and Jonathan!

The application process for the 2025 award will take place in late Fall 2024.

Ongoing support of this award was made possible by a generous gift from the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation, which was matched by many additional donors to create an endowment. The endowment provides funding for one award to be given each year. Past awardees include Dr. Margaret Galvan, Dr. Christina M. Knopf, Dan Yezbick, Adrienne Resha, Eike Exner, Kevin Cooley, Dr. Susan Kirtley, Dr. Daniel Worden, Xavier Dapena and Frank Santoro.

NANCY FEST 2024! Full Schedule and Registration

The Nancy Show: Bushmiller and Beyond is an exciting new exhibit coming to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum (BICLM) in Columbus, Ohio, May 22, 2024 – November 3, 2024. Curated by Brian Walker, this two-gallery show will feature original art, stunning color Sunday newspaper pages, photographs, merchandise, and other artifacts celebrating Ernie Bushmiller’s beloved and iconic comic strip Nancy. The exhibit will also highlight those who carried on the comic strip after Bushmiller, and the wide variety of artists inspired by Nancy, from punk zines to fine art paintings, parodies, and more.

To celebrate, BICLM will host NANCY FEST on Memorial Day weekend, May 24 -25 2024, and you are invited!


Friday, May 24

6:00-8:30pm   Opening reception for The Nancy Show: Bushmiller and Beyond

  • 7:00pm  Welcome and Program in the Jean and Charles Schulz Lecture Hall

Welcome to Nancy Fest! Hear from your hosts and event sponsors, as well as The Nancy Show: Bushmiller and Beyond curator Brian Walker with insights into the exhibit. Explore the exhibits and a pop-up display in the Lucy Shelton Caswell Reading Room, enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres, and refreshments from the cash bar. Museum Galleries.  Come dressed as Nancy, Sluggo, or Fritzi Ritz for a chance to win a prize for best costume! Reception sponsored by the National Cartoonists Society and National Cartoonists Society Foundation.


Saturday, May 25 

All events are in the Jean and Charles Schulz Lecture Hall (Sullivant Hall 220) unless otherwise noted.

9:30-10am       Registration and Coffee — Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum  lobby and Will Eisner Seminar Room (Sullivant Hall 205)

10-11:20am    The Nancy Summit, or, The First Official Meeting of the Ernie Bushmiller Society

Denis Kitchen, esteemed publisher, cartoonist, and Nancy fan, calls to order the first official meeting of the Ernie Bushmiller Society. Hear from artists Patrick McDonnell (Mutts), Kaz (Underworld), Gary Hallgren (Air Pirates, MAD), curator Brian Walker, and publisher Pete Maresca on their relationship with Nancy. 

11:30am-12pm    The New Nancy

Olivia Jaimes is the pen name of the mysterious cartoonist who took over Nancy in 2018, modernizing the strip with her own unique spin, and sending shockwaves through the community of Bushmiller purists. Jaimes joins us virtually for a pre-recorded discussion with Shena Wolf about her approach to the legacy strip. Plus, a special announcement about the future of the new Nancy.

12:00-1:30pm Lunch Break

1:30-2:20pm   Mark Newgarden and Paul Karasik on How to Read Nancy

Paul Karasik and Mark Newgarden will present their Eisner Award winning work, a unique meditation on the elements of comics as seen through the molecular deconstruction of the August 8, 1959 daily episode of Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy. The authors will discuss the genesis of this decade-long project and their quest to isolate the blood, sweat and tears that go into the making of a single comic strip. 

2:30-3:20pm   Three Rocks with Bill Griffith

Bill Griffith, creator of Zippy the Pinhead, has authored a new graphic novel biography of Ernie Bushmiller, creator of Nancy. Griffith learned how to read by following Nancy in the Sunday comics as a kid in the late 1940s. In his words, “unlike Peanuts, Nancy doesn’t tell you what it’s like to be a child. Nancy tells you what it’s like to be a comic strip.” Three Rocks makes the case that Nancy belongs beside Charlie Brown, Krazy Kat and Little Nemo in the Comics Pantheon Hall of Fame. Griffith will discuss his new book and love of Nancy.

3:30-5:00pm   Book sale and signing — Will Eisner Seminar Room (Sullivant Hall 205)

Special guests Bill Griffith, Paul Karasik, Mark Newgarden, Denis Kitchen, Pete Maresca and Brian Walker will be available to sign books. The Wexner Center Store will have work available by all featured guests, as well as Nancy collections. Check out a preview of the Sunday Press catalogue for The Nancy Show: Bushmiller and Beyond, available for pre-order.

5:00-7:00pm   Dinner break

6:30pm   Doors open for A Morning with Ernie Bushmiller, a stage play by Tom Gammill

7:00-8:30pm   A Morning with Ernie Bushmiller, a stage play by Tom Gammill

Join us for the world premiere of acclaimed comedy writer Tom Gammill’s theatrical debut, A Morning with Ernie Bushmiller. The year is 1976, and audience members watch Ernie Bushmiller write and draw four gags for his comic strip, Nancy, while he welcomes some unexpected visitors. Written by and starring Tom Gammill. Featuring Caitlin McGurk.

Program subject to change.

Gallery Hours during Nancy Fest:

Friday, May 24: 1pm-8:30pm
Saturday, May 25: 12pm-7:00pm
Sunday, May 26: 1pm-5:00pm

Registration is required for this event

Registration is required for this event



$10 General Attendee: Access to all Nancy Fest events held at the BICLM both May 24 and 25th

$50 VIP Attendee (limited availability): Access to all Nancy Fest events held at the BICLM both May 24 and 25th, a cool custom gift bag of Nancy merch and other delights, invitation to private offsite VIP after-party Saturday night with special guests.

This event is FREE for students with proof of student identifications. National Cartoonists Society Members receive complimentary VIP attendee access. Registration is required regardless.

Hotel information: 

We have reserved a block of rooms at The Graduate hotel in the Short North district of Columbus, a six-minute Uber/Lyft ride, 15 minute bus ride, or 30 minute walk to BICLM: click here to book now.

For additional hotel options visit:

Special thanks to our generous sponsors:

Nancy level: The National Cartoonists Society and National Cartoonists Society Foundation
Sluggo level: Andrew McMeel Universal and Scripps Licensing

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