Grand Opening Festival Update!


Cartoon Library friends and fans, we’re coming up for a breath of air during the final stretch of planning for our Grand Opening Festival of Cartoon Art to let you know that the rumors are true: Festival registration has sold out and is now closed.

But fear not! There are still MANY ways to celebrate with us that weekend, and tickets are available to individual events:

  • The Academic Conference on Thursday and Friday are free and open to the public, up to and including the Henry Jenkins keynote speech! We’re thrilled to have renowned comics scholars from all over the world joining us for two days of panels and papers focusing on the strengths and special features of the Cartoon Library’s unparalleled collection. The Thursday and Friday conference schedule can be seen here.
  • Tickets for our kickoff program In Conversation: Paul Pope and Jeff Smith are ON SALE NOW through the Wexner Center for the Arts! Join us for a conversation between internationally acclaimed cartoonists and Ohio State University alumni Jeff Smith (Bone, RASL) and Paul Pope (THB, Heavy Liquid, Batman Year 100) as they discuss their extraordinary careers and reflect on the importance of comics history. $5 general public, Free for Ohio State students with BUCK ID
  • Tickets for our keynote event An Evening with the Hernandez Bros are ON SALE NOW through the Wexner Center for the Arts! Join us on Saturday, November 16th for a conversation between alternative comics legends Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez as they discuss their groundbreaking series Love & Rockets and their ongoing stories about Latino and Latina life, love, and punk rock on both sides of the border. $5 general public, Free for Ohio State students with BUCK ID
  • On November 1st, a very limited number of tickets will go on sale through the Wexner Center for the Arts for the individual Saturday and Sunday events including talks by Matt Bors, Eddie Campbell, Stephan Pastis, Brian Basset, and Kazu Kibuishi. Individual tickets will also go on sale that day for the Stripped screening and panel with Patrick McDonnell, Hilary Price, and Dylan Meconis, and the Looney Tunes Afternoon with Jeff Smith. Tickets for each event will be $5
    *When we say limited, we mean limited, so be sure to check the Wexner Center for the Arts ticket office early that day!
  • On Wednesday, November 15th the Wexner Center for the Arts will be screening The Art of Spiegelman (Clara Kuperberg & Joelle Oosterlinck, 2010) preceded by Every Tuesday: A Portrait of The New Yorker Cartoonists (Rachel Loube, 2012) as part of the 2013 Columbus Jewish Film Festival. Tickets are on sale now through the Columbus JCC.
    For more information:
  • The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum Galleries will be officially open to the public for the very first time on Saturday, November 16th and Sunday, November 17th from 10am-5pm. On view will be our debut exhibit Substance and Shadow: The Art of the Cartoon curated by Brian Walker, and Treasures from the Collections of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. For more information on the exhibits visit:
  • Limited space is still available for our Sunday Youth Programming events:
    -Ariol: Just a Donkey Youth ages 8-10 are invited to spend the morning with French cartoonist Marc Boutavant for a cartooning workshop based on his award-winning series Ariol.
    To register contact Caitlin McGurk at – 614-292-1134
    Teen Wex Lab: Comics Drawing Jam A comics drawing workshop for teens organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts, as well as a chat with Kazu Kibuishi!
    To register contact Jean Pitman at

We’ve been so amazed and grateful for the incredible response we’ve received about the Festival this year, and can’t wait to party with you all in less than one month! Stay tuned for more updates.

*Festival artwork by Paul Hornschemeier


  1. Normally, I do not like to compose a considered response while still raging, but I felt the need to get this out there as quickly as possible.

    I was perusing the schedule for the Billy Ireland library’s opening festival and was rather taken aback by the fact that not one speaker will be discussing manga, seemingly in any capacity. Now, over the years I have tolerated people’s indifference to treating the largest comic market in the world (e.g. Douglas Wolk’s explicit unwillingness in Reading Comics), but when you consider that OSU has the largest and arguably the most important manga collection in the US (and probably in NA or Europe), this oversight is absolutely galling.

    When my own modest proposal to talk about Rakuten and the materials there I used not two weeks ago was rejected, I assumed, like any reasonable person, that this was because someone more well known (a Fred Schodt, for instance, or Ryan Holmberg) or whose work is, at least, more closely tied to what others would be presenting on would be attending. I had no idea the organizers thought it acceptable to leave manga out entirely. For shame.

    • Very sorry, Nick, that you are raging. It is true our academic conference features no panels on manga. Despite an attempt to draw in papers on the topic, yours was the only proposal and it was not a good fit with any of the other panels that organically formed. There are a good many other gaps, if we are looking for them. For example, we really have nothing dedicated to underground comix in the academic conference, an area of strong collections for us, and absolutely nothing on superheroes, despite a deep commitment to collecting in this genre. The academic conference emerged from the panels that formed out of the proposals we received. Because we do not have concurrent panels, over half the proposals, including some tremendous ones by people very close to the library, did not find a home. This sucks. But it is nothing personal against you or the comics you love (a love that many of us here share as well). With luck in our new venue and with more programming opportunities we will start drawing in interest from more manga scholars for events such as this.

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