Annie Koyama Donates Original Art Collection to Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 21, 2017

Annie Koyama Donates Original Art Collection to Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Anne Koyama by Dustin Harbin. Used with permission from the artist.

COLUMBUS – The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum is delighted to announce a donation of an extraordinary collection of more than 250 pieces of original artwork by contemporary American cartoonists from Annie Koyama, owner and publisher of Koyama Press.

In 2007, Koyama founded the Canada-based publishing company to encourage and support a variety of artists and illustrators. Koyama Press publishes alternative comics and art books, by both emerging and established artists.

Koyama is known in the comics community for her unwavering generosity, enthusiasm and professionalism. In 2013, she began assembling a curated collection for the BICLM that would bear her name and represent a snapshot of the independent comics industry that has begun to reach a critical mass in the early 21st Century. Koyama explains about her donation, “I started purchasing work from some of my favourite American cartoonist as a way to support and offer patronage to predominately up-and-coming artists. Over time, I built a collection of art that is as unique and diverse as the cartooning community from which it is derived. I am excited to see these artists finding recognition and representation in what I consider a vital resource: the BICLM.” Artists represented in the collection include Lisa Hanawalt, Theo Ellsworth, Katie Skelly, Noah Van Sciver, Eleanor Davis, Dustin Harbin, Frank Santoro, Gabrielle Bell, Hellen Jo, Kevin Huizenga, and nearly one hundred others.

“What Annie Koyama has done for us is unprecedented, forward-thinking, and remarkable. Most cartoonists in this community make a livelihood by selling their original art to private collectors, which makes it more difficult for public research facilities like BICLM to obtain these essential works. Annie has not only supported these cartoonists, but has solidified their legacy by placing the collection at OSU where it can be preserved, accessed, and enjoyed for generations to come” states Associate Curator Caitlin McGurk.     

“We are immensely moved by Annie Koyama’s thoughtfulness and vision, and grateful for this gift which is unique in our 40-year history of collecting,” comments curator Jenny Robb, “Annie has demonstrated the potential for the community to play a role in preserving its own history.”

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum has also confirmed an exhibition of the Koyama Collection to be on display May 6, 2018 – Sunday, October 21, 2018, coinciding with Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC).

Tim Hensley, Gropius Besieged.  Annie Koyama Collection.

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 these 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 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from 1 – 5 p.m.  See for further information.

The Ohio State University Libraries

Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum
Contact: Caitlin McGurk
Sullivant Hall
1813 N. High St
Columbus, OH 43210

614-292-0538 Phone
614-292-9101 Fax


  1. Firstly, I am happy to rediscover you through HYPERALLERGENIC and find OSU Cartoon Library thrives and Lucy Caswell has a place of recognition.

    I was a subscriber to your INKS publication and thoroughly enjoyed it. A great research toll for many of us. Alas my piece on Palmer Cox as a grandfather of the comics was a little too early for the peer reviewing panel then working for Lucy. Lucy liked it, which suggested to me, I might be writing about it further down the line. I think he was a grandfather. Rick Marschall thought so too. We thought there was a trio, of which Cox was one.

    I am curious as to how the recent donation from Canada could cross the border presumably with tax deductions. A method could be fruitful for you and us.

    • Caitlin McGurk

      January 17, 2018 at 2:51 pm

      Hi Wayne, thank you for your comment! Apologies for the delayed response, we have not been receiving alerts for the comments on our posts. We’d be glad to discuss the Canadian donation situation with you if you’d like to send an email to Thanks for your support!

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