Ho Che Anderson Donates Collection to Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Painting depicting a young Martin Luther King Jr. next to an American flag

Original painting by Ho Che Anderson for “King” book cover.

COLUMBUS – Cartoonist Ho Che Anderson has donated all of the original art, paintings and manuscript material from his graphic novel King: A Comics Biography Of Martin Luther King, Jr. to The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.

King is a raw, energetic and compelling graphic narrative that chronicles the complex life and tragic death of the celebrated Civil Rights leader and icon. Anderson spent more than 10 years researching and producing King, which was originally published by Fantagraphics in three volumes released in 1993, 2002 and 2003. This donation contains the script drafts, notebooks, preliminary sketches, press clippings and publisher correspondence that culminated in this renowned work.

Anderson was born in London, and resides in Toronto, Canada. About the donation he said, “King being an American story, I liked the idea of donating to an American archive, even though I’m a Canadian. I reached out to Billy Ireland and was relieved when they expressed enthusiasm for taking the collection off my hands. Later, I got the opportunity to visit the museum in person and knew immediately I’d made the right choice.” Anderson was a special guest at the annual Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC) festival in 2019.

Other works by Ho Che Anderson include Godhead, Wise Son and the White Wolf, Scream Queen, I Want to Be Your Dog and Sand and Fury. His publisher at Fantagraphics, Gary Groth, said, “Working with and publishing Ho Che Anderson has been one of the most rewarding associations of my life in comics, personally and professionally. Ho has always tackled his creative work with a ferocious passion and integrity and a restless formal and stylistic experimentation. I reflect with great pride on publishing Ho throughout his career from his earliest work, such as King and Black Dogs through his current project Godhead.”

“Works like King,” Jenny Robb, curator of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum said, “give us a fresh and vivid perspective on historic events, bringing them to life in a way that is both powerful and challenging for the reader. Anderson’s work shows how comics could be successfully utilized to present a complex, critical, yet compassionate biography of a major cultural figure. We are so honored to be entrusted with preserving this essential work. The inclusion of Anderson’s manuscript materials is a gift to researchers that will surely be utilized for years to come.”

Anderson added “I’m thrilled by the idea […] that a cartoonist’s work can be preserved until the sun goes supernova and offer the succeeding generations a means of education, inspiration and the thrill of viewing original comic book art.”

To learn more about the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum and view the collections, visit

Comic book script from the special edition of “King”