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

Big news! We are thrilled to share that, barring breaking news, this Sunday, April 9, 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, and celebrate the exhibit with us in person at our event on April 22.

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!