Author: Caitlin McGurk (page 1 of 148)

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

New exhibit! Depicting Mexico and Modernism: Gordo by Gus Arriola

(Columbus, OH) – The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum presents Depicting Mexico and Modernism, the first retrospective on the comic strip Gordo. On view Dec. 13, 2023–May 5, 2024, the exhibit celebrates the dazzling artistry of Mexican-American cartoonist Gustavo ‘Gus’ Arriola.

The syndicated strip ran from 1941 to 1985 and featured Gordo Salazar Lopez, a bean farmer turned tour guide, who introduced readers to Spanish words and Mexican culture. At first, the title character, Gordo Salazar Lopez, a bean farmer, was portrayed through Hollywood’s regrettable stereotype as a lazy Mexican. When Arriola realized he was perpetuating negative stereotypes, he shifted the character’s story, reimagining Gordo as a tour guide navigating a Mexican ‘colectivo’ (bus) called Halley’s Comet and focused instead on accurately portraying Mexican life and folklore. Arriola’s development as a modernist artist was influenced by his first trip to Mexico in the 1960s where he immersed himself in Mexican culture and modernist art. The exhibition invites visitors to trace his journey as an artist who used the comics page to celebrate and share his Mexican heritage with American readers.

Gordo was a successful newspaper comic strip during its run, but few people today are familiar with it,” said Jenny Robb, Head Curator of Comics and Cartoon Art at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. “The strip is remarkable not only for the way it introduced American audiences to Mexican culture, but also because of Arriola’s inventive storytelling and design that was unlike anything else on the comics page. With this exhibition, we hope to introduce Arriola’s amazing work to new audiences while providing an in-depth retrospective that will also appeal to his many fans.”

Curated by Nhora Lucía Serrano, the exhibition consists of animation made by Bret Olsen and works on loan from Mark Burstein, Jim Guida, Lalo Alcaraz, Hector D. Cantú and from the collections of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at The Ohio State University.

“Hailed as a virtuoso comic strip artist by Charles Schulz, Hank Ketchum, Mort Walker and Eldon Dedini, Gus Arriola was a gifted visual storyteller whose Gordo is a masterclass on how modernism and Mexican ‘artesanía’ influenced the comics medium,” said Nhora Lucía Serrano, exhibition curator. “Originally intended to be the Mexican Li’l AbnerGordo is also an early example of how the cartoonist and his character’s ethnic identity evolved and emerged in comic strips. Long overdue, this exhibition is the first retrospective on Gordo—a celebration and a testament to the impact that Gus Arriola has had on today’s Latinx’s cartoonists.”

This exhibit will be presented with labels in both English and Spanish languages.

Save the Date! Join us on Saturday, January 20 for a reception to celebrate the opening of this exhibition and a program featuring Lalo Alcaraz, Hector D. Cantú, Carlos Castellanos and Frederick Luis Aldama.


Gordo, by Gus Arriola, Sunday, June 18, 1950. Part of the San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. © Scripps Licensing, Inc.

Gordo, by Gus Arriola, Sunday, September 27, 1959. Part of the San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. © Scripps Licensing, Inc.

Older posts