Category: Library News (page 1 of 37)

2020 Lucy Shelton Caswell Research Award Winner: Kevin Cooley

Will Eisner and Lucy Shelton Caswell

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (BICLM) is pleased to announce the winner of the annual Lucy Shelton Caswell Research Award.  The award of up to $2500, named for the founding curator of the BICLM, Professor Emerita Lucy Shelton Caswell, supports researchers who need to travel to Columbus, Ohio to use the collections materials of the BICLM on site.

We were delighted to receive a robust and diverse range of proposals from both national and international scholars and artists. A panel of reviewers from a variety of disciplines at Ohio State was appointed to assess the proposals.

The recipient for 2020 is Kevin Cooley. Cooley holds a Master of Arts in English Literature from St. Bonaventure University, and is currently completing his Doctorate in English Literature from University of Florida. Cooley will utilize the research award in support of two related projects. First, in support of his dissertation and monograph Queer Beyond Here: Animated Sex and How To Get Used To It, which Cooley states “chronicles the development of queer animation from the earliest moving image devices to contemporary cartoons like Steven Universe.” In order to do justice to this lineage, Cooley “found it crucial to investigate the queer energies (and sometimes characters) of the formative comic strips that inspired early animation.” During a research visit to The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum in the summer of 2019, Cooley found that George O. Frink’s strips Circus SollySlim Jim and the Force and The Picture Show revealed “obvious influences on the chase scenes of Warner Bros. animation (impossible physics, drag performances, and all).” This has led him on an exhaustive pursuit of Frink, including a visit to the Elgin Mental Health Hospital, the contemporary site of the asylum in which Frink was institutionalized and where he died. As a result, the second project that the award will support will be an article and monograph about Frink’s life, tentatively titled Acrobats, Asylums, and Would-Be Animators: The Surprisingly Queer Stories of George O. Frink, the Forgotten Cartoonist. Cooley will utilize the San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection to conduct close readings of Frink’s strips The Awful Bore, The Goat Family, Mister Mainbrake, Mrs. Clubberly Clubber, Tommy Town, and Ratty and Algy, as well as those of his contemporaries at the Chicago Daily News.

Congratulations Kevin Cooley!

The application process for the 2021 award will take place in Fall 2020.

Ongoing support of this award was made possible by a generous gift from the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation, which was matched by many additional donors to create an endowment.  The endowment will provide funding for one award to be given each year. Past awardees include Dr. Susan Kirtley, Dr. Daniel Worden, Xavier Dapena, and Frank Santoro.

Giving Thanks: The David and Kimberly Ramsay Collection

In the spirit of the season of giving, we’ll be highlighting a few of the amazing gifts we received in 2019 throughout the rest of the year on our blog and/or Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Follow us on social media for more updates! As always, we are so thankful to our donors and friends throughout the world for supporting our collection.

We recently acquired a sizable manga collection from David and Kimberly Ramsay, and this donation grows our manga collection in some very interesting ways. We received numerous volumes of manga and manga serials as well as dojinshi (manga that is either fan-created or created by professional mangaka working outside of traditional channels), anime cels, laser disks, and a complete costume from shoes to wig.

Homemade Hikaru character wig from “Magic Knight Rayearth”

The Ramsays collected these materials over the course of 20 years and brought it all the way from California before donating it to us. As big fans of the series Magic Knights Rayearth, there is a healthy representation of materials from said series, but there are healthy representations of materials from a number of genres. While the vast majority of items are in Japanese, there is a good amount of Western magazines that chart the early days of anime and manga’s infiltration in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. Researchers looking for materials that feature men’s manga, model building, or short-lived U.S. published manga serials will find a wealth of materials to mine and research.

Among the standout pieces that came with this collection is a sizable number of manga comic books. These were published by Viz and Dark Horse to sell manga in a format familiar to comic book purchasers. While this was a practice discontinued once the book format took off, that we have so many examples of this practice is worthwhile to any researcher wanting to see early treatments of Lone Wolf and Cub or Mai the Psychic Girl.

There is far more than can possibly be covered in a blog post; visit our Lucy Shelton Caswell Reading Room to check out this expansion to our manga collection!

-Dr. Kay Clopton, Visiting Assistant Professor, Mary P. Key Resident: Cultural Diversity Inquiry

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