Tag: Bill Blackbeard (page 1 of 3)

Help us Save Comics! CBS Sunday Morning and the Bill Blackbeard story

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!

Virtual event with How The Other Half Laughs author Jean Lee Cole

Before Comic Books: The Early Newspaper Comic Strip and American Culture

Join us on Tuesday, March 7 at 6pm on Zoom for a special program with Jean Lee Cole on her book How the Other Half Laughs: The Comic Sensibility in American Culture, 1895-1920, in conjunction with our current exhibit Man Saves Comics! Bill Blackbeard’s Treasure of 20th Century Newspapers.

At the turn of the twentieth century, strips such as Hogan’s Alley, The Katzenjammer Kids, and Bringing Up Father defined the genre and became a driving force in the development of mass media. The earliest newspaper comic strips were marked by wild creativity, violence, and class commentary almost completely absent from today’s “funny pages”; Cole argues that they—and the laughter they provoked–also played an important role in the formation of immigrant and working-class community identity.

FREE and open to all. Registration required.

Jean Lee Cole is Professor Emerita of English at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore. Her research encompasses American literature, periodicals, and visual culture from 1850-1930. She has published two books: How the Other Half Laughs: The Comic Sensibility in American Culture, 1895-1920 (2020) and The Literary Voices of Winnifred Eaton: Redefining Ethnicity and Authenticity (2002) and is the editor or coeditor of several works by multiethnic American authors, including Onoto Watanna (Winnifred Eaton), Zora Neale Hurston, and Henry McNeal Turner. She was also the editor of American Periodicals from 2015-2020, for which she was named Editor of the Year by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals in 2020. How the Other Half Laughs was awarded honorable mentions for the Comic Studies Circle Charles Hatfield Prize and the Research Society for American Periodicals Book Prize. She also received the Nachbahr Award for Scholarship in the Humanities from Loyola University Maryland in 2017. She now resides in Oaxaca, Mexico.

This event is part of Will Eisner Week 2023.

Older posts