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Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

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Encyclopedia
The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, a research library
Research library
A research library is a library which contains an in-depth collection of material on one or several subjects . A research library will generally include primary sources as well as secondary sources...

 of American comic art, is affiliated with the Ohio State University
Ohio State University
The Ohio State University, commonly referred to as Ohio State, is a public research university located in Columbus, Ohio. It was originally founded in 1870 as a land-grant university and is currently the third largest university campus in the United States...

 library system in Columbus
Columbus, Ohio
Columbus is the capital of and the largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio. The broader metropolitan area encompasses several counties and is the third largest in Ohio behind those of Cleveland and Cincinnati. Columbus is the third largest city in the American Midwest, and the fifteenth largest city...

, Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

. Formerly known as the Cartoon Research Library and the Cartoon Library & Museum, it is now the world's largest and most comprehensive academic research facility documenting and displaying original and printed comic strip
Comic strip
A comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative, often serialized, with text in balloons and captions....

s and cartoon art. The facility is named after the Ohio cartoonist Billy Ireland
Billy Ireland
William Addison Ireland , a native of Chillicothe, Ohio, was a self-taught cartoonist well known throughout Ohio as Billy Ireland. The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum was named in his honor in 2009....

.

Covering comic book
Comic book
A comic book or comicbook is a magazine made up of comics, narrative artwork in the form of separate panels that represent individual scenes, often accompanied by dialog as well as including...

s, daily strip
Daily strip
A daily strip is a newspaper comic strip format, appearing on weekdays, Monday through Saturday, as contrasted with a Sunday strip, which typically only appears on Sundays....

s, Sunday strip
Sunday strip
A Sunday strip is a newspaper comic strip format, where comic strips are printed in the Sunday newspaper, usually in a special section called the Sunday comics, and virtually always in color. Some readers called these sections the Sunday funnies...

s, editorial cartoon
Cartoon
A cartoon is a form of two-dimensional illustrated visual art. While the specific definition has changed over time, modern usage refers to a typically non-realistic or semi-realistic drawing or painting intended for satire, caricature, or humor, or to the artistic style of such works...

s, graphic novel
Graphic novel
A graphic novel is a narrative work in which the story is conveyed to the reader using sequential art in either an experimental design or in a traditional comics format...

s, magazine cartoons and sports cartoons, the collection includes 450,000 original cartoons, 36,000 books, 51,000 serial titles and 3000 feet (914.4 m) of manuscript materials, plus 2.5 million comic strip clippings and tear sheets.

Curator and collections


Jenny E. Robb is the Museum's curator, as of January 1, 2011. Before arriving at Ohio State in 2005, Robb was curator of the Cartoon Art Museum
Cartoon Art Museum
The Cartoon Art Museum is a California art museum that specializes in the art of comics and cartoons. It is the only museum in the Western United States dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of all forms of cartoon art...

 in San Francisco for five years. She has Masters degrees in history and museum studies from Syracuse University.

The Museum's founder and former curator is Lucy Shelton Caswell, author of several books on cartooning, including Illusions: Ethnicity in American Cartoon Art (Ohio State Libraries, 1992) and Arnold Roth: Free Lance
Arnold Roth
Arnold Roth is an American freelance cartoonist and illustrator for advertisements, album covers, books, magazines and newspapers.Novelist John Updike wrote, "All cartoonists are geniuses, but Arnold Roth is especially so."...

(Fantagraphics, 2001). The Cartoon Library began in 1977 when the Milton Caniff Collection
Milton Caniff
Milton Arthur Paul Caniff was an American cartoonist famous for the Terry and the Pirates and Steve Canyon comic strips.-Biography:...

 was donated to Ohio State and delivered to the School of Journalism, which was headed by Caswell. In 2011, Caswell received the Silver T-Square Award from the National Cartoonists Society
National Cartoonists Society
The National Cartoonists Society is an organization of professional cartoonists in the United States. It presents the National Cartoonists Society Awards. The Society was born in 1946 when groups of cartoonists got together to entertain the troops...

.

The Caniff Collection consists of 12,000 original artworks by Caniff, 85 boxes of memorabilia and more than 450 boxes of manuscript materials, fan letters and business records. From two classrooms off the back hallway of the Journalism Building in 1977, the collection expanded to three classrooms and became part of the University Libraries. By 1989, the three classrooms were filled, and the Library moved into a larger space, eventually requiring the use of off-site storage as the collection continued to expand. Interviewed by Matt Tauber, Caswell detailed the Museum's origins and how she became involved:
Caniff loved his university very much and truly believed that without the education he got here he would not have achieved the things that he did. So his sense of gratitude to the university was palpable... Somebody had to be responsible to make sure it was all there, and all the boxes had my name on it. When funding was made available to work on Caniff, I was offered a six-month appointment. I’ve been here ever since. The original collection was housed in the Journalism building. When I started working with it, we were in two classrooms that had been converted, a door cut between them, so that one was a reading room and one was a storage area... At the time that I started, there weren’t really the kinds of resources to teach and learn about comics that we have now. So I basically had to make it up as we went along. There just wasn’t anything else out there. As a good librarian and scholar I started writing around to other places that said they had cartoon collections to see how they did things, because you don’t want to reinvent the wheel if somebody’s already figured it out. It turned out that nobody had the kind of thing that we had in the Caniff collection, i.e. so extensive, and the combination of art and manuscript materials. And nobody else was trying to grow it the way we were.


As the Museum's collection of original art and manuscripts evolved and expanded, it added the Nick Anderson
Nick Anderson (cartoonist)
Nick Anderson is an American editorial cartoonist. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his work with the Louisville Courier-Journal. The judges credited his "unusual graphic style that produced extraordinarily thoughtful and powerful messages." He currently draws cartoons for the Houston Chronicle; the...

 Collection, the Jim Borgman
Jim Borgman
James Mark Borgman is an American cartoonist. He is known for his political cartoons and his nationally syndicated comic strip Zits.-Personal:...

 Collection, the Eldon Dedini
Eldon Dedini
Eldon Dedini was an American cartoonist whose work has appeared in Esquire, The New Yorker, Playboy and elsewhere....

 Collection, the Edwina Dumm
Edwina Dumm
Frances Edwina Dumm was a writer-artist who drew the comic strip Cap Stubbs and Tippie for six decades and is also notable as the nation’s first full-time female editorial cartoonist, She used her middle name for the signature on her comic strip, signed simply Edwina.One of the earliest female...

 Collection, the Will Eisner
Will Eisner
William Erwin "Will" Eisner was an American comics writer, artist and entrepreneur. He is considered one of the most important contributors to the development of the medium and is known for the cartooning studio he founded; for his highly influential series The Spirit; for his use of comics as an...

 Collection, the Woody Gelman
Woody Gelman
Woodrow Gelman , better known as Woody Gelman, was a publisher, a cartoonist, a novelist and an artist-writer for animation and comic books. As the publisher of Nostalgia Press, he pioneered the reprinting of vintage comic strips in quality hardcovers and trade paperbacks...

 Collection of Winsor McCay
Winsor McCay
Winsor McCay was an American cartoonist and animator.A prolific artist, McCay's pioneering early animated films far outshone the work of his contemporaries, and set a standard followed by Walt Disney and others in later decades...

 cartoons, the Walt Kelly
Walt Kelly
Walter Crawford Kelly, Jr. , or Walt Kelly, was an American animator and cartoonist, best known for the comic strip, Pogo. He began his animation career in 1936 at Walt Disney Studios, contributing to Pinocchio and Fantasia. Kelly resigned in 1941 at the age of 28 to work at Post-Hall Syndicate,...

 Collection, the Collection of agent Toni Mendez and the Bill Watterson
Bill Watterson
William Boyd Watterson II , known as Bill Watterson, is an American cartoonist and the author of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes...

 Collection. The Jay Kennedy
Jay Kennedy
Jay Malcolm Kennedy was an American editor and writer. He joined King Features Syndicate in 1988 as deputy comics editor and became comics editor one year later. He began as King Features' editor-in-chief in 1997....

 Collection has more than 9,500 underground comic books. The Bud Blake
Bud Blake
Julian Blake , better known as Bud Blake, was an American cartoonist who created the popular, long running comic strip Tiger, about a group of suburban boyhood pals. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Tiger began May 3, 1965...

 Collection includes more than 5,800 of the cartoon panels he drew for King Features Syndicate
King Features Syndicate
King Features Syndicate, a print syndication company owned by The Hearst Corporation, distributes about 150 comic strips, newspaper columns, editorial cartoons, puzzles and games to nearly 5000 newspapers worldwide...

 from 1954 to 1965, plus 10,000 daily and Sunday Tiger
Tiger (comic strip)
Tiger is an American comic strip created by cartoonist Bud Blake. Launched May 3, 1965, the popular, long running strip about a group of suburban boyhood pals was distributed by King Features Syndicate to 400 newspapers worldwide at its peak....

originals. In 1992, United Media
United Media
United Media is a large editorial column and comic strip newspaper syndication service based in the United States, owned by The E.W. Scripps Company. It syndicates 150 comics and editorial columns worldwide. Its core business is the United Feature Syndicate and the Newspaper Enterprise Association...

 donated the Robert Roy Metz Collection of 83,034 original cartoons by 113 cartoonists. In 2007, King Features Syndicate
King Features Syndicate
King Features Syndicate, a print syndication company owned by The Hearst Corporation, distributes about 150 comic strips, newspaper columns, editorial cartoons, puzzles and games to nearly 5000 newspapers worldwide...

 donated its proof sheet collection, consisting of over two million strips (a duplicate set was donated to Michigan State University's Comic Art Collection).

Comic strips and mergers



The San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection was acquired from its director, Bill Blackbeard
Bill Blackbeard
William Elsworth Blackbeard , better known as Bill Blackbeard, was a writer-editor and the founder-director of the San Francisco Academy of Comic Art, a comprehensive collection of comic strips and cartoon art from American newspapers...

, giving the library the largest collection of newspaper comic strip tear sheets and clippings in the world. In 1998, six semi-trailer trucks transported this collection from California to Ohio.

In June 2008, the collection of the International Museum of Cartoon Art
National Cartoon Museum
The National Cartoon Museum was an American museum dedicated to the collection, preservation and exhibition of cartoons, comic strips and animation. It was the brainchild of Mort Walker, creator of Beetle Bailey. It opened in 1974, went through several name changes and relocations, finally closing...

 (more than 200,000 originals with an estimated value of $20 million) was transferred to the Cartoon Library & Museum. Founded in 1973 by cartoonist Mort Walker
Mort Walker
Addison Morton Walker , popularly known as Mort Walker, is an American comic artist best known for creating the newspaper comic strips Beetle Bailey in 1950 and Hi and Lois in 1954. He has signed Addison to some of his strips.Born in El Dorado, Kansas, he grew up in Kansas City, Missouri...

, the IMCA collection includes a wide variety of original cartoon art (comic strips, comic books, animation, editorial, advertising, sport, caricature, greeting cards, graphic novels, and illustrations), display figures, toys and collectibles, plus works on film and tape, CDs and DVDs. The 2009 exhibition From Yellow Kid to Conan: American Cartoons from the International Museum of Cartoon Art Collection was held from June to August.

Archives and exhibitions


Archival professional records include the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, National Cartoonists Society
National Cartoonists Society
The National Cartoonists Society is an organization of professional cartoonists in the United States. It presents the National Cartoonists Society Awards. The Society was born in 1946 when groups of cartoonists got together to entertain the troops...

, Newspaper Features Council and the Cartoonists Guild. A biographical registry of cartoonists contains files for more than 5,000 cartoonists and clipping files organized by cartoon-related subjects.

The library sponsors programs related to cartoon art by staging exhibitions, lending for exhibits elsewhere, and hosting speakers, seminars, workshops and conferences. Some physical exhibitions have been made available as digital exhibitions.

The Festival of Cartoon Art has been held triennially since 1983. Featuring two days of lectures, panel discussions, exhibitions and receptions, it attracts cartoonists, comics scholars, fans, collectors and students. Leading cartoonists have spoken at the Festival, including Lynda Barry
Lynda Barry
Lynda Barry is an American cartoonist and author. One of the most successful non-mainstream American cartoonists, Barry is perhaps best known for her weekly comic strip Ernie Pook's Comeek. Barry's cartoons often view family life from the perspective of pre-teen girls from the wrong side of the...

, Milton Caniff, Will Eisner, Jules Feiffer, Ben Katchor, Patrick Oliphant, Jeff Smith, Art Spiegelman, Garry Trudeau and Bill Watterson
Bill Watterson
William Boyd Watterson II , known as Bill Watterson, is an American cartoonist and the author of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes...

.

Books


In May 2010, the Ohio State University Press announced Studies in Comics and Cartoons, a series of books edited by Caswell and Jared Gardner, Associate Professor in the Department of English. Books published in this series will focus on comics and graphic literature with monographs and edited collections covering the history of comics and cartoons from the editorial cartoon and early sequential comics of the 19th century through contemporary international comics and online comics.

Expansion



Expansion plans include the renovation of historic Sullivant Hall located on High Street adjacent to the Wexner Center for the Arts
Wexner Center for the Arts
The Wexner Center for the Arts is The Ohio State University’s multidisciplinary, international laboratory for the exploration and advancement of contemporary art...

. This proposed facility will expand from its current 6808 square feet (632.5 m²) to more than 40000 square feet (3,716.1 m²). When completed, it will feature a reading room for researchers, three museum-quality galleries and expanded storage space with state-of-the-art environmental and security controls.

In May 2009, Jean Schulz, widow of Charles M. Schulz
Charles M. Schulz
Charles Monroe "Sparky" Schulz was an American cartoonist, whose comic strip Peanuts proved one of the most popular and influential in the history of the medium, and is still widely reprinted on a daily basis.-Early life and education:Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Schulz grew up in Saint Paul...

, made a donation of $1 million with a promise of a matching grant if more funds were raised. Her challenge was that she would provide an additional gift of $2.5 million if Ohio State raises the same amount from other sources to reach a $6 million total. Cartoonist Bil Keane
Bil Keane
William Aloysius Keane , better known as Bil Keane, was an American cartoonist. He is most notable for his work on the long-running newspaper comic The Family Circus, which began its run in 1960 and continues in syndication, drawn by his son Jeff Keane.-Biography:Born in Philadelphia,...

 and his family have answered the Schulz Challenge with a $50,000 gift.

In September 2009, it was announced that the Ohio State University Board of Trustees approved a new name, Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum, in recognition of a $7 million gift from the Elizabeth Ireland Graves Foundation to support the renovation of Sullivant Hall.

The $20.6 million project will be completed in 2013, at which time Sullivant Hall will house both the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum and Ohio State's Department of Dance. A native of Chillicothe, Ohio
Chillicothe, Ohio
Chillicothe is a city in and the county seat of Ross County, Ohio, United States.Chillicothe was the first and third capital of Ohio and is located in southern Ohio along the Scioto River. The name comes from the Shawnee name Chalahgawtha, meaning "principal town", as it was a major settlement of...

, Billy Ireland
Billy Ireland
William Addison Ireland , a native of Chillicothe, Ohio, was a self-taught cartoonist well known throughout Ohio as Billy Ireland. The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum was named in his honor in 2009....

 (1880-1935) was a self-taught cartoonist who was hired by The Columbus Dispatch
The Columbus Dispatch
The Columbus Dispatch is a daily newspaper based in Columbus, Ohio. Its first issue was published on July 1, 1871, and has been the only mainstream daily newspaper in the city since The Columbus Citizen-Journal stopped printing in 1985....

shortly after his 1898 high school graduation. Until his death on May 29, 1935, Ireland worked in Columbus, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Columbus is the capital of and the largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio. The broader metropolitan area encompasses several counties and is the third largest in Ohio behind those of Cleveland and Cincinnati. Columbus is the third largest city in the American Midwest, and the fifteenth largest city...

 for the Dispatch, drawing both editorial cartoons and his Sunday feature, The Passing Show. His work was exhibited by the Museum in 2003. The Elizabeth Ireland Graves Foundation is managed by the cartoonist's granddaughter, Sayre Graves of Bremo Bluff, Virginia
Bremo Bluff, Virginia
Bremo Bluff is an unincorporated community located on the northern bank of the James River in Fluvanna County, Virginia, United States. The locale was established by the Cocke family in 1636. During the American Civil War, the family of General Robert E. Lee sought refuge in the community...

.

Jenny E. Robb became the Museum's new curator on January 1, 2011, following the December 31, 2010, retirement of Lucy Caswell, who returned as curator of Special Projects in March 2011.

Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum online gallery


Former names

  • Milton Caniff Reading Room, 1977
  • Library for Communication and Graphic Arts
  • Cartoon, Graphic, and Photographic Arts Research Library
  • Cartoon Research Library, 1989
  • Cartoon Library and Museum, July 2009
  • Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, September 2009

See also

  • Allan Holtz
    Allan Holtz
    Allan Holtz is a comic strip historian who researches and writes about newspaper comics for his Stripper's Guide, launched in 2005. His research encompasses some 7,000 American comic strips and newspaper panels...

  • Belgian Centre for Comic Strip Art
    Belgian Centre for Comic Strip Art
    The Belgian Comic Strip Center chronicles the history of Belgian comics...

  • Cartoon Art Museum
    Cartoon Art Museum
    The Cartoon Art Museum is a California art museum that specializes in the art of comics and cartoons. It is the only museum in the Western United States dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of all forms of cartoon art...

  • The Cartoon Museum
    The Cartoon Museum
    The Cartoon Museum is a London museum for British cartoons, caricatures, comic strips and animation. It has a library of over 5000 books and 4,000 comics relating to the subject...

    , London museum dedicated to British cartoons
  • Fred Waring Cartoon Collection
  • George Kelley Paperback and Pulp Fiction Collection
  • List of newspaper comic strips
  • Michigan State University Comic Art Collection
  • Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art
    Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art
    The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art is an American not-for-profit arts organization devoted to the production and history of comic books, comic strips and other forms of cartoon art. Located at 594 Broadway in New York City, MoCCA was founded by Lawrence Klein in October 2001.In 2007, MoCCA hired...

  • National Cartoon Museum
    National Cartoon Museum
    The National Cartoon Museum was an American museum dedicated to the collection, preservation and exhibition of cartoons, comic strips and animation. It was the brainchild of Mort Walker, creator of Beetle Bailey. It opened in 1974, went through several name changes and relocations, finally closing...

  • Roger Price Gallery
  • Steve Cottle
    Steve Cottle
    Steve Cottle, Jr. , dedicated to the preservation of vintage comic strips, is also known as Mr. ilovecomix. In 2008, he founded the I Love Comix Archive and began to recruit vintage comic strip collectors as contributors, noting, "This is a collaborative effort to save and digitize old newspaper...

  • Words & Pictures Museum

External links