Author Archives: Anne Drozd

Rescheduled for 4/30! CBS Sunday Morning and Bill Blackbeard

Big news! We are thrilled to share that, barring breaking news, this Sunday, April 30, 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!

Season’s Greetings from the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum!

2022 has been an exciting year for us at BICLM! As of October, we returned to our pre-pandemic number of gallery visitors, and have greatly enjoyed hosting in-person programs again to reunite with old friends and welcome new guests.

Year in Review

We started the year with the continuation of our 2021 exhibits, Power Lines: Comics and the Environment and Dark Laughter Revisited: The Life and Times of Ollie Harrington and enjoyed a wonderful reception for Dark Laughter with Dr. Richard Powell, author of Going There: Black Visual Satire. In May, we opened two new exhibits. Celebrating Sparky: Charles M. Schulz and Peanuts was presented with support from the Charles M. Schulz Museum. STILL…Racism in America: A Retrospective in Cartoons by Brumsic Brandon Jr. and Barbara Brandon-Croft was curated by Tara Nakashima Donohue and originated at Medallia Gallery in New York City. Just last month, we opened two new exhibits which will run through May 8, 2023: MAN SAVES COMICS! Bill Blackbeard’s Treasure of 20th Century Newspapers and The Art of the News: Comics Journalism. Exhibit-related programming for the spring of 2023 will be announced soon. In addition, our collections materials were featured in five exhibitions at institutions in the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

We organized a robust slate of diverse programming–virtual, in-person, and hybrid–throughout the year. This included the virtual symposium Global Comics and the Rise of Modern Manga; an evening with French author Quentin Zuitton on the groundbreaking graphic novel Call Me Nathan; workshops for youth including Cartooning for Social Justice with JM Hunter and Family Day: Celebrating Sparky.  We partnered with colleagues at Ohio State and beyond on two mini-conferences. The first featured Dr. Shawna Kidman and took place during Will Eisner week, and the second focused on Comics, Security and the American Mission. 2022 also saw the return of our popular annual duplicate book sale, which raised more than $5,000 to support our work. Best of all, we were able to return to a fully in-person Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC) festival. BICLM sponsored special guests Barbara Brandon-Croft (Where I’m Coming From), Peter Gallagher (Heathcliff) and Paige Braddock (Jane’s World) and hosted a variety of programs, behind-the-scenes tours, a special display in our reading room, and the welcome reception on Friday night.

In our Lucy Shelton Caswell Reading Room, we served 345 patrons; welcomed more than 50 classes; held a variety of open house displays including works by former Ohio State Lantern cartoonists; and hosted an Undergraduate Library Research Fellow, Maggie Dahlstrom, who built an online resource about queer comics based in our collection. Our 2022 Lucy Shelton Caswell Research Award Winners, Eike Exner and Adrienne Resha, had successful visits to study historic manga and color in Silver Age comics, respectively.

Thanks to funding from the Hearst Foundation, work continued on cataloging the massive San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection. Thousands of rare newspaper comics pages and sections have been rehoused and added to our finding aids. We are also the proud recipients of a grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art to reimagine the permanent exhibition in our Mort Walker Gallery!

We are delighted to announce that Emma Halm, our former student employee, has joined our team as Public Services and Digitization Coordinator. Welcome back, Emma!

Thank You!

Thank you to all our visitors, researchers and supporters, from faculty members who brought their classes to BICLM to generous donors who have enriched our collections with exciting new acquisitions and provided welcome financial support in 2022. We appreciate it all!

Wishing you peace and good health this holiday season,
The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum Team

Closure for Winter Break – Dec. 23, 2022–Jan. 2, 2023

In observance of the holidays and due to Ohio State University’s campus-wide closure, the museum galleries will be closed from Friday, December 23, 2022 through Monday, January 2, 2023. The galleries will reopen on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 (open 1-5 pm).

The Reading Room will be closed Friday, December 23, 2022 through Monday, January 2, 2023. During Winter Break, December 16, 2022 to January 6, 2023, appointments are required 48 hours in advance, minimum.

Make America Sane Again art by Barbara Brandon-Croft

Sunday, August 14, 2022 – Free workshop for ages 14+!

Students and young adults are invited to create expressive art and designs based on their experiences with the artwork displayed in the BICLM exhibit STILL… Racism in America. Father/daughter cartoonists Brumsic Brandon Jr. and Barbara Brandon-Croft independently created the work shown in STILL between the 1960s and the present day, frequently reflecting on similar themes of social justice, racial disparities, and hope. As students take in the satire and harsh truths about the prevalence and history of racism in our society, they will be guided by cartoonist and instructor J.M. Hunter to lend their own voices to the cause by utilizing their personal visual expression. Basic cartooning concepts and methods will be covered. No previous drawing experience required.

All materials required will be provided. FREE EVENT. 

Participation is limited and registration is required: email

Please include names and ages of participants
Deadline to register is August 12, 2022

Funding provided by the College of Arts and Sciences.

New Exhibits Opening Saturday, May 21, 2022! “STILL…Racism in America” and “Celebrating Sparky”

Join us on Saturday, May 21, to celebrate the opening of two new exhibits! Opening reception for STILL… from 6–8 pm, Museum Galleries will open at 1:00 pm.

Image with adjacent text alternative.STILL…Racism In America – A Retrospective in Cartoons: Pioneering father/daughter cartoonists Brumsic Brandon, Jr. (1927– 2014) and Barbara Brandon-Croft (1958– ) chronicled the nation’s cultural landscape in their comic strips through the lens of racism. The elder Brandon, who created Luther in the late sixties, and was later syndicated by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate until 1986, was also known for his blistering editorial cartoons. Where I’m Coming From is the work of his youngest daughter, the nation’s first Black woman cartoonist in the mainstream press; it debuted in 1989 in the Detroit Free Press. Universal Press Syndicate later distributed her provocative feature until 2005. For six decades, their respective pens lay bare the truth: Nothing has changed. This retrospective reveals how vividly the specter of racism remains in America… STILL.

This exhibition originated at Medialia Gallery in New York City. The Ohio State University’s installation includes originalLuther cartoons from the Brumsic Brandon, Jr. Collection at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. STILL is curated by Tara Nakashima Donahue. 

Image with adjacent text alternative.Celebrating Sparky: Charles M. Schulz and Peanuts: Charles M. Schulz, known as Sparky to his family and friends, single-handedly created 17,897 Peanuts comic strips during a span of almost fifty years. At the time of Schulz’s retirement in 1999, his creation ran in more than 26,000 newspapers, was translated into twenty-one languages in seventy-five countries, and had a daily readership estimated to be 355 million. Peanuts became a worldwide cultural phenomenon in the second half of the twentieth century. Its impact can be seen on everything from space travel and classical music to the Broadway stage, merchandising, and even the English language.  

This exhibition celebrates the centennial of Schulz’s birth and highlights the lasting legacy of his life and work. Schulz’s own words guide visitors to explore the themes of friendship, connectedness, unrequited love, and insecurity that made the strip resonate with so many fans.  

Celebrating Sparky is curated by Lucy Shelton Caswell and mounted in partnership with the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center. 

Season’s Greetings from the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum! 

2021 presented unique challenges and opportunities as we continued to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. We are proud of the work we accomplished this year in both virtual, physical, and hybrid environments including serving researchers, providing access to our museum exhibits, cataloging our collections, and adapting our teaching and educational programming. These difficult times have emboldened us to explore new methods of providing service to our patrons and communities. 

Year in Review

Despite limited on-site staffing, we opened a new exhibit to the public in January: Into the Swamp: The Social and Political Satire of Walt Kelly’s Pogo. Given the pandemic restrictions, we wanted to do all that we could to allow this rich exhibit to reach far beyond our gallery walls, so we produced a Pogo Exhibit Virtual Tour, enriched by guest cameos from Jake Tapper, Lynn Johnston, Ben Sargent, Jeff Smith, Garry Trudeau, Jan Eliot, and Bill Watterson. This video, as well as other BICLM programming, is available on The Ohio State University Libraries YouTube page.  

In June, we opened another popular exhibit, The Dog Show: Two Centuries of Canine Cartoons, guest curated by Brian Walker. This exhibit was the perfect salve for a difficult year, showcasing beloved cartoon dogs throughout comics and animation history with nostalgia, humor, and heart-warming tales. We were thrilled to welcome guests to our first in-person program since the pandemic, which featured an outdoor event with a chalk artist, therapy dogs from Buckeye Paws, and activities for kids provided by Scholastic Books. The Dog Show featured unique collaborations for programming, including a partnership with Ohio State’s Center for Human-Animal Interactions Research and Education for a virtual panel discussion on dog behaviors depicted in the exhibit through the lens of animal science experts, as well as a virtual pup portrait workshop for kids with cartoonist Nomi Kane.  

We also partnered with Ohio State’s Urban Arts Space in downtown Columbus on the exhibit Side Effects: Paintings by Patrick McDonnell, the public premiere of large-scale comics-inspired abstract paintings by the beloved MUTTS artist. The exhibit included a section of influences culled from the BICLM collections, and a catalogue is available to purchase at 

Just last month, we installed two exciting new exhibits: Power Lines: Comics and the Environment and Dark Laughter Revisited: The Life and Times of Ollie Harrington, which will be on display until May 8, 2022. 

We participated in the sixth Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC) festival in October with virtual, in-person and hybrid events. BICLM sponsored a virtual panel on Counterpoint editorial cartoons with Nick Anderson and Chip Bok and a talk with Chicago cartoonist Bianca Xunise, as well as our in-person reception and program with The Dog Show curator Brian Walker. At the start of the semester, we co-sponsored a virtual talk with Kewa cartoonist Ricardo Cate, creator of Without Reservations, the only Native cartoon appearing daily in a mainstream newspaper.

Thank you!

A hearty and heartfelt thanks to all of our amazing friends and donors for all of your support, from gifts of collections materials and funds to tuning into our events and sharing our posts on social media. We appreciate it all! 

Lastly, some notes about Team BICLM: Congrats to Caitlin McGurk, who achieved tenure in 2021. A sad goodbye and huge thanks to Marilyn Scott, who retired in November, after working as our Assistant Curator for over twenty years. Thanks also to Kay Clopton, our Mary P. Key Diversity Resident Librarian for Cultural Diversity Inquiry, who will complete her four-year appointment at the end of 2021. We will miss you both! 

 Wishing you peace and good health this holiday season, 

 The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum Team 

Closing for Winter Break – December 23, 2021-January 1, 2022

In observance of the holidays and due to Ohio State University’s campus-wide closure, the museum galleries will be closed from Thursday, December 23, 2021 through Saturday, January 1, 2022. The galleries will reopen on Sunday, January 2, 2022 (open 1-5 pm).

The Reading Room will be closed Thursday, December 23, 2021 through Sunday, January 2, 2022. During Winter Break, December 17, 2021 to January 7, 2022, appointments are required 48 hours in advance, minimum.