Substance and Shadow: The Art of the Cartoon


November 16, 2013 - March 2, 2014


Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum
Sullivant Hall, 1813 N. High St.
Columbus OH 43210

Substance and Shadow refers to the dual meaning of John Leech’s “Cartoon, No. 1,” but also describes the essence of cartoon art in general. Cartoons are substance and shadow, content and technique. Cartoonists communicate their ideas graphically with bold lines and subtle shading.

A cartoon is a combination of words and pictures that can tell a story, share a thought, articulate an emotion, promote a point of view, or make people laugh. Cartoonists have mastered an almost limitless vocabulary of graphic expression to entertain and enlighten a mass audience. In spite of the popularity of cartoons, the creative process that cartoonists use to conceive and produce their art still remains a mystery to most of the general public.

This exhibition showcases original art from the collection of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum which dramatically reveals the various elements, methods, tools and techniques that cartoonists utilize, including caricature, character design, sequential panels, speech balloons page, layout, animation and storytelling.

Brian Walker, Curator

Exhibition support provided by The Ohio State University Libraries and the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum