The Nancy Show: Bushmiller and Beyond

Cartoon of Ernie Bushmiller asking his characters "Who's got a gag for me today?"

May 22, 2024 - November 3, 2024
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm


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

Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy was a popular comic strip for decades but was never taken seriously. In recent years, cartoon historians and aficionados have lauded Nancy for its Zen-like qualities and have studied Bushmiller’s craft in detail. For over fifty years, Ernie Bushmiller dedicated himself to the single-minded pursuit of a Perfect Gag. “I never quite seem to find it,” he admitted. But he sure came close—many thousands of times.

The Nancy Show – Bushmiller and Beyond at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum is divided into two parts. The Robinson Gallery will feature original strips, Sunday pages by Bushmiller, and printed newspaper pages, photos, and other artifacts from his career. The Friends of the Library Gallery will highlight a wide variety of artists inspired by Nancy, as well as the creators who took over the strip after Bushmiller’s passing in 1982.

This exhibition, curated by Brian Walker, provides an in-depth look at the creative genius of Ernie Bushmiller and his impact on popular culture and the art of cartooning.