Past Exhibits

  • Tell Me a Story Where the Bad Girl Wins: The Life and Art of Barbara Shermund Tell Me a Story Where the Bad Girl Wins: The Life and Art of Barbara Shermund November 3, 2018 - March 31, 2019

    “Gosh- he loves you more than he does me -” c. 1930s. International Museum of Cartoon Art Collection.

    Barbara Shermund is an unheralded early master of gag cartooning. Her sharp wit and loose style boldly tapped the zeitgeist of first-wave feminism with vivid characters that were alive and astute. Shermund’s women spoke their minds about sex, marriage, and society; smoked cigarettes and drank; and poked fun at everything in an era when it was not common to see young women doing so.

    In Liza Donnelly’s book Funny Ladies, she writes, “What comes through in many of the cartoons is that Shermund’s women did not need men.”

  • Tales from la Vida: Latinx Comics Tales from la Vida: Latinx Comics November 3, 2018 - March 31, 2019

    The Latinx comics community is growing and diversifying—and rapidly. This exhibition features autobiographical short stories situated within the language, culture, and history that inform Latinx identity and life. The work showcases the huge variety of styles and worldviews of today’s Latinx comics creators, including such legendary artists as Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez, Roberta Gregory, and Kat Fajardo. The exhibition is presented in conjunction with the publication of Tales from la Vida: A Latinx Comics Anthology, edited by Dr. Frederick Luis Aldama and published by the Ohio State University Press.

  • Artistically MAD: Seven Decades of Satire Artistically MAD: Seven Decades of Satire May 5, 2018 - October 21, 2018

    Harvey Kurtzman’s brainchild made its debut as a comic book in 1952 before switching to a magazine format in 1955.  Over the ensuing years, MAD has featured artwork by many of the most talented cartoonists in the industry. This comprehensive exhibition will showcase original drawings and paintings by all of the top MAD contributors, including Bill Elder, Jack Davis, Wally Wood, Norman Mingo, Al Jaffee, Sergio Aragonés, Don Martin, Mort Drucker and Tom Richmond.

    There will also be displays of vintage MAD magazines and memorabilia branded with the gap-toothed mug of its iconic mascot, Alfred E. Neuman.

  • Koyama And Friends: Publishing, Patronage, and The New Alternative Press Koyama And Friends: Publishing, Patronage, and The New Alternative Press May 5, 2018 - October 21, 2018

    In 2013, KOYAMA PRESS publisher Annie Koyama began amassing original art to donate to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum that would represent a snapshot of the contemporary alternative comics industry. This exhibit of the Koyama Collection offers an introduction to a diverse network of cartoonists, small-press publishers, and collectives operating today. Artists highlighted include Lisa Hanawalt, Michael DeForge, Julia Wertz, Gabrielle Bell, Noah Van Sciver, and more.

  • Looking Backward, Looking Forward: U.S. Immigration in Cartoons and Comics Looking Backward, Looking Forward: U.S. Immigration in Cartoons and Comics November 4, 2017 - April 22, 2018

    “Looking Backward” by Joseph Keppler. Puck, January 11, 1893

    Explore the topic of U.S. immigration through the lens of the political cartoons, comic strips, comic books and graphic novels that have contributed to the debate about this important, and often polarizing, issue.  Cartoons and comics can enlighten us, challenge our beliefs and misconceptions, and bring attention to injustices. However, history shows they can also reflect and magnify our fears and prejudices. From Thomas Nast to Gene Luen Yang, this exhibit looks back on 150 years of cartoon and comics responses to major moments in the American immigration narrative. In examining the past, it aims to inform the current debate, as we move forward with a story that is fundamental to the American experiment itself. 

    * Please note that some images may not be appropriate for all audiences.

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