Past Exhibits

  • School of Caniff School of Caniff October 8, 2007 - October 27, 2007

    Hopkins Hall Corridor
    October 8, 2007 – October 27, 2007

     

    The comic strips chosen for this exhibition demonstrate Milton Caniff ’s tremendous impact on the newspaper adventure strip.  His work influenced numerous other cartoonists who formed what later came to be called the “School of Caniff.”   Building on his friend Noel Sickles’s artistic innovations and his own strengths as a writer and storyteller, Caniff fully developed the graphic narrative techniques and illustrative style that made his strips the ones against which all future adventure strips would be measured.

    Each section of the exhibition highlights specific techniques or tools that Caniff used in his comic strips.    Early examples of Caniff’s work are featured alongside examples from other cartoonists to show how they incorporated and adapted the same elements. Caniff’s genius, and the reason he inspired so many imitators, was to make effective use of all the devices shown in this exhibit to set the mood, to build suspense and to advance the narrative of his comic strip; in short, to tell a compelling story.  He could hold the interest of the reader whether he was portraying an exciting action sequence or a simple conversation.  Many “School of Caniff” artists produced creditable adventure strips of their own, but none ever matched his command of the art form.

  • Rarities: Unusual Works from the Caniff Collection Rarities: Unusual Works from the Caniff Collection September 4, 2007 - January 19, 2008

    The Reading Room Gallery
    September 4, 2007 – January 19, 2008

     

    Milton Caniff was a saver, and he was the son of a saver.  As a result of this, the Milton Caniff Collection, which was the founding collection of The Ohio State University Cartoon Research Library, is enormous—nearly 12,000 original artworks by Caniff, 85 boxes of memorabilia, and more than 450 boxes of manuscript materials, fan letters and business records.

    This exhibition celebrates the richness of the Caniff Collection and provides insights into the work, friendships, and influence of one of the twentieth century’s great cartoonists. In addition to work by Caniff, several drawings of Caniff by Noel Sickles, a fan letter from Mort Walker when he was 13, and an oil painting of General George Patton by Bill Mauldin are among the items on display.

  • To Be Continued: Comic Strip Storytelling To Be Continued: Comic Strip Storytelling June 18, 2007 - August 27, 2007

    The Reading Room Gallery
    June 18, 2007 – August 27, 2007

     

    Will Annie be reunited with Daddy Warbucks? Will L’il Abner ever marry Daisy Mae? Will Pogo win the election? Find out in tomorrow’s paper! To Be Continued: Comic Strip Storytelling presents compelling continuity stories from a century of newspaper comic strips. The exhibition, on display in the Cartoon Research Library’s Reading Room from June 18 to August 24, 2007, features ten examples of stories from the funnies that kept Americans talking, speculating, and, most importantly, buying newspapers.

    Before the advent of the TV cliffhanger, there was the story comic strip. Soon after the birth of the newspaper comics in the 1890s, editors and cartoonists discovered that continuity story strips brought readers back day after day to learn what would become of their favorite comic strip characters. In the early 1900’s, Lyonel Feininger sent his Kin-der-kids on a wild ocean voyage in a bathtub while Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo wandered from one adventure to another in Slumberland’s Befuddle Hall.

    In the 1920s, cartoonist Sidney Smith received mountains of mail from readers when he killed off Mary Gold, just moments before her true love reached her side, having just been released from jail after being wrongfully accused of stealing. Almost 80 years later, Lynn Johnston received a similar response when she drew the death of the family’s beloved dog, Farley in her family strip, For Better or For Worse.

    Adventure strips, which reached their heyday in the 1930s and ‘40s, featured kids like Little Orphan Annie and heroes like Flash Gordon narrowly escaping certain doom week after week. These contrasted with the quotidian stories chronicling the lives of the residents of Gasoline Alley and the hillbilly Li’l Abner, who created a national frenzy when he finally married Daisy Mae in 1952.

    Cartoonists have also used story strips to address political and social issues, as Walt Kelly did when his character Pogo campaigned for President in 1952 and as Garry Trudeau did when he drew attention to the AIDS epidemic through the illness and death of his character Andy in Doonesbury.

    The stories chosen for this exhibition represent the evolution, the variety and the impact of continuity storytelling in newspaper comics over the last century. This exhibit is part of Storytelling 2007, a year-long celebration of graphic narrative, commemorating the centennial of the birth of master storyteller, Milton Caniff. Caniff is not included in this exhibition because the Cartoon Research Library will be mounting a retrospective exhibition of his work in the fall.

  • Will Eisner: Storyteller Will Eisner: Storyteller April 2, 2007 - June 8, 2007

    The Reading Room Gallery
    April 2, 2007 – June 8, 2007

     

    Will Eisner was one of the great cartoonists of the twentieth century.  He created the comic feature The Spirit, wrote the early graphic novel A Contract with God, and taught succeeding generations of cartoonists for many years at the School of Visual Arts.  Eisner also produced two seminal works of comics theory: Comics and Sequential Art and Graphic Storytelling,.  In the last decade of his life, he wrote or adapted a dozen graphic volumes, culminating with The Plot:  The Secret History of the Protocols of Zion which was published shortly before his death in 2005.

    Will Eisner: Storyteller draws from the Cartoon Research Library’s Will Eisner Collection to celebrate highlights of his life and career through rare photographs and original art.  The exhibit opens with samples of Eisner’s early work and includes two complete Spirit stories from the 1940s as well as art from his recent books such as Sundiata and Last Day in Vietnam.

    Eisner’s contributions to cartooning were recognized through numerous international honors including awards from the prestigious festivals in Angoulême, France, and Barcelona, Spain.   He received the Reuben Award, the National Cartoonists Society’s highest honor, in 1998.

    On April 19, the Wexner Center for the Arts will host a special free pre-release screening of Will Eisner:  The Spirit of an Artistic Pioneer, a documentary about Eisner, in the Film/Video Theatre at 7 p.m.

  • Korean Comics: A Society Through Small Frames Korean Comics: A Society Through Small Frames January 16, 2007 - March 16, 2007

    The Reading Room Gallery
    January 16, 2007 – March 16, 2007

     

    The sleek lines and sci-fi plots of Japanese anime have generated a large following, but until now, few comics connoisseurs have known about Korean cartoons. No more. The Korea Society presents Korean Comics: A Society Through Small Frames, the first substantial survey of Korean comics to be exhibited in the U.S. It will be on display at The Ohio State University Cartoon Research Library from January 16-March 16, 2007, and is co-sponsored by the Cartoon Research Library, the Korean Studies Initiative, and the Department of East Asian Languages and Literature. The exhibit is free and open to the public weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    On Tuesday, January 16, the public is invited to a reception at 4 p.m. to open the exhibit which will be followed at 4:30 p.m. by a lecture titled Reflections from a Manhwabang: Life and Comics in 1960s Korea by Professor Heinz Insu Fenkl, director of the Creative Writing Program of the Interstitial Studies Institute at SUNY New Paltz. His presentation will be in the seminar room adjacent to the Cartoon Research Library, 021L Wexner.

    The exhibition features 83 framed works by 21 of Korea’s most talented cartoonists, drawn over a period of 40 years. It includes work by artists from both South Korea and North Korea.

    The comics range from the playful to the political. Viewers will instantly recognize the variety of juvenile comics: Kkobongi, a mischievous 11 year-old, is South Korea’s answer to Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes. Other panels call for more reflection. Artists like Park Jae-Dong used their wits and their pens to illuminate the pervasive social ills in South Korea during the 1970s and ’80s-such as rampant sexism and poverty-overshadowed by the country’s overwhelming economic success.

    The show’s North Korean comics capture that reclusive country’s economic hardships and strict ideological controls. The Great General Mighty Wing indoctrinates young readers through the adventures of a devoutly socialist, anthropomorphic bee. Other North Korean comics exalt the prestige of the motherland: World Professional Wrestling King-Ryok To San is a biographical comic of Kim Sin-Nak, a famous wrestler from North Korea who became a major figure on the international wrestling circuit. In the comics, and in North Korea today, he is glorified as a figure capable of defeating foreigners and defending the country’s honor.

    Korean Comics: A Society Through Small Frames is organized and curated by The Korea Society as part of their traveling exhibition program. It is currently traveling to colleges, universities, galleries and nonprofit institutions across America.

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