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 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