For those of you who primarily read this blog via your Tumblr dashboard, you may have noticed that during the past few Market Mondays, I have taken advantage of Tumblr’s new “Highlight post” function to bring extra attention to new books—so far, all creator-owned GNs, which is my general plan for the future as well.
So basically I just wanted to check in and make sure that no one finds it so annoying that they’re going to quit following this blog or something ^_^
The largest collection of cartoon art in the world is the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at Ohio State University. And though it is named for a beloved male cartoonist from Ohio, the collection’s blog wants everyone to know that women run the show.
Founded by Lucy Shelton Caswell in 1977, the primary mission of the library “is to develop a comprehensive research collection documenting American printed cartoon art…includ[ing]: editorial cartoons, comic strips, comic book,s graphic novels, sports cartoons, magazine cartoons.”
The current head curator is Jenny Robb, who was also the head curator of the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco for five years, and is an expert on political and editorial cartoons. Associate curator Wendy Pflug is overseeing and revising the cataloging systems for the collections as the library moves and expands to a bigger facility, including tackling a 17,000 volume manga collection. Visiting curator Caitlin McGurk is in charge of liaising with contemporary cartoonists and managing the library’s online presence; she has previously worked for Marvel Comics, Columbia University’s Bulliet Comics Collection, and The Center for Cartoon Studies.
In addition to being run by women, the library also has materials about major female cartoonists like Nell Brinkley and EdwinaDumm, as well a the business records of cartoonist agent Toni Mendez. And women have also contributed in more material ways: Jean Schulz, widow of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, donated $1 million in 2009 to jump start the expansion, and Billy Ireland’s granddaughter Sayre Graves donated $7 million that same year— hence why it is now named after him!
Reading all this information about this impressive collection and the women behind it, two thoughts occur to me: a) I should have gone to library school instead of law school, and b) I should go pay a visit to my Ohio-based grandparents and go on a few excursions to Columbus!