New Comics Museum to Open in Ohio

comics museum Separator

by Haylee Fisher (@haylee_fisher)


Fans of classic comics and newer favorites alike, you’re in luck. That’s because a new museum housing more than 300,000 newspaper comic strips, 45,000 books, 29,000 comic books and 2,400 boxes of manuscripts is opening at Ohio State University this Saturday.

The collection holds everything from Snoopy and Garfield to Beetle Bailey and Doonesbury. It even has a set of original strips and other papers donated by the elusive Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes.

In addition to those noted artists, other contributions include originals from Richard Outcault (Yellow Kid), Charles Schulz (Peanuts), Chic Young (Blondie), and the entire collection of Jeff Smith, an Ohio State graduate who created the popular Bone series of comic books.

It all started when Milton Caniff (Terry and the Pirates and Steve Canyon) wanted a place for his original art and other papers to be stored and decided his alma mater was the perfect location. He handed it all over in 1977 and began encouraging other artist friends to donate to the collection as well.

After the collection grew, everything was moved to a new facility on campus in a space named after Billy Ireland, a former editorial cartoonist for The Columbus Dispatch and one of the pioneers of the art form.

The museum’s curator, Jenny Robb, says she is proud of the university for preserving the pop culture of comics. She explained that for many years original comic strips were thrown away and animation celluloid sheets, or cels, were wiped clean for their next use.

But that is not the case anymore. With its new collection, the university says it is the largest housing of cartoons and artifacts in the world. Because of this, Robb hopes the museum will become a destination for comic fans from around the country and the world.

The grand opening of the museum is this Saturday, November 16, and coincides with Festival of Cartoon Art, which every three years brings together artists and others involved in the creation of comics together to discuss the craft.

For more information, visit the museum’s website at cartoons.osu.edu.


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