News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Don Drumm Studios


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Arts and Entertainment


From Superman to Zits: OSU’s new library celebrates comics, cartoons
The facility is largest of its kind is in Columbus
Story by STEVE BROWN


 
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Comic book lovers have a new paradise.

It’s not the Bat Cave or Krypton, it’s a new cartoon library and museum, tucked into a non-descript building on The Ohio State University campus.

For Ohio Public Radio, WOSU’s Steve Brown reports.

Hear more on OSU’s new library

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:08)


Jenny Robb loves comics and cartoons. It’s in her job description.

“They reflect our society; they reflect our culture,” Robb says. “It’s a really powerful way to tell a story.”

Robb is the curator at the new Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum, named after the famed Columbus Dispatch cartoonist. It houses millions of pages of material.

The museum has row-after-row  full of Japanese comics, political cartoons, and every other possible type of illustration. While there are similar libraries at a few other colleges, Robb says OSU’s is by far the largest in the world. Visitors here can find the most iconic issues of Superman and Spiderman, and even the more obscure stuff. Billy Mount came here looking for old Batman comics.

“The 80s Batman,” Mount says. “Dark. Just before the Frank Miller turn.” 

And he was surprised to hear about the library’s extensive Calvin and Hobbes collection.

“I actually named my cat after Hobbes growing up. That’s awesome.” 

Emerging academia
The library is a comic lover’s dream, but it also represents an emerging branch of academia. Christina Meyer is a researcher from Germany who came here to study original copies of “The Yellow Kid”, a popular 19th century comic strip.

“I had already black and white copies from microfilm, but now I can actually finally see them in color, which is so great and amazing and overwhelming,” Meyer says.

Also in the archives are thousands of original sketches by Jim Borgman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist who later started the comic strip “Zits.” He attended the museum’s grand opening last month.

“And it just kind of brought tears to my eyes as to think of what that would have meant to me as a young person beginning to sense a passion for expressing myself this way, to be standing in the middle of these great artists,” Borgman says.

The library has also been a hit in the local comic scene. Jeff Stang manages the Laughing Ogre comic book store in Clintonville. He was also at the library’s grand opening and says it’s been the talk among customers.

“It was packed to the gills,” Stang said. “It was incredible and everyone there was really excited. All the hard work that everyone’s put it – it’s really finally starting to pay off. And there was a lot of people coming up (to the store) from there. It’s nice to see people really getting excited about comics again.”

Geeks and dorks take over the world
Back at the library and museum, curator Jenny Robb is optimistic that people will stay excited about comics and cartoons.

“I do think a have a pretty cool job, and we welcome all geeks and dorks (laughs). You know, they’re sort of taking over the world. I mean movies, film, literature…a lot of people are looking to the geeks and the dorks for guidance. So they’re welcome here.”

Admission is free for those geeks and dorks, and anyone else wanting to celebrate the role of comics and cartoons in American life.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook



Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio's rules on fracking and earthquakes are a first
I'm right in the middle of the issue. Like oil independence, but hope there is pre- and current-drilling assurance re dangers from pollution, earthquakes and th...

Bridgestone exec indictments are latest step in a billion-dollar price-fixing case
Why is O.P.E.C Not investigated and charges brought against it and it's member companies? It sounds exactly the same...

Ohio's new drilling rules rely on known earthquake faults
requiring drillers to place seismic monitors when they drill within 3 miles of known fault lines. This comment really upsets me!! What good does an instrument t...

Kasich's gubernatorial ad focuses on his blue-collar roots
John Kasich is the biggest con-man in America. He will say one thing and then do the opposite. He is terribly successful at fooling the public and he is worki...

Cab drivers who refuse to drive Gay Games taxis will be replaced
the irony is that most americans distrust or hate muslims much more than they hate gays!! silly ignorant bigots-GO HOME!!!

New transportation companies come to Cleveland
Ride-sharing companies are breaking laws and regulations every day. From regulatory fee evasion to use of smartphone while driving (and even two smartphones(!) ...

Cleveland anti-poverty agency executive resigns amid financial probe
That committee won't be too independent. He plans to stay on until after the new appointee is chosen.

How can you wipe a criminal record clean?
Great article! NO CLINIC in May 2014, however, because it's graduation month for students For the next dates of the FREE Legal Clinic to help with Expungment,...

Drilling remains suspended while ODNR investigates NE Ohio earthquakes
Flaring and lights, so has all been halted? Also, smell of HS2 and sounds of an auger/drilling/water rushing underground. So, has all been halted? In light of t...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University