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.

Wayside Furniture

Metro RTA

Hennes Paynter Communications


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

Fancy dinners from humble beginnings at The Blue Door
Grandma of Chris Miller moved to Florida in a retirement community but I sure miss the Falls and the Blue Door, and the fine service and the true friendship of ...

The Black Keys guitar tech's moment in the spotlight
Nice job, Vivian. It's always nice to hear about the unsung heroes getting their due! Thank you, Chuck Johnston (Full disclosure - I'm a friend of the Carney fa...

A guide for gift-shopping for older Ohians
I'll never be to old for peanut brittle.

Akron's Tuba Christmas: A resounding blast of holiday spirit
Nice piece, Vivian! Looking forward to hearing you move from flute to tuba on Saturday. Love hearing your interviews and this seemed extra special since I kno...

Cleveland Hugo Boss workers are fighting for their jobs again
Bro. Ginard; I support your effert to keep your jobs, I understand all about concesions, I was a Union offical from 1965 until 1991 and the company th...

Asian Carp control could benefit from bill passed by House, heading to the Senate
help me fight the battle against invasive carp by method of harvest

Ohio's Portman supports lifting limits on party political money
If Portman was legitimately concerned about outside groups influence on elections he would have supported the DISCLOSE act. Instead he helped block it being bro...

Study shows trade with China has cost more than 3 million U.S. jobs
I disagree with James Dorn! If we don't change the playing field and make it a fair competition the whole US industry will be weaker and weaker. Eventually all ...

Video of Cleveland police shooting a 12-year-old is critical to the investigation
While I think this is a very unfortunate, the fact is that police are trained to aim for the large mass of a human to stop them. If they aimed for the leg it w...

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