BY JEN VAUGHN – Caitlin McGurk, OSU Engagement Coordinator librarian (and a former cow0rker of mine) let loose the news. The Sullivant Hall unleashing and revealing at the Grand Opening Festival will happen November 14th-17th in conjunction with the CFP: The Third Triennial Academic Conference at the Festival of Cartoon Art. Does that not sound like the Tri-Wizard tournament to you or what?! The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum is one of the largest collections of original art and strip comics in the world. It is a resource for many publishers, scholars and fans alike.


Caitlin (right) and I high-five with the Sullivant construction in the background, behind some trees. She was gracious enough to give me an after hours behind-the-scene tour last June. The new building will house multiple comics collections including the new Dylan Williams Collection. This is a primo place to present a comics paper you’ve been hiding away or for some reason didn’t submit to ICAF (International Comics Academic Forum).

“In honor of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, we will be organizing sessions focusing on some of the strengths and special features of the Library’s unparalleled collection. Toward this end we are inviting academic papers in comics studies, with a special interest in papers focusing on topics that connect with the Library’s collections and mission. (For information on the resources and collections at the Library, visit: Some potential topics might include:

  • 18th- and 19th-Century Cartoon art
  • Editorial cartoons
  • Newspaper Comic Strips
  • Minicomics
  • Underground Comics
  • Walt Kelly and Pogo 
  • Charles Schulz and Peanuts
  • Will Eisner
  • Jeff Smith and Bone

We will also be celebrating the ongoing partnerships between the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum and the pre-con’s co-sponsors, Project Narrative, the Wexner Center for the Arts, and Popular Culture Studies. Toward that end, we are also soliciting papers on:

  • Graphic Narrative & Narrative Theory
  • Comics and Contemporary Art
  • Comics and Popular Culture

And last, but certainly not least, to honor the Billy Ireland’s teaching mission as part of Ohio State University, we are soliciting papers on “Teaching with Comics.”

To be considered for the panels, please send a 250-500 word abstract and a one-page vita to [email protected]. The deadline for abstracts is July 1, 2013.


Above image a strip by Billy Ireland. Visit the site for more information and updates as they roll out. Hot-shot comics critics and cartoonists will be announced to entice you to visit Columbus, like you need any other reasons. I just hope I can finish filling my glitter cannon with cut up strips of Wally Wood‘s Cannon by then.

Rendering of Sullivant Hall minus my glitter cannons


Jen Vaughn is a cartoonist and marketing manager at Fantagraphics Books. She’s going to MoCCA, TCAF and Stumptown so you better come too.