Pseudonymous cartoonist Olivia Jaimes will be taking a leave of absence from her popular run on the longrunning Nancy comic strip, with a raft of guest cartoonists giving their take on Ernie Bushmiller’s creation – led by award winning cartoonist Caroline Cash. The news of this change emerged from NancyFest at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, in Columbus, Ohio last weekend. Cash’s three week run will kick off July 22 – with a planned three week run.

The announcement of the hiatus and introduction of Caroline Cash to the strip came from a special pre-recorded (and deleted) presentation by the elusive Olivia Jaimes on Saturday as part of the programming of NancyFest, a special weekend coinciding with the opening of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum’s latest exhibition – The Nancy Show: Bushmiller and Beyond, which runs from May 22 to November 3, 2024. In it, Jaimes disclosed they would be going on a “mysterious” break of “undetermined length”, with a rotation of guest artists filling in on the strip, beginning with Cash. Other names taking on the character include Leigh Luna (Clementine Fox, Clone High), Shaenon K. Garrity (Narbonic, Skin Horse), and Megan McKay (Doodle for Food, Good Boye Guild).

NancyFest took place to celebrate the opening of new Billy Ireland exhibition, ‘The Nancy Show’

Olivia Jaimes is a pseudonymous cartoonist who took over the Nancy comic strip in 2018, following the retirement of Guy Gilchrist after a 22-year run. The first female cartoonist to take on the character in her ninety-year history, Jaimes has brought the strip to new heights with an award winning run that preserved the core DNA of the strip whilst bringing it into the modern age.

Caroline Cash is an award winning cartoonist whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, Vice, The Nib, The Chicago Reader and more. A graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Cash – who was from an illustration and print media background – caught the bug for making comics by attending classes by Paul Nudd and Jessica Campbell. Cash’s debut Girl in the World was originally an 8-page minicomic produced for one of her classes in senior year. It was expanded upon and published by Silver Sprocket in 2019. Her series PeePee PooPoo – described as a “gay, modern take on the ‘60s underground comic” – has won an Ignatz award (and multiple nominations) and been nominated in this year’s Eisner Awards; the fourth issue of which will release in August.

Speaking about the announcement, Cash posted on Instagram:

“well the cat is outta the bag or whatever the saying is!!! I’ve got some Nancy strips coming out later this summer 😭💕💕 thank you so much to Olivia for the opportunity to work on my favorite comic strip :,) can’t wait for y’all to see what I’ve been working on!”

And potentially showed off a little teaser of what’s to come…

Caroline Cash on the announcement of her Nancy takeover this July – posted on Instagram

Nancy is a daily gag strip created by Ernie Bushmiller, distributed by United Feature Syndicate and Andrews McMeel Syndication. After inheriting the Fritzi Ritz comic strip from its creator Larry Whittington in 1925, Bushmiller introduced Nancy as the precocious 8-year-old niece of the strip’s lead in 1933. Originally planned as a throwaway supporting character, Nancy quickly became the focus of the strip before it was eventually renamed in 1938. Since the death of Bushmiller, there has been a succession of cartoonists with their own take on the character, with brothers Guy and Brad Gilchrist – who cut their teeth on an acclaimed run on the Jim Henson’s Muppets cartoon strip (1981-1985) – taking over in 1995. After the departure of his brother, Guy completed the longest run on the strip post Bushmiller in 2018.