Last Friday myself, along with my good friend Paul, made a trip to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum on the campus of OSU in Columbus, Ohio. Their current exhibit features two of my favorite cartoonists: Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes, and Richard Thompson, creator of Cul de Sac.
The beautiful thing about going to a museum of cartoon art is that it gives comickers like me the opportunity to get up close to the masters in our chosen craft. Not unlike visiting an art museum if you’re a painter. Seeing Watterson’s thick brush strokes in their original size is a real treat.
The Calvin and Hobbes half of the exhibit also includes samples of some strips that inspired Watterson: Peanuts, Bloom County, Pogo, Krazy Kat, . . . even some Flash Gordon for the Spaceman Spiff comics. There’s also some of the strips he sent to the syndicates that eventually led up to Calvin and Hobbes, cover art for some of the books, and the tools he used to create the strip (be sure to check his description of the text line creator thingy with the holes).
The Cul de Sac half is made up tons of hand colored strips, along with samples of Thompson’s comic Richard’s Poor Almanac, and several amazing caricatures, plus a painting by Bill Watterson of the Cul de Sac character Petey that was donated for a benefit auction for Parkinson’s disease (Thompson had to quit his strip shortly after being diagnosed) .
So, if you have the opportunity, go see it. It’s one of the few museum experiences you’ll have with continuous snickering going on in the background. And best of all?
But wait! That’s not all.
Before you make a trip, peruse the online museum collection to see what they’ve got stored there. If you drop them an email, they will pull out anything for you to look at. I got a close up look at a Krazy Kat strip, some Popeye, Little Nemo In Slumberland, Bone, and Pogo!
Also, all FREE!
The current exhibit is on until August 3, 2014. Go! Check it out! Did I mention FREE?!