Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum

We stopped by to tour the Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum on the campus of Ohio State University.



Ireland was a local cartoonist who drew “The Passing Show” for The Columbus Dispatch from 1908 to 1935. That’s his drawing board in the photo of the lobby above.


There’s a library too. We didn’t go in, but I did stop to appreciate the cartoons worked into the “stained glass” window.


Not long ago, they had a special exhibit on Calvin and Hobbes. I wish I could have seen that one. The special exhibits this time didn’t hold a lot of interest for me.


There was one room, however, that I found fascinating.


Here, in no particular order, is what we saw there.

Bill Mauldin

1840 — A spoof of the Van Buren administration’s efforts to end the Second Seminole War in Florida. The War Department was criticized by Congress and the public for cruelty, waste and incompetence, and for using Cuban bloodhounds to hunt for Seminoles.


Blondie, by Chic Young, May 2, 1956 and Brenda Starr, by Dale Messick, June 2, 1977


Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson, October 17, 1993

Calvin and Hobbes

Chester Gould’s drawing board and taberet. Gould created, wrote and drew Dick Tracy on this drawing board from 1931 until his retirement in 1977. The black, charred area on the right edge of the drawing board is where Gould lit kitchen matches by striking them. He would then hold the flame from the match underneath the large, black ink areas of his strips to speed up the drying process.

Chester Gould

Deadwood Dick

From “A Requiem for Skulls” in Detective Comics #528 by Gene Colan, July 1983

Detective Comics

An anonymous artist embroidered more than 100 comic strip characters on this piece.


Family Circus, by Bil Keane, September 16, 1964.

Family Circle

Fashion Hints

The First of May 1865 or General Moving Day in Richmond Va. President Jefferson Davis is shown here with the bricks of the Southern States tumbling from his back. His cabinet is evacuating Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy in April 1865. A freed slave is shown thumbing his nose at the exiting dignitaries and the C.S.A. Treasury box, labeled ‘waste paper’ is being urinated on by a dog.

First of May

Gag Master

Gasoline Alley

Jeff Davis


Little Nemo

Mother Goose and Grimm, by Mike Peters, June 13, 1993

Mother Goose


Phil May




Power Pack, by June Brigman, September 2, 1984. Once upon a time, I owned this comic.

Power Pack

Prince Valiant

Puck Uncle Sam

Robin Hood


Snow White

Tom Plump


The Legend of Wonder Woman, by Trina Robbins, May 1986

Wonder Woman

Beetle Bailey

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