News about the premier academic journal devoted to all aspects of cartooning and comics -- the International Journal of Comic Art (ISSN 1531-6793) published and edited by John Lent.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Renewal time

It's time to renew for 2010 and the 12th year of IJOCA. IJOCA 11-3 should be coming from the printer this weekend, and going in the mail next week. Higher mailing costs have meant that we've moved into the red so renewals and new subscriptions are drastically needed this year.

3 numbers (issues per year) as of January 2009.
Institutions : US$ 70
Individuals : US$ 45

Payment can be made by international money order personal check (for U.S. subscribers), checks made on U.S. banks, or cash. Sorry, no credit cards.

Subscriptions should be ordered directly from:

John A. Lent
669 Ferne Blvd.
Drexel Hill, PA 19026

Friday, January 8, 2010

ToonSeum Press Release: January Cartoon Arts Lecture Series

The ToonSeum January Lecture Series
The ToonSeum announces the line up for it's January Saturday Lecture Series.
The series features artists and authors discussing various aspects of the cartoon arts and its history.
The ToonSeum is Pittsburgh's Museum of Cartoon Art. Located in downtown Pittsburgh's cultural district. It is one of only three museums dedicated to comics and cartoons in the nation.

January 16th, 5:30 PM

Rob Rogers

Rob Rogers will be at the ToonSeum speaking about his 25 years as an editorial cartoonist in Pittsburgh and his new book, "No Cartoon Left Behind."

As a editorial cartoonist for the last 25 years, Rob Rogers' cartoons appear regularly in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Newsweek, and USA Today, among others. His "How the Gingrich Stole Christmas" graced the cover of Newsweek's 1994 year-end issue. He received the 1995 National Headliner Award, the 2000 Overseas Press Club Award and has won seven Golden Quill Awards. In 1999, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

In his new book, "No Cartoon Left Behind", Rogers recounts his humorous path to cartooning and shares his own personal perspective on the major news stories of the past two and a half decades, covering a diverse range of topics including the Cold War, gun control, smoking, racism, the environment, 9/11 and presidential elections. It is considered as a must-have for political junkies, history buffs, cartoon fans.

January 23rd, 5:30 pm

Finding Calvin and Hobbes with author Nevin Martell

Author Nevin Martell shares his quest to uncover the story behind one of comics most elusive creators, Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes.

For ten years, between 1985 and 1995, Calvin and Hobbes was one the world's most beloved comic strips. And then, on the last day of 1995, the strip ended. Its mercurial and reclusive creator, Bill Watterson, not only finished the strip but withdrew entirely from public life. There is no merchandising associated with Calvin and Hobbes: no movie franchise; no plush toys; no coffee mugs; no t-shirts (except a handful of illegal ones).
There is only the strip itself, and the books in which it has been compiled
- including The Complete Calvin and Hobbes: the heaviest book ever to hit the New York Times bestseller list.

In Looking for Calvin and Hobbes: The Unconventional Story of Bill Watterson and His Revolutionary Comic Strip, writer Nevin Martell traces the life and career of the extraordinary, influential, and intensely private man behind Calvin and Hobbes. With input from a wide range of artists and writers (including Dave Barry, Harvey Pekar, Jonathan Lethem, andBrad Bird) as well as some of Watterson's closest friends and professional colleagues, this is as close as we're ever likely to get to one of America's most ingenious and intriguing figures - and a fascinating detective story, at the same time.

Only 3,160 Calvin and Hobbes strips were ever produced, but Watterson has left behind an impressive legacy. Calvin and Hobbes references litter the pop culture landscape and his fans are as varied as they are numerable.
Looking for Calvin and Hobbes is an affectionate and revealing book about uncovering the story behind this most uncommon trio - a man, a boy, and his tiger.

January 30th, 5:30 pm

Bill Mauldin: A Life Up Front, Author- Todd Depastino

The program will be an illustrated talk on the great World War II cartoonist Bill Mauldin, an army infantry sergeant who rocketed to fame at age twenty-two with his wildly popular feature "Up Front."  Week after week, Mauldin defied army censors, German artillery, and General George Patton's pledge to throw him in jail for insubordination to deliver his grim depictions of war to "Stars and Stripes" and hundreds of homefront newspapers.

There, readers followed the stories of Willie and Joe, two wise-cracking 'dogfaces' whose mud-caked uniforms and pidgin of army slang and slum dialect bore eloquent witness to the world of combat and the men who lived
- and died - in it.  We have never viewed war in the same way since.

The talk is based on Todd's book, BILL MAULDIN: A LIFE UP FRONT (W.W.
Norton, 2008), a winner of the 2009 Anne M. Sperber Prize for biography.
Todd is also editor of acclaimed WILLIE & JOE: THE WWII YEARS (Fantagraphics Books, 2008), the first complete collection of Mauldin's World War II.

His previous books include CITIZEN HOBO: HOW A CENTURY OF HOMELESSNESS SHAPED AMERICA (University of Chicago Press, 2003) which won a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. He has a Ph.D. in American History from Yale University and teaches at Waynesburg University.
Currently, he lives in Mt. Lebanon with his wife and two daughters.

Lecture series is included with paid admission to the ToonSeum.

4 dollars for adults

3 dollars for students

For more information visit or call 412-232-0199.
Our mailing address is:
The ToonSeum
945 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Friday, January 1, 2010

2009 in The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

2009 in The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (formerly the Cartoon Research Library)

This has been a year of exciting changes for us. Our collections, staff, and programming have expanded so much that we have completely outgrown our current location. Thanks to two extraordinary gifts, we’re delighted to report that The Ohio State University has committed to provide a new, larger facility, scheduled to open in 2013.

The lead gift of $7 million was made by the Elizabeth Ireland Graves Foundation in honor of Billy Ireland, the cartoonist for the Columbus Dispatch from 1898 until his death in 1935. At its September meeting, The Ohio State University Board of Trustees approved our new name, the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, in recognition of this very generous gift. This name is particularly appropriate because Ireland was an influential mentor to Milton Caniff, the cartoonist whose collection started the library more than 30 years ago.

We also received $1 million from Jean Schulz, the widow of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz, to support our new facility. Along with her generous donation, Mrs. Schulz issued a challenge: she will provide an additional dollar-for-dollar matching gift of up to $2.5 million, making the total impact of her gift $6 million.

Thanks to these significant private investments, Ohio State will undertake a renovation of Sullivant Hall to provide new, upgraded space for the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. Located at a highly visible location at the historic entrance to campus, the planned renovation will provide 40,000 gross square feet of space that will include a spacious reading room for researchers, three museum-quality exhibition galleries, and expanded storage with state-of-the-art environmental and security controls.

This past summer, we celebrated our acquisition of the International Museum of Cartoon Art Collection with two exhibitions and a special weekend of programming featuring Mort and Brian Walker, Arnold Roth, Jim Borgman, and Jerry Beck. Frank Pauer designed a beautiful exhibition catalogue that was given to attendees. In addition, a popular family day included a screening of The Secret of N.I.M.H. and special activities in the gallery. Kids and adults alike enjoyed printing comic strips on a real press and making authentic newspaper printer’s hats. The Wexner Center for the Arts was a co-sponsor for the IMCA programming.

In addition to the IMCA exhibits, we featured Ronald Searle: Satirist and Light: A Forgotten 19th Century Humor Magazine in the reading room gallery. The Aldus Society co-hosted a well-received lecture on Light by Richard Samuel West and we now have a digital version of this exhibition available at Our talented student designer also completed a digital version of our Sam Milai exhibit ( and we will have a digital exhibit on Milton Caniff available in early 2010.

We partnered with the Wexner Center to host several film programs: Nina Paley showed Sita Sings the Blues; Wayne Alan Harold and Craig Russell introduced Night Music: The Art of P. Craig Russell; and Ken Mills and Jeff Smith presented the world premier of The Cartoonist: Jeff Smith, Bone and the Changing Face of Comics. In conjunction with our fall exhibit Winsor McCay: Legendary Cartoonist, Oscar-winning animator and McCay biographer John Canemaker lectured on McCay’s ground-breaking animation.

Plans are underway for our tenth triennial Festival of Cartoon Art celebrating cartoons, comics and their creators! Mark your calendars for October 14-16, 2010 and watch for the announcement of our line-up of speakers in January. If you would like to receive announcements about the Festival and our other news and events via email, please go to our website ( and register for our email list. We also have some wonderful exhibits planned for 2010 including a look back at a century of sports cartoons, highlights from our recent acquisitions, and retrospectives of the work of Billy Ireland and George Herriman.

Lucy Caswell & Jenny Robb