This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the Grand Opening Festival of Cartoon Art for the Billy Ireland¹ Cartoon Library and Museum of Art at Ohio State University. This intimate, triennenial Festival² is a two-part affair. The first half is an academic conference that debates weighty issues about comics and cartoon creation and interpretation. The second half is a celebration of comics that featured various sessions ranging from Brian Basset reflecting on his career, to Dave Kellett and Fred Schroeder previewing an advanced version of their documentary “Stripped“, to Jeff Smith screening his favourite Looney Tunes cartoons to mark 75 years of wascally wabbits.
It was impressive to see so much comics history in one spot (I’m referring here to artifacts in the museum cases and in the archives, not to some of the elder cartoonists and friends of the community that were there). It was humbling to realize that what we do here at PostScript is part of a larger heritage that stretches back to before the birth of movies and radio. It was also exciting to hear about where the industry is going and to know that we’re doing our part.
My thanks to my wife-to-be for accompanying me on this adventure, for taking many pictures (including the one above) and for riding shotgun while we dodged high winds and tornadoes on the trip home on Sunday.
¹· Billy Ireland was a prolific and popular editorial cartoonist and artist who lived and worked in Columbus.
²· It was at an earlier edition of this Festival that Bill Watterson delivered his oft-quoted speech, “The Cheapening of Comics“