IT'S REAL! The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum has finally relocated to Sullivant Hall at the Ohio State University. The new space represents a major expansion, including multiple galleries, an enlarged reading room and 13,000 feet of on-site storage. I've been a devotee of the library for years and am excited to go see the new digs. I know it represents years of hard work, foresight and dedication on the part of Lucy Caswell, Jenny Robb and the staff, volunteers and donors who made it happen. As we've reported in the past, the papers/drawings of Milton Caniff, donated in 1977, were the foundation of the collection. The library and museum's namesake, Billy Ireland, was a mentor to Caniff's early professional career.
Photo by Gabriel Olsen © 2013 SDCCDean Mullaney received an Inkpot Award at this year's Comic-Con International. Dean is the Creative Director of the Library of American Comics (LOAC), publisher of The Complete Steve Canyon and many other essential comic strip collections. He was a special guest of the con, and the Inkpot is recognition for his decades long contribution to comics, from his years as groundbreaking publisher of Eclipse Comics to his current career in comics preservation and enlightenment.
Speaking of the LOAC and Mullaney, their Genius, Isolated: The Life and Art of Alex Toth won the Harvey Award for Best Biographical, Historical or Journalistic Presentation. This book and it's sequel, "Genius, Illustrated" are essential reading for the comics fan.
Shel Dorf, who died in 2009, was the letterer on "Steve Canyon" from 1975 - 88. This year's event was hosted by Brian O'Halloran, known for playing Dante in the "Clerks" movies. The "Walking Dead" comic book and artist Fiona Staples (artist of "Saga") won multiple awards. Steve Geppi was given the "Shel Dorf Legacy Award." Geppi owns Diamond, which he grew from a small comics distributor in the early '80s to a current monopoly of the industry. He also has an amazing collection, which you can view at this museum.
The Auguest 2013 issue of Comics Revue reprints the "Steve Canyon" strips from October 1972. In this storyline, Caniff indulged his long love of OSU football by having Oley as a drop kicker on the Maumee University team. Not much intrigue going on. Maybe Milt thought he was doing Gil Thorp.