Full Contact Tennis

I experienced a cartoonist’s nirvana this weekend – I went to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum at Ohio State University (http://cartoons.osu.edu/) and I got to hold 12 original Calvin and Hobbes strips of my choosing in my very own (gloved) hands, and pore over them at my leisure.  I saw the first strip, the last strip, and many of my favorites strips in-between.  In fact, I even got to see one of the strips that Bill Watterson first submitted to the syndicates – when Calvin’s name was Marvin, and he had long, straight hair over his eyes!

As fans of Calvin and Hobbes know, it’s great enough just to see and enjoy these strips in the books,  but to hold the originals in my hands and get to see the pencil marks and ink brush strokes – well, for a comics geek like me, it doesn’t get a whole lot better than that.

Bill Watterson is currently keeping pretty much the entire collection of his strips (save for a few he’s given away over the years) at the museum, and I emailed the museum staff ahead of time and they were extremely accommodating.

The museum has many thousands of pieces of original artwork in its archives, from artists going back many, many years.  If you’re a fan of pretty much any genre of the comics and you get a chance to stop in to the museum, by all means try to do so.  If there’s specific works you’d like to see, it’s best to let them know in advance before you visit.  You can search their site to see if they have items from artists that you’d like to see.  They’re planning on expanding over the next few years, so there should be even more there to see in the years to come!

Want to BUY this cartoon to use on your website, newsletter, as an illustration for your book, or for any print or digital project you’re working? Just email me at garytoons2@gmail.com.

Want to see some of my other work? Go here.

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Discussion (6) ¬

  1. John O

    Perhaps someday they will have the works of famous cartoonist Gary Fetters. I can tell everyone I know how I was a big inspiration in his work. Or at least tell them I was big and still am!

  2. wayne may

    Gary, this sounds like it was a great experience for you!! The Calvin and Hobbes stuff is definitely excellent. Actually, I had no idea the comic museum in Columbus existed. There’s definitely lots of cool stuff in Ohio.

  3. smbhax

    Calvin was MARVIN????!?!?! 😮

  4. hamstertails

    Lol.. you have inspired many of my works over the years, John-O…. and even contributed to my sense of humor – for better or worse! 😉

  5. hamstertails

    Hey, Wayne – great to hear from you!

    Yeah, I only became aware of the museum within the last couple of years or so – it’s definitely one of Ohio’s hidden gems!

    Glad you could stop by!

  6. hamstertails

    Yep, smbhax, I was surprised about that too – his name was Marvin, and you couldn’t even see his eyes because his hair was so long in front of his face!

    Getting to see that strip was a real unexpected treat for me! The folks at the museum couldn’t have been nicer to me.

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