Ohio is getting the world’s largest cartoon museum. The sprawling metropolis of a campus that is The Ohio State University will be looking forward to the addition of this museum. For decades, like-minded artists and alumni have been preserving their work in the journalism department of Ohio State, and now it looks like this will lead to an unprecedented step up in prestige.
This next step will be the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum. Housing over 300,000 newspaper comic strips and nearly every possible piece of essential comic history in thousands upon thousands of books and manuscripts, the library will quickly become the mecca for comic enthusiasts throughout the globe. The Ohio State University has long been heralded as being artistically forward-thinking, so the inclusion of this museum comes as no surprise.
The Wexner Center which has been a fixture on campus for several years was also made possible by extremely generous contributing alumni and is named in the honor of Harry Wexner. A geometric masterpiece within and rumored to have no direct ninety degree angles in the corners of the architecture, the center also houses one of the world’s largest pipe organs built into the structure of the building itself. Concerts, events, gallery showings, and nearly any possible type of cultural event one can fathom are held regularly at the Wexner Center, and assuredly will be for decades to come.
The artistic nature is also not limited to merely the campus of The Ohio State University, but rather extends out to the city of Columbus at large. Short North, a division of High Street (the main passageway connecting downtown Columbus to the Ohio State campus area,) is rich in galleries, independent eateries, and artistic culture in general. The evidence of the affection for cartoons that obviously garnered the support necessary for the museum can easily be observed throughout the Short North.
Whether events involving the Short North crowd will be directly linked to events in the early season of the museum opening remains to be seen, but it will be highly unlikely that the gallery hop crowds would not be interested in seeing the largest cartoon museum in the world. It seems the museum will be a perfect fit for such a diverse campus as Ohio State and city as Columbus. The Ohio State campus boasts more than fifty thousand enrolled students at any given time and has more than enough room to accommodate each and every one of them. Whether it is access to multiple libraries or a relaxing stroll through the Oval that you seek; no matter how congested or busy the statistics may make The Ohio State University seem, it does not seem possible for it to get to the status of overcrowded, so you can expect to enjoy a relaxing and fruitful visit. And with so much room, diversity, and culture what better place could there be for the largest cartoon museum in the world, than one of the largest and accommodating campuses in the world? Maybe they will even include a humorous wing of Michigan comics within the museum. Ohio is getting the world’s largest cartoon museum. How about a visit?
By: Michael Blain