10:34 AM

Stone Soup creator Jan Eliot donates collection to Ohio State

Artwork goes to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at The Ohio State University has acquired cartoonist Jan Eliot’s collection of original art, including dailies and Sundays of her beloved strip, Stone Soup, as well as her earlier comic strips Patience and Sarah and Sister City. This artwork joins Eliot’s collection of correspondence, contracts, scrapbooks and publicity materials already at the cartoon library.

Eliot noted of her donation, “Ohio State University has a treasure in the Billy Ireland Cartoon Research Library. For all of us in the cartooning community, it is a great gift. It is a beautiful repository for our life’s labors, a place where we are understood and appreciated and where our work is carefully cataloged and preserved. When deciding what to do with my cartoon archive (nearly 7000 comic strips) and papers I knew I would be honored to have it housed at OSU. Stone Soup is my legacy, and knowing that it will be part of this incredible archive makes me very, very happy.”

Eliot derived the name of her warm-hearted strip Stone Soup from an old folktale in which a village comes together with impoverished strangers to share a small amount of food in order to make a meal for everyone. The value of sharing resources is reflected in the stories of the Stone family, sisters Val and Joan, both single mothers who pull together to raise their families. This funny and relatable family strip took inspiration from Eliot’s life as a single mother and cartoonist working to make ends meet.

“This collection documents Jan Eliot’s cartooning talent and sense of humor through her comics depicting everyday modern family life that reflect the experiences of many single mothers, working parents and blended families,” says BICLM Curator Jenny Robb. “We are grateful to Jan for sharing her legacy with us and for allowing us to make this remarkable archive accessible.”

The BICLM is one of The Ohio State University Libraries’ special collections. Its primary mission is to develop a comprehensive research collection of materials documenting American printed cartoon art (editorial cartoons, comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, sports cartoons and magazine cartoons) and to provide access to these collections. See http://cartoons.osu.edu/ for further information.