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“Sylvia” makes an exclusive stop at OSU

The Cartoon Research Library is presenting the work of one of only a handful of syndicated female cartoonists in “Tales from the Planet Sylvia: An Exhibition of Cartoons by Nicole Hollander.” The exhibition of original works, on loan from Hollander, includes more than seventy original strips of Hollander’s “Sylvia” comic strip which began running as a syndicate in the early 1980s and now appears in more than eighty newspapers including the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and Los Angeles Times. The prototype for the Sylvia character first appeared in a comic strip called “The Feminist Funnies,” which appeared in “The Spokeswoman,” an independent feminist publication. Later, Hollander was asked to select some examples from “The Feminist Funnies” for a calendar which became “Witches, Pigs and Fairy Godmothers: The 1978 Feminist Funnies Appointment Calendar.”Eventually Sylvia, the brassy, opinionated main character of Hollander’s “The Feminist Funnies,” evolved into a comic strip of her own. In “Sylvia,” Hollander incorporates current events and observations of human folly into the dialogue of Sylvia, who offers a unique voice for women in comics.In addition to her comic strip, Hollander has done illustrations for many publications including The New York Review of Books, Mirabella, and Mother Jones. Some of the Mother Jones illustrations are included in the exhibition as well as several of the books that Hollander illustrated, including “101 Reasons Why a Cat is Better Than a Man,” and “Everything Here is Mine: An Unhelpful Guide to Cat Behavior.” “Tales from the Planet Sylvia,” a Sylvia comic book, is also included in the exhibition along with many other books illustrated or written by Hollander.In addition to many of her finished works, Hollander has included in the exhibition several of her sketch books and drafts of her work. The exhibition was put together by the Cartoon Research Library and will be seen only at OSU.”We think it’s an exciting opportunity for people to see Hollander’s work and learn from it,” said professor Lucy Caswell. “We’re very glad she chose to exhibit her work at this university.”The exhibition, on display in the Cartoon Research Library Reading Room Gallery until Jan. 2, was co-sponsored by Ohio State’s Cartoon Research Library, School of Journalism and Communication, Department of Women’s Studies, and Wexner Center for the Arts. The Cartoon Research Library is located in the Wexner Center for the Arts.

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