Raina Telgemeier’s ‘Facing Feelings’ Exhibition Begins May 24th

Facing Feelings: The Art of Raina Telgemeier is on at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum May 24th through November 5th – over 20 years’ worth of original artwork from the author of the bestselling and adored Smile, Drama, Sisters, Ghosts, and Guts.


I’ve long said it, but it’s worth saying it again, if you don’t know who Raina Telgemeier is then you don’t know comics. Until the last few years, when Dav Pilkey took over from her as the biggest-selling comic author, Telgemeier was selling books in the millions. In fact, she’s still selling books in the millions and no doubt her next book, whenever that appears, will break all kinds of records. Wikipedia has her as having more than 18 million copies of her books in print as of 2019. I also like the quote from David Saylor, publisher at Scholastic Graphix – “Raina single-handedly created the market for middle-grade graphic memoir”.

Telgemeier’s five graphic novels Smile, Drama, Sisters, Ghosts, and Guts, all of which were #1 New York Times bestsellers. Prior to that, she adapted four graphic novel versions of Ann M. Martin’s Baby-Sitters Club series as well as shot stories. Along the way, she’s gathered many awards and prizes, including six Eisner Awards, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, and a Stonewall Honor. Her work enchants readers, particularly pre-teens and teens, who voraciously consume her works, often introducing them to comics.

Basically, the likes of Telgemeier and Pilkey, along with so many Manga authors, are selling comics hand over fist across America and the world, and it’s these authors that are powering the comic industry for the future.


Anyway, back to the point… Telgemeier has a career retrospective exhibition, Facing Feelings, at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at The Ohio State University.

The exhibition opens on May 24th and runs until November 5th (1.00pm – 5.00pm, closed on Mondays). There’s also going to be a free opening talk and reception with Telgemeier on Saturday, June 17th.

The exhibition features original artwork from over 20 years of Telgemeier’s career, including pages from her New York Times bestsellers Smile, Drama, Sisters, Ghosts, Guts, and some of her earlier works. There will also be examples on display from those atists that inspired and influenced Telgemeier, including Keiji Nakazawa, Lynn Johnston, Robb Armstrong, Bill Watterson, Lynda Barry, Will Eisner, and more.

Here’s the PR for the event…

“Emotions are complicated, nuanced, and messy. In comics and cartoon art, the link between emotion and expression has become an important visual language, as facial expressions can give us a clue into a character’s internal world. Facing Feelings explores how Telgemeier’s comics combine impeccable pacing and an approachable cartoon style with real-life experiences to carefully balance challenging emotional journeys with warmth and affirmation. Her work focuses on feelings, and relationships to drive the plot forward, resonating strongly with readers of all ages.”

The exhibition is curated by Anne Drozd and includes works on loan from Telgemeier and from the collections of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at The Ohio State University.

If you have kids who love Telgemeier, they’ll thank you for taking them to this. If you have kids who don’t know Telgemeier you need to buy them her work and then take them to this. Frankly, if you love the comics medium, it’s worth popping along.

Now, a few of the examples of what you’ll see in the exhibition…

Facing Feelings: The Art of Raina Telgemeier is on at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum May 24th throughCOMICONRead More

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