Campus Comics: Cartooning at UNH

February 13 - July 28, 2006
Dale Valena, Curator

A wildcat student holds a set of books
Wildcat from The Cat Comments by E. J. Brooks, 1946.

Cartooning trends in America and the popularity of the comic are reflected in the original cartoons of UNH students over the last one hundred years. Students have always been astute critics of themselves, their college, and the world around them, and the college campus provides endless fodder for social and political comment and humor. The exhibition was planned primarily within themes around students, campus life, student gripes, politics, and partying. Not all college cartoonists created comics about campus life, such as Ethan Armstrong with his series Eddie Sandwiches.

Cartooning is a tricky blend of art and wit with a mandate to be brief, and over the years more than one hundred student cartoonists have submitted work to UNH publications. This exhibition was a mere sample of the plethora of student cleverness. At UNH, caricatures and inside jokes decorate the pages of the earliest UNH student publications, the Enaichsee, later called the NH College Monthly, first published in 1893, and the Granite yearbook that began publication in 1909. The New Hampshire, from which most of the cartooning in the exhibition was drawn, was first published in 1911.

Unless otherwise noted, all cartoons are from The New Hampshire. Thanks to all UNH cartoonists, past and present.

Cartoon catCartoon of older man dressed as a fairy with a wand and a woman studentOne student asks another what there is to do this weekend