Mike Cope, cartoonist, illustrator and author of “Last of the Funnies” is making a generous pledge to support the Schulz Challenge that is raising money for the Ohio State’s Cartoon Library & Museum. Mike is donating $2 for every copy his timely science fiction, which explores the future of the funnies in a virtually paperless world after a worldwide energy and economic crisis, sells until the Schulz Challenge concludes in March 2014.
It’s a “Peanuts Pledge” that Jenny Robb, Assistant Professor and Associate Curator at the Cartoon Library & Museum, welcomed on behalf of challenge organizers as “a very generous and creative offer.
For Mike, age 32, it’s a chance to not only help support the preservation of his humorous profession’s history, but also honor the memory of his childhood hero, Charles M. Schulz, whose world-famous cartoons inspired him to dip pens into his own imagination’s inkwell. “I like a good challenge,” says the work-from-home dad. “I just hope I don’t disappoint Mrs. Schulz or the school.
Last March, when Jean Schulz, wife of Charles Schulz gave The Ohio State University $1 million towards the renovation and move of the Cartoon Library & Museum, she also issued a challenge to cartoon art lovers everywhere: she will match every dollar donated through March 9, 2014, up to $2.5 million. When the estimated $20.6 million project is completed, Ohio State’s Sullivant Hall will become home to the world’s most comprehensive academic research facility dedicated to documenting printed cartoon art.
“I suppose it’s the academic side in me that understands what libraries and museums can offer to future generations,” says Mike, who is professionally trained as a high school communications technology teacher.
“Being a self-published work,” says Mike, “I feel a bit like Lucy shaking her little tin can in Charlie Brown’s face, requesting five cents. With this pledge, I hope that newspaper editors and comic strip fans alike will see my heartis in the right place. It’s not a story about the demise of newspapers and the funnies. It’s a message of hope …Their fate is, literally, in all our hands.”