"Man Saves Comics": collector amassed a treasure trove of a forgotten artform

Bill Blackbeard is now referred to an "eccentric scholar," and a hero, but I'm sure in his day he was referred to as an unrepentant hoarder.

CBS News Sunday Morning did a story about his incredible collection of newspaper comics art, which he donated in 1998 to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at The Ohio State University, and which is currently the subject of an exhibit at the museum. Video below.

His collection of newspaper clippings, which he maintained in his Los Angeles rental apartment, consisted of 2.5 million pieces, weighing 75 tons, from newspapers dating back to 1893.

"Jenny Robb, head curator of comics and cartoon art, is overseeing a small team tasked with cataloging and properly storing all of Blackbeard's materials. 'We're at about 30 to 40 percent that has been processed,' she said. 'We have a lot of material that we still have to get through.'"

The social significance of newspaper comics in the 20th century is totally forgotten today. Syndicated newspaper comics were read by proportions of the U.S. population that would be unfathomable for any medium today.

Mr. Blackbeard passed away in 2011.

Hat tip: Derf