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“Igdoof”: The precursor to “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” on the Villanova Digital Library

American cartoonist Jeff Kinney is widely known as the creator of the successful children’s book series Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The series was first published in 2004 on the website FunBrain, followed by a print series starting in 2007. Since then, the popular franchise has seen 18 main entries, as well as several supplementary books and spin-off projects. While characters like Greg Heffley, Rowley Jefferson, and Manny Heffley are widely recognizable by both children and adults, a lesser-known character created by Kinney is Igdoof.

p. 22, The Villanovan, Vol. 65. No. 18, March 30, 1990.

The Villanovan, Vol. 65. No. 18, March 30, 1990, p. 22.

Igdoof was the eponymous protagonist of a comic strip that Kinney wrote and illustrated as a university student from 1989 to 1993. The series was originally published from September 8, 1989, to April 20, 1990, in The Villanovan, volume 65, issues 1-20; the rest of the series was published by the University of Maryland’s newspaper after Kinney transferred there. Unlike Kinney’s later creations, Igdoof did not feature entirely child-friendly humor, but was instead aimed at a college-student audience. In the comic strip, the character of Igdoof gets into trouble and has a hard time adjusting to college life, generally to comical effect. Sometimes, he makes jokes at the University’s expense.

The Villanovan, Vol. 65. No. 7, November 3, 1989, p. 28.

The Villanovan, Vol. 65. No. 7, November 3, 1989, p. 28.

Kinney attempted to continue Igdoof in professional newspapers after his time at the University of Maryland, but never actualized this goal; this 1994 article from The Washington Post provides context for this period in Kinney’s career. However, Kinney was able to rework various aspects of Igdoof in Diary of a Wimpy Kid. While the jokes in Igdoof were often inaccessible to or inappropriate for younger children, the comic strip nonetheless influenced Kinney’s famous children’s book series. Several characters in Diary of a Wimpy Kid are based on Igdoof characters, most notably Greg Heffley’s younger brother Manny Heffley, who bears a strong resemblance to Igdoof himself.

The Villanovan, Vol. 65. No. 20, April 20, 1990, p. 21.

The Villanovan, Vol. 65. No. 20, April 20, 1990, p. 21.

All Igdoof comic strips from the 1989 and 1990 issues of The Villanovan have been digitized and are available to view on the Villanova Digital Library. Later Igdoof stories have been digitized by the University of Maryland and are available to view here. Falvey Library also offers digital access to several entries in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, including Big Shot, The Deep End, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Special Disney+ Cover Edition).

Note: In recent years, Igdoof has attracted the attention of the internet’s lost media community, which seeks to track down and preserve media that is in danger of becoming lost to history. This page on the Lost Media Wiki website chronicles the attempts at uncovering the comic strip, which was believed to be lost for a time. The website credits Villanova University with making Igdoof available, but provides a hyperlink to digitized copies on the Internet Archive, rather than the Villanova Digital Library.

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Caturday: Falvey Library Makes Big News on Campus

In case you missed it, The Villanovan has been spreading the good word about your favorite library in the whole (campus) world, Falvey. And like Sally Fields on the Oscar stage, we’re totes feeling the love for our innovative initiatives, cultural programs, and cover-worthy study spaces.

We invite you to visit us and learn all that Falvey’s people, places, and resources have to offer!

Need a mental health break? Click this image to learn how Falvey is supporting students!


Step inside the portico to check out our favorite studying nooks and must-read books!


TBT: The Last Stretch Towards Fall Break

Photo courtesy of the Villanova University Digital Library.

Happy Early Fall Break Wildcats—you have this under control! 

We know you’re probably drained from all the exams this week, but don’t worry, Fall Break is just around the corner, and you have the student body of 1985 to thank! 

In the 1986 issue of The Villanovan (our TBT today) a columnist pushes to keep Villanova’s Fall Break that had been established just a year prior in October 1985 after three years of student advocacy in favor of its inauguration. 

Now that the University has challenged the status of Fall Break once again, the students were not ones to give up so easily. It is because of consistent student activism and support that the university decided to continue Fall Break for its students and why we, in 2023, still reap the benefits of a strategically placed break right after midterms.  

So after your exams are over, use this time over break to rest, relax, and have fun. Don’t let Fall Break go to waste! 

Isabel Choi ’26, Communication & Marketing Student Assistant at Falvey Library.


TBT: “Legalized Insanity” with the Late Robin Williams

Headshot of Robin Williams in the 1986 Villanovan.

Photo courtesy of the Villanova University Digital Library.

This week’s Throwback Thursday (TBT) features the late Robin Williams who performed at Villanova on Saturday, Oct. 4, 1986 for Parents’ Weekend. According to the Villanovan article, written by Elia DiTaddeo, “Williams called his stand-up comedy routine ‘Legalized Insanity.’” Students could purchase $13 or $14 tickets to see the comedy act. Small gifts were also given to Williams before the show, including “a small Villanova sweatshirt for Williams’ son.” Read the full article here. Thinking of watching one of Williams’ films over the holiday? Good Will Hunting is available at Falvey Library (portable DVD players are also available to loan.) The film premiered 25 years ago on Dec. 2, 1997.

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library.

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change this world.” –Dead Poets Society


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TBT: In 1985, Villanova Welcomes Journalist Ed Bradley as Commencement Speaker

Villanovan Article on Ed Bradley as Commencement Speaker


Happy Commencement Week, Villanova seniors! To celebrate your graduation, we throwback to 1995 when Commencement featured 60 Minutes Co-Editor and journalist Ed Bradley (1941-2006.) Bradley, a respected journalist, won 19 Emmy Awards in addition to a Peabody Award for his investigative report on the AIDS crisis in Africa.


#Fotofriday: We Are Stardust, We Are Villanovans: Celebrating Woodstock’s 50th Anniversary and Villanova in the 1960s

photo of woostock-themed books

The Grateful Dead. Jimi Hendrix. The Who. Santana. Fifty years ago, on Aug. 15–18, 1969, Woodstock Music and Art Fair happened.

As the book Festival notes (pictured, showing Grace Slick and Jerry Garcia), “Perhaps it wasn’t as big as the accomplishments of Apollo 11. And perhaps it was something larger.”

Historians estimate 400,000 people attended this iconic three-day event, filled with peace, love, happiness, and a dollop of mud. (A bit short of the Crosby, Stills, and Nash estimate of a million!)

While we don’t know for sure whether any Villanovans attended Woodstock, and the festival itself did not merit a mention in The Villanovan, Villanova’s student newspaper, we know an awful lot about life on campus during this time of upheaval, social change, and unrest.

Students at Villanova certainly did not heed the counter culture mandate to “Turn on, tune in, drop out.” Were they “feelin’ groovy?” Possibly. But these students, like many of the young people during this time period, had to cope with traumatic and divisive events. Like Villanovans in the decades after, they questioned, they reasoned, and they graduated with dreams of shaping the world.

Learn more about how far out Villanova was in the ’60s in the library’s digital exhibit:





Shawn Proctor, MFA, is Communications and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Memorial Library. He has been attending the Philadelphia Folk Festival, the closest modern iteration of Woodstock, since 1999.


#TBT: Yearbook Staff

Photo courtesy of University Archives.


The 1962 Villanova University yearbook staff poses for a group photo. View more images from the 1960s in Distinctive Collections’ new digital exhibit, Nova Stories: Campus Life from the 1960s. Curated by Beaudry Allen, the exhibit draws on University Archives to reveal the photographs, newspaper-clippings, audio-recordings, and programs that illustrate what student life was like in the 1960s and highlights some of the traditions and changes happening on campus.


Nova Stories: Campus life from the 1960s

What was Villanova like fifty years ago?

Distinctive Collections is proud to announce our new digital exhibit, Nova Stories: Campus Life from the 1960s. Curated by Beaudry Allen, the exhibit draws on University Archives to reveal the photographs, newspaper-clippings, and programs that illustrate what student life was like in the 1960s and highlights some of the traditions and changes happening on campus.

A special element to the exhibit is audio recordings of current Villanova students reading 1960s articles from The Villanovan. So a special thanks goes out to Shannon Murray, Tariere Tebepah, Lilly Sullivan, Nasir Dowling, Matthew Fagerstrom, Samantha Palazzolo, and Norman Williams.

Many of the images from the exhibit can be found in Villanova Digital Library.

The exhibit will remain ongoing to add newly digitized or acquired materials.


'Caturday: Thankful 'Cats

The ‘Cats who worked on The Villanovan newspaper filled the November 1916 issue primarily with their Thanksgiving-themed original stories and poetry, including the hymn below by Gerard F. Hart, class of 1919. Their works were especially poignant as one of the worst moments of World War I, the Battle of the Somme, took place that year.

May all Villanovans enjoy Thanksgiving with their family and friends. Amen.

Villanovan Nov 1916 Villanovan 1916 Nov poem

Images from the Villanova University Digital Library.

‘Caturday post by Luisa Cywinski, writer for the Communication and Service Promotion team and team leader of Access Services.



Last Modified: November 28, 2015

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