IT WAS AN offhand remark, really. The kind that, so close to Northern California wine country, so rapidly and beautifully bore fruit.

“This Modern World” cartoonist Tom Tomorrow (the nom-de-toon of Dan Perkins) was at last year’s convention for the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists — a Bay Area “Satire Fest” planned largely by California cartoonists Jack Ohman and Mark Fiore, among others. Also in attendance was Jenny Robb, the talented (and smartly opportunistic) curator and associate professor for the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at the Ohio State University.

“I saw Jenny at AAEC in San Francisco, and she made some offhand comment that they really want tearsheets and clips,” Perkins tells The Post’s Comic Riffs. “They’re interested in the way that the cartoons were published.”

On Friday, the Billy Ireland museum (BICLM) announced that it is receiving a collection of Perkins’s “manuscripts, research materials, and ephemera.”

With the donation, the cartoon library in Columbus is getting work and materials from one of the preeminent alt-weekly political cartoonists of the past three decades. Perkins is a Herblock Prize winner and a two-time recipient of the RFK Award, and also served as comics editor for the Daily Kos.

“We are honored to receive this collection of manuscript materials from Dan Perkins and look forward to future additions to the collection,” Robb said in a statement, adding: “His cartoons will be appreciated and studied long into the future as insightful commentary and criticism of American politics and society.”

Perkins, who plans to continue to donate additional materials to the library, was a bit self-deprecating about the donation — which comes shortly after the Billy Ireland museum announced its new donated collection of works created by the late-great Jeff MacNelly.

“I feel like they’re doing me a favor, especially with the clips and the tearsheets,” Perkins tells Comic Riffs. “It’s an archive of a 25-year career, but what the hell do you do with it?

“I sent them three or four boxes that were half tearsheets and half articles and interviews that accumulate over a career like this,” Perkins continued, before adding wryly: “What–am I going to give a box of my crumbling tearsheets to my kid?”

More seriously, Perkins — who notes that his wife is an academic — hopes that his donation will serve as part of a larger window into alt-comics. “My works are kind of a [time capsule] of what the alternative press looked like,” Perkins says of what he calls his “accidental” archive. “Scholars are going to write a history of alternative press, and even if they are only tangentially interested in me, this will be of some importance.”