News about the premier academic journal devoted to all aspects of cartooning and comics -- the International Journal of Comic Art (ISSN 1531-6793) published and edited by John Lent.

Showing posts with label exhibit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label exhibit. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Superheroes: Good and Evil in American Comics (2007) exhibit review

"ZAP! POW! BAM! The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938-1950," the exhibit curated by the late Jerry Robinson has arrived at the Jewish Museum of Maryland in downtown Baltimore. I reviewed an earlier, smaller version of the show for IJOCA in 2007 (issue 9:1) which is reprinted below. The current exhibit includes some different pieces and some art mentioned here, such as Hasen's Dondi page aren't in the 2013 version, although a superhero page by Hasen is. - Mike Rhode

Superheroes: Good and Evil in American Comics. Jerry Robinson with Ali Gass. New York, NY: Jewish Museum, September 15, 2006-January 28, 2007.

    As Art Spiegelman pointed out when withdrawing from Masters of American Comics, this exhibit was a smaller version of Robinson’s 2005 "ZAP! POW! BAM! The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938-1950." What Spiegelman neglected to mention is that Robinson most likely was asked to step in and provide his exhibit to literally fill the space left by Spiegelman’s withdrawal. The curators attempted to recast it to better fit the venue of the Jewish Museum by noting the legacy of Jewish creators in superhero comic books. Quoting from the press release, “with these fictional heroes, comic book creators often reflected their own lives as immigrants– frequently Jewish immigrants from European countries. Keenly aware of their own sense of cultural marginalization, these artists struggled to define themselves in terms of mainstream American culture. By extension, they created characters whose identities largely reflected this aspect of the immigrant experience.” These argument is an old one – Jules Feiffer made it around forty years ago – but the exhibit struggled to make the point, although the text by Robinson and Gass was well done.

    However, Superheroes was an enjoyable look at comic book art, and if taken on those terms, worked just fine. The original art by Fred Ray for the iconic Superman #14 cover showing Superman in front of an American shield as an eagle lands on his forearm remains stirring, although perhaps not as much so as it did in the first days of World War II. Many of Jerry Robinson’s golden age collaborators and friends at DC Comics (National Periodical Publications at the time) were represented including Mort Meskin, Joe Shuster, Simon & Kirby, Joe Kubert, as well as those who worked primarily for other companies like Mac Raboy, Alex Schomburg, and Lou Fine.  Mort Meskin’s “Bombshell”, a hand-colored splash page from Boy Comics was especially fine and drew attention to the fact that more widespread notice should be taken of Golden Age artists. Other pieces of note were a model sheet for Captain America from 1941, probably by Joe Simon, Charles Biro’s cover of Daredevil Comics #6, an early Dondi page by Irwin Hasen – oddly out of place in a superheroes show, Alex Schomburg’s cover to Human Torch #16, and Mort Meskin’s concept page for the Vigilante. Of special historic interest were Bill Finger’s script from Batman #31, Robinson’s original Joker sketch, and a Siegel & Shuster profile of Superman inscribed to Robinson. Joe Siegel’s typewriter occupied some weird iconic space as it should; it was just a typewriter, but... In some ways, this exhibit seemed to be a selection of Jerry Robinson’s Collection’s Greatest Hits, and that was just fine -- educational and a lot of fun.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Indonesian cartoonist Eko Nugroho in New York

Tales from Wounded Land

Eko Nugroho and Wedhar Riyadi are two of the most noted members in Indonesian society of our generation. For this exhibition, they each will present sensitive works that reflect their personal take on Indonesian society and popular culture, while exploring their own multifaceted inner worlds.

Using cartoon as his foundation, Eko Nugroho explores various mediums, such as painting, drawing, embroidery, mural and animation. He approaches sociopolitical issues with a humorous and cheerful perspective. He simultaneously, manages to successfully transmit a cynical tone that forces his critics to face current governmental, social and global institutional issues.

Through his exploration of animated images, Wedhar Riyadi has adopted the art of comic as his chosen language of expression. With flat lines and color, he builds realistic impressions through cartoon using drawing and painting as his primary medium. Wedhar’s presentation of personal experiences that originate in his work make him one of the most promising young Indonesian contemporary artists of today.

Tales from Wounded Land will be on view at Tyler Rollins Fine Art from May 14 – June 27, 2009

529 WEST 20 STREET, 10W NEW YORK, NY 10011

Animation exhibit at Toonseum

Organization: The ToonSeum
Phone number: (412)325-1060

Explore The World of Animation B.C.

Pittsburgh, The ToonSeum and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh present Animation B.C. (Before Computers!
Animation B.C. features a century of animation art and artifacts, including a rare production sketch of Gertie the Dinosaur created circa 1914, heralded as the first animated character.
The show includes original storyboards, background paintings, production cels and sketches from some of the most popular 2d animated characters in film, television and commercials. Characters old and new are featured, from Mickey to Spongebob!

Animation B.C. gives a glimpse into the hand crafted artistry and process behind these classic characters.
The exhibit is much more than drawings and cels, rare sheet music from the Road Runner give an insight into the important role music plays in animation. Artifacts on display include a desk from Disney’s Hyperion Studio. The desk was used by Fantasia director Paul Satterfield on projects including Bambi, Fantasia, and the Ugly Duckling.

While there are many great characters and pieces in this show, Gertie is the real star. Winsor McCay, an early innovator in the field of animation, was no doubt inspired by the dinosaur mania that swept the country in the early 1900’s. This fascination with dinosaurs was fueled primarily by the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and their discovery of the diplodocus. Gertie, herself a diplodocus, toured the vaudeville circuit in 1914 along with creator Winsor McCay in a unique show combining a live on stage performance and animation in a show that wowed audiences, and left them bewildered at what was dubbed one of the great wonders! Now almost 100 years later Gertie returns to Pittsburgh.

"This exhibit is the first collaboration between the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and the ToonSeum. It really presents a learning opportunity for both the students and general public to explore the art of animation and gain a new appreciation for animation before computers." Said ToonSeum Executive Director and Exhibit Curator, Joe Wos.

Animation B.C. is produced for the Art Institute by the ToonSeum, Pittsburgh’s Museum of Cartoon Art and Curated by Joe Wos.

Animation BC: Before Computers
Exhibition Dates: May 6 through June 30, 2009
Opening Reception: Wednesday, May 13

GALLERY HOURS: (admission is free and open to the public)
Monday through Thursday: 9 a.m. To 7 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. To 5 p.m
Saturday: 9 a.m. To 4 p.m.
Closed Sunday

Our mailing address is:
The ToonSeum
10 Children's Way
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Our telephone:

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Reviewer wanted for NYC/SF LeRoy Neiman show

LeRoy Neiman's Encore Femlin, at Franklin Bowles Galleries in NYC and San Francisco. These are the little cartoon drawings from Playboy.

San Francisco exhibit reviewers needed

The Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco is having two exhibits that I would like reviewers for. The Art of Stan Sakai (Feb 27-July 5) and Watchmen (Feb 21-July 19). Contact me if you're interested.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Preliminary list of exhibit and media reviews for IJOCA 11-1

Here's the exhibit and media reviews that we have in hand and have been edited.

Zap! Pow! Bam! The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938-1950. Jerry Robinson. Beachwood, Ohio: Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, Sept. 16, 2008-Jan. 2009.
Mark C. Rogers

R. Crumb’s Underground. Todd Hignite and "coordinated at the ICA by Associate Curator Jenelle Porter.” Philadelphia: Institute of Contemporary Art, Sept. 5 – Dec. 7, 2008.
Michael Rhode

Snoopy as the World War I Flying Ace. Jane O’Cain. Produced by the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center and toured by ExhibitsUSA. College Park, Maryland: College Park Aviation Museum, Aug. 30-Nov. 30, 2008.
Jeffrey S. Reznick

Life in Boxes: Comic Art & Artifacts, an exhibition selected from the Steve Rothman Collection of Comics, Cartoons, & Graphic Novels. Steven Rothman. Philadelphia: Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, University of Pennsylvania. Oct. 27, 2008 - March 22, 2009.
Derik Badman

Punisher: War Zone. Directed by Lexi Alexander, starring Ray Stevenson, Wayne Knight, Dominic West. Marvel Studios/Lions Gate, 2008.
Robert G. Weiner

The Spirit. Directed by Frank Miller. Lionsgate, 2008. Starring Gabriel Macht, Samuel L Jackson, Scarlet Johanson, Eva Mendes, Jami King. Based on the comic strip created by Will Eisner.
Robert G. Weiner

Monday, February 2, 2009

Zippy exhibit in Pittsburgh PR

UPDATE - I've got a reviewer, and Bill Griffith can't make it due to illness.

I'm hoping for a reviewer for this exhibit.

Zippy's Pittsburgh and More: The Art of Bill Griffith

At The ToonSeum, February 7 to March 31, 2009

PITTSBURGH -- The ToonSeum, Pittsburgh's museum of cartoon art, presents Zippy's Pittsburgh and More: The Art of Bill Griffith, February 14 through March 31, 2009.

Zippy's Pittsburgh and More is an exhibit of Griffith's original comic art, with several strips featuring Pittsburgh landmarks as settings. "Our location at the Children's Museum has a certain surreal quality that lends itself well to Zippy," said ToonSeum Executive Director, Joe Wos. "Giant inflatable ice cream dinosaurs, twenty-foot cranes made of old gas station signs, and of course a museum of cartoon art, all seem to fit quite well in Zippy's world!" The artist agrees, saying "For me, Zippy is funniest when his craziness bumps up against the 'real world', which is why I put him in diners and have him talking to Bob's Big Boy. It doesn't get much more real than Pittsburgh, PA - it's Zippy Country!"

Zippy the Pinhead, one of the unlikeliest daily comic strips in the history of newspapers, initially appeared in underground comix in the early 1970s, and was first published as a daily strip in the San Francisco Examiner in 1985. The following year, King Features picked up the strip for worldwide syndication. Zippy's creator Bill Griffith describes the character as the "wise fool," who "knows nothing at all and everything at once." His twisted response to all forms of high and low culture forces us to take a fresh look at words and images that permeate our consciousness daily.

Bill Griffith will appear for a special book signing at Phantom of the Attic Comics in Oakland, on Saturday, February 21, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. The book signing is sponsored by Phantom of the Attic and Copacetic Comics.

The ToonSeum is Pittsburgh's museum of cartoon art, currently housed within the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh (10 Children's Way, on the North Side). Entry to the ToonSeum is free with paid admission to the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh (Adults- $10, Children under 18 and Seniors - $9, Children under 2- Free). Museum hours are Monday-Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sunday 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. For more information, please visit or call(412)325-1060

Pittsburgh City Paper is the media sponsor for Zippy's Pittsburgh and More.

The ToonSeum at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
10 Children’s Way
Pittsburgh, PA 15212