Monday, January 23, 2012

my trip to Pittsburgh's Toonseum!

This weekend, I took a trip to Pittsburgh's Cultural District to visit the Toonseum, a cartoon and comic art museum that is one of only three like it in the country!  The Toonseum opened a few years ago, but this was my first time there, and I didn't know what to expect.  It ended up being a lot of fun, and I took a ton of pictures, which I'll show below.

Just so you don't have to scroll aaaaaallll the way down to the bottom of the page, I'll start with some basic info for the museum:

address: 945 Liberty Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15222
price: adults 16+: $5.00; children 6-15: $1.00; children 5 and under: free

These huge statues greet you just outside of the museum.  I have no idea if they are part of the Toonseum or not, but they set the stage for sure.  Plus at night, they come alive.  It's true.

Here's the outside of the Toonseum!  I'm not sure how I feel about the "Bam!  Pow!  Smash!" effects at the top.  I mean, they're recognizable, but there aren't better ways to represent cartoon art then through stereotypes?

One of the first things you see upon entering is a Sunday comic strip exhibit, featuring a number of comic strips, all from the same Sunday.  Here's one of my favorite, Monty.  Actually, I liked it a lot more when it was called Robotman, but...change is a part of life.  I guess.

Here's a wider view of all the original comic strip art.

There's even a mustache joke!  Great.

There was a lot of great original art on display, including a frame from Gertie the Dinosaur, one of the first cartoons ever, but this might have been my favorite of all of them: a Mel Blanc Bugs Bunny!

This was a desk in what apparently was the "office" area of the museum.  I have no idea if I was allowed back here or not.  Oh well.

This was one of the few "artist boards" I saw, featuring signatures and sketches from many great artists, including Jerry Robinson, Caroll Spinney and Mark Schultz!

I know an original Jack Kirby piece when I see it!

This was the hallway that led to the second exhibit room.

Hong Kong Fuey!

It was really cool to see this original animation cell from the generally awful Star Trek cartoon.

I will always think of the Black Vulcan from the character's role in Adult Swim's Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law.

Aquaman, even your villains are terrible.

Classic covers on the wall!

"Cobblepot for mayor".  Fantastic.  This was right next to bookshelves filled with comic and cartoon reference books.

I wish I could caption this...but I can't.  It's still pretty cool.

At the front of the museum sits an art desk used for many Disney productions including Fantasia.  Guests are encouraged to draw on it, and the best I could come up with was Tin Tin with a mustache.  I think it worked.

Giant anvil jokes always work.  Always!

I had a great time at the Toonseum and will be making my way back there before too long.  Anyone from Pittsburgh and anyone with a love of the medium should stop by and see it for themselves.  Here's hoping for continued success and growth for what is a very cool pop culture museum.


Jeff Lafferty said...

Awesome post, lots of great stuff here!

Disco Stu said...

Yes, it is an actual Jack Kirby sketch on the wall in the office. Jack drew it for me back in 1985, and it is on permanent loan to the Toonseum from me.


The Grouchy Gastronome said...

Robotman was my favorite comic to read in the newspaper back in the day. When they switched over to Monty I was much less enthused.

Jeff said...

Stu: it's just fantastic that you've got art from the King, but it really shows character that you'd loan it out for the world to see! Very cool on many levels.

GG: It's strange to think that Robotman was created purely to sell merchandise. I wonder if that's why Meddick got rid of the character some years back. It really hasn't been the same since - or perhaps I just have different sensibilities now that I'm not 16 anymore. Either way, I'm not nearly as big a fan of Monty.

Jeff: ...hello.

Dr. Theda said...

That image of the Black Manta is from "Challenge of the Super Friends"
and he was a pretty Cool Villain... He considers his "greatest achievement" to have been his slaying of Aquaman's Son....

Jeff said...

I don't know how I feel about Black Manta...but I guess that's just an extension of the fact that I don't really know how I feel about Aquaman. In "New 52" continuity, Aquaman totally kills Black Manta's dad. It's weird.