BANG, POW, BOP: Comics and Capers at the Cartoon Art Museum
America has perhaps done more for the cartoon art form than any other country in the world. From George Herriman to Lynda Barry, from R. Crumb to C. Schultz, the American drive to create cartoons, comics, and graphic novels has resulted in some stunning pieces of work that too often are skipped over when people begin discussing valuable art in America.
In order to ensure that some of our more irreverent and hard-to-classify artists don’t become forgotten, the Cartoon Art Museum was founded. With its focus squarely on cartoons and comics, the Cartoon Art Museum is the only public museum located within the western part of the United States to focus on this art form. While this is a shame for other cities, it does mean that in San Francisco one can go to CAM and see a massive and comprehensive collection of cartoon art in all of its various forms.
As of 2015, CAM boasted well over 7,000 individual pieces of art. This included drawings, sketches, comic books, cels for animated films, sculptures, and unique comic pages. Now, five years later, that already impressive collection has grown substantially in size. In order to accommodate all of this work, the museum relocated from where it originally stood, within the Yerba Buena Gardens, to a brand new facility located within the Fisherman’s Wharf region of the city.
As well as CAM’s permanent collection, the museum boasts a wealth of rotating and traveling exhibitions. Included in what is currently on view:
- Making Faces: A retrospective on the portrait career of John Kascht, Making Faces includes over 60 different portraits by the artist including celebrated takes on Whoopie Goldberg, Bill Murray, and Conan O’Brien.
- Pre-Code Horror – Scary Stories and Ghastly Graphics from EC Comics: Taking you back to the comic’s golden era, this exhibition will be full of examples of the sorts of gruesome delicacies which awaited young readers within comic book pages before they were heavily censored by certain sectors of the political world. Focusing on a handful of the highly acclaimed (and highly scandalous and scary) stories published by EC comics during the 1950’s, this exhibit will run until March 1st of this year.