ZAP! POW! BAM!
The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938–1950
February 19-August 9, 2009
Through never-before exhibited art and objects culled from private and institutional collections, ZAP! POW! BAM! The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938-1950 explores the genesis of cultural icons such as Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman, and Captain America. In the midst of the economic and political turmoil of the 1930s and 1940s, comic books offered America champions who shaped the values of an entire generation. ZAP! POW! BAM! examines the creative processes and influences that drove young Jewish artists to express their talents through the storylines and art of comic books. The exhibition features rare vintage artwork and books, 1940s Hollywood movie serials, and colorful interactive displays including a drawing studio, a newsstand, a vintage Batmobile ride, and stations that allow children to dress up as Superheroes or transform themselves via a quick costume change in a telephone booth. Guest curator Jerry Robinson brings a long history as a comic book industry insider to the exhibition. Working with Batman co-creators Bob Kane and Bill Finger, Robinson named Robin, Batman's young protégé. Robinson also co-created The Joker, Batman's nemesis and one of the first Super-Villains.
Thursday, March 5, 8:00 pm
Arrive early to the curator's talk and enjoy complimentary admission to the exhibition. The Skirball galleries will be free and open on Thursday, March 5, until 8:00 p.m.
February 19-August 9, 2009
The Skirball has organized an exclusive companion exhibition to ZAP! POW! BAM! that explores the long connection between comic book heroes and the moving image. These characters have been a vital part of American popular culture ever since the first appearance of Superman in Action Comics established the comic book as a viable artistic form. Almost immediately after their rise to prominence in comic books, superheroes transcended their pulpy origins to find expression in theater, music, films, and television. Lights, Camera, Action examines the close relationship and parallel development of the comic book and motion picture industries. Objects on view include the original 1966 Batcycle from the Batman television series on loan from the Petersen Automotive Museum, along with vintage movie posters on loan from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, original comic books on loan from the University of California, Riverside, and movie and television memorabilia.
Included with Museum admission: $10 General; $7 Seniors and Full-Time Students; $5 Children 2–12; Free to Members and Children under 2; Free to all on Thursdays