Comic-Con is not your exclusive portal to comic books, movies, and memorabilia. There are museums, schools, and many other conventions devoted to the subject. As part of our Comic-Clone programming, Christine and I took a tour of Skirball Cultural Center’s exhibit “Zap! Pow! Bam! The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938-1950.”
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, and Wonder Woman. 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.
LA Weekly called it “A Mind-Blowing Collection” and offers this wonderful slideshow of the exhibit.