Hundreds of cartoonists are descending on downtown Pittsburgh as the city plays host to the National Cartoonists Society Conference. It is the first time the prestigious organization has been to Pittsburgh in its almost 70 year history.
In conjunction with the conference, The ToonSeum will be hosting the very first Pittsburgh Comic Arts Festival on May 26th from noon to 5pm
The festival will feature autograph and sketch sessions with over 60 of the nations top comic artist and cartoonists including such luminaries as: Partrick McDonnell of Mutts, Lynn Johnston of For Better or Worse, Tom Richmond of MAD Magazine, Brian Walker of Beetle Bailey, Dan Piraro of Bizarro and many more.
The 900 Block of Liberty Avenue downtown will become a veritable living funny pages block party with visits from Betty Boop, Popeye, Olive Oyl, Dennis the Menace, and the Care Bears. Fun vendors, art activities, chalk artists and caricaturists and will round out the festivities and help to literally draw a crowd!
Several ticketed panel discussions and lectures will be taking place at Bricolage Theater featuring an exciting panel of women cartoonists presented by Carlow University. The Panel will include Cathy Guisewite, Lynn Johnston, Terri Liebenson, and Hillary Price.
The ToonSeum will host the first ever exhibition of Reuben Award winners featuring a who’s who of comics and cartooning spanning over 60 years and rarely seen original art.
At the August Wilson Center there will be original art from the classic animated series Fat Albert on display in their gallery.
Admission to the street festival is free. Five dollar admission gets access to exhibitions at the ToonSeum and artists signing booths.
Books and prints for signings will be available for purchase with all proceeds benefiting the NCS/ToonSeum Fund for Youth Programs.
Panel discussions seating is limited and ticket price is $20.
On Thursday night, there will be Special VIP tickets available including a sneak peek of the exhibit, reserved seating to all panels, and private meet and greet with artists which are available for $150.00
The festival is a partnership between the National Cartoonists Society, the ToonSeum, The August Wilson Center and Bricolage theater with support from the R K Mellon Foundation and Geek Pittsburgh.
More info at www.pghcomicartsfest.org