Celebrating Marvel's Mightiest Heroes
Now through August 23rd
The Avengers, created for Marvel Comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, first appeared on newsstands in Avengers #1, cover-dated September, 1963. Given the preponderance of super-heroes in comic books since the 1960s, it's difficult to imagine that after World War II they had almost completely disappeared from comics. The late 1950s and early 1960s, a period now known as the Silver Age of Comics, saw a Renaissance of the genre. DC Comics had started the trend with the appearance of The Flash in 1957 and continued to build on this success. Marvel Comics soon followed with the introduction of the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, and a host of others.
DC had found success by combining all of their most popular superheroes into a single team book, The Justice League of America. Marvel saw the wisdom of this approach and The Avengers were born.
Tagged as ‟Earth's Mightiest Super-Heroes," the team was originally comprised of five of Marvel's most successful characters: The Invincible Iron Man, the Mighty Thor, the Incredible Hulk, Ant-Man and the Wasp (who, in spite of their lack of adjectives were considered top tier superheroes at the time). After defeating the menace of Loki, the Norse god of evil and deceit, they realized that together they were able to combat threats none of them could face alone. And so the Avengers were formed.
But the membership would not remain stable. It became apparent very early that the Hulk was too volatile to be a team player. By issue #2 he was gone and for the next fifty years, except for rare appearances, was never really a member again.
The Hulk was quickly replaced. In Avengers #4 Captain America, a legendary hero long thought dead, was found in suspended animation in a glacier. Though not an original member the Living Legend of World War II quickly became the heart and soul of the team as well as their de facto leader.
In 2012 the Avengers movie took the core concept of the team and updated it for a new audience, introducing a small group of characters. In Avengers 2: The Age of Ultron new characters are being introduced, continuing to evolve as they have in the comics.
About the Exhibit
Collecting more than 50 years of Avenger original comic artwork this exhibit offers Avengers artwork from every decade and most of the major artists that have worked on the comic book. The roster in our Lou Scheimer Gallery includes such luminary artists: Jack Kirby, John and Sal Buscema, George Perez, John Byrne, Jim Starlin, Jim Lee and many more. Come see the history of Earth's Mightiest Heroes unfold on our gallery walls.
Please join us for our Avengers Assemble opening party on Saturday, May 30th at 7:00 p.m. Avengers aficionado Wayne Wise of Phantom of the Attic to answer any and all quesions you might have about Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Admission is $20. Beer, wine and lite bites will be served. Tickets are available at avengersparty.eventbrite.com
Windsor McCay's Masterpiece "Little Nemo" Reinterpreted
by Contemporary Cartoonists at New ToonSeum Exhibit
"The stylistic breadth of the contributors — mainstream comics stars, old-school underground artists, young experimentalists — suggests how deeply McCay's vision embedded itself in the entire medium."
The New York Times
The far-reaching influence and vision of legendary cartoonist Windsor McCay's most famous creation will be on display at a new exhibit at The ToonSeum, Pittsburgh's cartoon art museum. The exhibit, LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM, displays the original work by dozens of renowned contemporary artists interpreting McCay's fantastical comic strip masterpiece, which began running in the New York Herald in 1905.
In The Toonseum's exhibit, which presents original art from the recent award-winning Nemo anthology published by Philadelphia's Locust Moon Press and designed by Pittsburgh cartoonist Jim Rugg, many of the world's finest cartoonists pay tribute to McCay by creating 118 new strips, following their own voices down paths lit by the master. Contributors to the exhibit include Paul Pope, J.H. Williams III, Bill Sienkiewicz, David Mack, Carla Speed McNeil, Charles Vess, Peter Bagge, Dean Haspiel, Farel Dalrymple, Marc Hempel, Nate Powell, P. Craig Russell, Jeremy Baum, Jim Rugg, Ron Wimberly, Scott Morse, David Petersen, J.G. Jones, Mike Allred, Dean Motter, Yuko Shimizu, Roger Langridge, Craig Thompson, and Mark Buckingham and more.
About the Exhibit
Winsor McCay was perhaps the greatest cartoonist of all time, and the Sunday newspaper strip Little Nemo in Slumberland is his most enduring creation. Detailing the adventures of its titular character in The Land of Wonderful Dreams, the early twentieth century opus is one of the most inventive and visually stunning works of American art. A century later, the comic medium is still racing to keep up with the richness, draftsmanship, imagination, and wonder of McCay's fantastic storytelling and wild Slumberland universe.
The exhibition runs through June 28, 2015. The will be a joint opening party for the Avengers and the Little Nemo exhibit on Saturday, May 30th at 7:00 p.m.