PITTSBURGH, PA: Play Time: The Comic Art of Puzzles and Games is currently on display at the ToonSeum, one of the very few museums of comic and cartoon art in the US. Play Time features nearly one hundred examples of work of games and puzzles featuring classic comic and cartoon characters. Included in the show is original work by the artists George Carlson, Paul Terry, and others. The Show also contains extremely rare work by the artist and puzzle makers, Sam Loyd and his son, Sam Loyd Jr, who are among the most important figures in the world’s puzzle history,
“As far as I know, there’s never been an exhibit of this type on display before,” said ToonSeum Executive Director John Kelly. “We wanted to put up a family friendly show this summer featuring well know and forgotten comic and carton characters that would appeal to both kids and their parents—and, well, everyone. So far from the feedback we’ve received during the show’s ‘soft launch’ phase, we are more than achieving that goal.”
The work in Play Time largely comes from Kelly’s collection that he has amassed over the last four plus decades. In addition to original art, the show includes samples of vintage games and puzzles featuring famous superheroes and cartoon characters, as well was a number of more obscure items with images of clowns, magicians, side-show entertainers, and others.
“A number of these pieces are ones that I’ve owned since I was a little kid,” said Kelly. “A few others come from my cartoonist friend Mark Newgarden, who shares my somewhat obscure interests with this type of work. And I’m particularly pleased that we have on display pieces by the legendary Sam Loyd and Sam Loyd Jr in the exhibit. We have numerous examples of Sam Loyd Jr’s Adventures of Tom Tinker – The Puzzle Kid strip from the early 1900s. I believe these strips were the first to incorporate puzzles into the traditional newspaper comic strip format. As far as I know they’ve never been seen since the time they were published more than 100 years ago.”
A special part of he show is devoted to original pieces by Toonseum Founder and former Executive Director Joe Wos, from his new book of mazes, A-Maze-Ing Animals: 50 Mazes for Kids. Wos will be at the ToonSeum the night of July 7th during Pittsburgh’s July Gallery Crawl to sign copies of his new book. The ToonSeum will be open free to the July Gallery Crawl.
Playtime will run at The ToonSeum until August 13th. The exhibit coincides with The ToonSeum’s renewed effort to teach kids and teens how to cartoon. The next workshop sessions at the ToonSeum will be for kids age 7 to 14 on each Saturday morning from 9 to 10:30 am. Cost is $150 for the four week session. Go to toonseum.org for more.
The ToonSeum is Pittsburgh’s museum of comic and cartoon art, located in Pittsburgh’s historic Cultural District at 945 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA, 15222.