Superheroes in Gotham at New-York Historical Society

This is a great new exhibition, running from October 9, 2015 through February 21, 2016 —- that includes two works of mine. One is a cartoon about Robin published in The New Yorker, and the other —would you believe I still have it? — is a pencil drawing on the inside cover of my old Brooklyn Hebrew school grammar book, of Batman beating up bad guys — that I drew when I was about 8 years old!  The exhibition also includes original art by Jules Feiffer and Will Eisner, of course.  It’s a must-see show for anybody into comic book art.

Comic book superheroes are a part of our daily lives. They engage our imaginations on the pages of comic books, television and movie screens, as well as the Broadway stage and in the virtual world of gaming. Contemporary literature and art reference them; adults and children alike delight in donning superhero t-shirts, caps, and sneakers.

Since their introduction in the late 1930s, superheroes have been powerful role models, inspirational and enviable. Based on mythological archetypes, they reflect, respond to, and offer ways to navigate the twists and turns of modern life. Comic books are a great American art form, a cultural phenomenon born in New York City that now extends around the globe.

Superheroes in Gotham will tell the story of the birth of comic book superheroes in New York City; the leap of comic book superheroes from the page into radio, television, and film; the role of fandom, including the yearly mega event known as New York Comic Con; and the ways in which comic book superheroes, created in the late 1930s through the 1960s, have inspired and influenced the work of contemporary comic book artists, cartoonists, and painters in New York City.

Here’s my Robin cartoon, from the July 7, 1997 issue of The New Yorker.  Sorry, but my  eight-year-old cartoon of Batman is under glass at the NYHS.  See it there.

ÒDo you have any references besides Batman?Ó (Employment personnel clerk asks Robin, BatmanÕs partner; refers to comic book characters Batman and Robin, as well as the new summer movie ÒBatman & RobinÓ.)

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