American Series: The Funnies
Vintage Comics 1940s – 1960s

November 4 – December 31, 2017
Warner Gallery

Reception: Friday, November 3 | 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.

With presentation from John Porcellino at 6:15 p.m.

Original comic strips by artists Milton Caniff, Charles Schulz, Chester Gould, Mort Walker, Lee Falk, and Chic Young take center stage in this memorable exhibition of more than 90 works.  The comics will transport visitors back to an age when a variety of strips — action, drama, westerns, historical and humorous — captured a nation’s imagination in the newspapers of the day.

The exhibition features classic strips including Archie, Blondie, Beetle Bailey, Ferd’nand, Nancy, Peanuts, Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, and Yogi Bear. Action packed comic strips like, Dick Tracy, Mandrake the Magician, Tarzan, Lone Ranger, The Phantom, Dr. Kildare, Brenda Star, Steve Canyon, and Terry and the Pirates, among others, will also be on view. Holdings are particularly strong in works by Caniff, who was the most decorated American cartoonist of all time, known as the “Rembrandt of cartoons,” and creator of the masterful series Terry and the Pirates (1930s through 1940s) and Steve Canyon (1940s through 1950s), among others. Both daily and Sunday strips will be featured in the exhibition which also explores the creative process, production, and medium of comics.

A companion exhibition in the SBMA’s Art League Gallery, The Best American Comics | Selections: 2014-2017, will include original works that represent a snapshot of the contemporary comics scene, featuring a dizzying array of visual, narrative, and thematic approaches. This exhibit will showcase comics selected to appear in the past several volumes of The Best American Comics annual series, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and is curated by Bill Kartalopoulos (Series Editor, The Best American Comics).

An additional exhibition, organized by Goerge Garner, will be on view at Indiana University South Bend’s Civil Rights Heritage Center: Political Cartoons of The Reformer. The Reformer was a South Bend-based African American led newspaper that was published from 1968-1971.

The SBMA thanks all of its local partners that helped to make these exhibitions possible: The Civil Rights Heritage Center, Larry Clifford, The History Museum, St. Joseph County Public Library, and the South Bend Tribune.

Events:

Join us for these exciting events related to the exhibitions!

Comic Workshop with Gene Ha
Wednesday, November 1 | 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Eisner Award winner Gene Ha will lead a hands-on comic strip workshop for novice artists ages 10 and up. Supplies will be provided. This event will be held at the St Joseph County Public Library, Main Branch location. Limited seats are available; registration required at sjcpl.org or 574.282.4646

Opening Reception
Friday, November 3 | 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Warner Gallery  Free admission
Contemporary cartoonist, John Porcellino, will speak beginning at 6:15 p.m. about the work in The Funnies and The Best American Comics, in which his work is featured.

Workshop | People’s Press
Saturday, November 11 Ages 16 and up
$65
Artist and Professor of Art at IUSB, John Thompson, will hold a workshop to show you techniques used in creating, printing, and even distributing your own work, professionally and inexpensively. Participants will not only learn about self-publishing but utilize their own stories, ideas and artwork to create their own print-on-demand ‘zine’.

Family Day: Comics and Mini Zines!
Sunday, November 12 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
SBMA Warner Gallery | Free admission
Make mini-zines, single-frame magnet comics, and explore The Funnies in the galleries as a family!

Museum After Dark: Snowflakes & Rainbows!
Friday, December 8 | 6:30 – 10:00 p.m.
Carmichael Gallery
$10
The SBMA welcomes everyone to this inclusive, social, event! Peruse the galleries and enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and Jazzy melodies from the LowLifes. Proceeds benefit the SBMA and TREES Inc.

Lecture | Comic Nurse
Sunday, December 10 | 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
MK Czerwiec, a co-founder of the new field, Graphic Medicine, will discuss how comics are being used by patients and providers to improve communication, bridge gaps, dispel stigma, and create community.

The American Series: The Funnies is made possible with Support from:

The Community Foundation, Arts Everywhere Initiative
Jack and Yumiko Champaigne
The Robert C. Shields Memorial Fund
Teachers Credit Union

2017 AMERICAN SERIES SPONSORS

KABOOM!

Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, Arts Everywhere Initiative
Jack & Yumiko Champaigne

BLAM!

The Robert C. Shields Memorial Fund
Teachers Credit Union

WOW!

Janette Burkhart-Miller
Crowe Horwath
Lynda B. and Charles S. Simon

ZAP!

Lynn Blue

POW!

Tom & Jan Brunner
Anne Feferman
Mr. & Mrs. Tom Keller
Ohmer & Donald Crafton
Susan Shields
Richard & Joyce Stifel

WOMP!

David Wemhoff
Patrick & Sharon McManus
Carol Ann Nash
Mr. & Mrs. William Cushwa
Joe Griesinger
Jack Reed
Morton & Judy Ziker

ROAR!

Faith Beaupre
Kari Black
William & Nancy Racine
Jerrianne Rain
Dayle Brown & David Piser
Claudia A. Maslowski
Judith Chase

Image credits:

Credit from upper left:

Artist: Gene Hazelton (American, 1919 – 2005), Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc., Yogi Bear: Jr. Trail Blazers (detail), 1964, ink on paper, Gift, McNaught Syndicate, Inc. Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania.

Writer: Stan Lee (American, b. 1922), Artist: Jack Keller (American, 1922 – 2003), Kid Colt Outlaw (1949 series) #110, 5, The Outlaw and the Sheriff (detail), 1963, ink on paper, Gift, Marvel Comics Group. Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania.

Writer: Stan Lee (American, b. 1922), Artist: Jack Keller (American, 1922 – 2003), Kid Colt Outlaw (1949 series) #110, 3, The Outlaw and the Sheriff (detail), 1963, ink on paper, Gift, Marvel Comics Group. Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania.

Creator: Milton Arthur Paul Caniff (American, 1907 – 1988), Steve Canyon Sunday Edition (detail), 4/10/1960, ink on paper, Gift of the artist. Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania.

Creator/Artist/Writer: Mort Walker (American, b. 1923), Beetle Bailey (detail), 12/16/1964, ink on paper, Gift, King Features Syndicate, Inc. Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania.

Creator: Milton Arthur Paul Caniff (American, 1907 – 1988), Steve Canyon Sunday Edition Dyer Air Force Base, First Missile Division, Strategic Air Command (detail), ink on paper, Gift of the artist. Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania.

Creator/Artist/Writer: Dalia “Dale” Messick (American, 1906 – 2005), Brenda Starr, Reporter (detail), 1/3/1956, ink on paper, Gift, Chicago Tribune – New York News Syndicate, Inc. Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania.

Artists: Gene Hazelton (American, 1919 – 2005) and Roger Armstrong (American, 1917 – 2007), Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc., The Flintstones (detail), 11/4/1964, ink on paper, Gift, McNaught Syndicate Inc. Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania.

Creator: John Hix (American, 1907 – 1944), Strange As It Seems (detail), 3/7/1965, ink on paper, Gift, United Feature Syndicate, Inc. Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania.

Homepage Image Credits:

Artists: Gene Hazelton (American, 1919 – 2005) and Roger Armstrong (American, 1917- 2007), Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc., The Flintstones (detail), 11/4/1964, ink on paper, Gift, McNaught Syndicate Inc. Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania.

Artist: Harold Gray (American, 1894 – 1968), Little Orphan Annie (detail), 8/10/1964, ink on paper, Gift, King Features Syndicate, Inc. Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania.

Artist: Gene Hazelton (American, 1919 – 2005), Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc., Yogi Bear: Jr. Trail Blazers (detail), 1964, ink on paper, Gift, McNaught Syndicate, Inc. Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania.

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