Reasons to support the Cartoon Art Museum:
1. The Art. Right now, the Cartoon Art Museum is exhibiting works by acclaimed Disney artist Mary Blair, indie superstar Lark Pien, beloved illustrator Edward Gorey, up-and-coming superstar Hellen Jo, comic strip legends Charles Schulz, E.C. Segar, Milton Caniff, George Herriman, Morrie Turner, Walt Kelly and Bill Watterson; famed comic book artists Will Eisner, Dan DeCarlo, John Buscema and Gil Kane; underground icons R. Crumb, Vaughn Bode and Spain Rodriguez; animation cels and drawings from classic Disney, Warner Brothers and Hanna-Barbera cartoons, plus a whole bunch more. Recent exhibitions have included such great artists as Gahan Wilson, Patrick McDonnell, Linda Medley, Pia Guerra, Gene Yang, Erik Larsen, Charles Addams, Basil Wolverton, Erik Powell and more than 20 New Yorker cartoonists. Upcoming exhibitions (that I'm working on right now) include a Will Eisner Hall of Famer, a Golden Age comic book artist, and a New Yorker exhibition featuring their top female cartoonists, including a special spotlight on Roz Chast.
No other place in the western United States (or possibly on Earth) offers this array of artwork for public viewing. If not for the Cartoon Art Museum, the works that we display would most likely be stored away in artists' studios, collectors' vaults or publishers' storage rooms. It's a great place for casual fans of cartoons to visit (and who isn't at least a casual fan of cartoons?), and if you're remotely interested in creating your own cartoon art, there's no other resource like it.
2. The Artists. In addition to the better-than-average chance that you'll run into me or Shaenon K. Garrity when you visit the Cartoon Art Museum, we're constantly hosting events that allow the public to meet and interact with real live cartoonists. On Saturday, Justin Hall is the museum's Cartoonist-In-Residence, with Shaenon K. Garrity filling that position next month. Last night, Jason Thompson gave a talk to promote his new book, Manga: The Complete Guide to a full house of manga fans (and editors). At Tuesday's reception for our Mary Blair exhibition, Mary's son Kevin was in attendance, as well as more than half-a-dozen Pixar employees (including Monsters Inc. director Pete Docter), famed caricaturist Zach Trenholm and longtime CAM supporter and great cartoonist in his own right, Jon "Bean" Hastings. And that's just this week.
In the past few years, we've played host to Lynn Johnston, Scott McCloud, Bill Amend, Gahan Wilson, John Kricfalusi, Lark Pien, Shepherd Hendrix, Patrick McDonnell, Rutu Modan, Linda Medley, Pia Guerra, Keith Knight, Eric Powell...and I could easily name another 50 great cartoonists who've been here since I started working for CAM in 2001 (even more counting back to my volunteer days, which started over a year before I was hired). In any given month, odds are good that we'll host at least two or three events that give the general public the opportunity to meet a professional cartoonist.
3. The Artistic Community. If you're a professional artist, a struggling would-be professional, or just someone who wants to get a better grasp on his or her cartooning skills, you can meet someone at the CAM who's at your level, or someone who's been at your level, or someone who wants to get to your level, or...you get the picture. Artists talk shop here all the time, and everyone's got something unique to offer. Mini-comics creators, webcartoonists, gag cartoonists, painters, comic strip creators, comic book illustrators, children's book writers...all sorts of artists congregate here, and plenty of long-lasting collaborations have gotten their start right here. I know some artists who go a year at a time without seeing any of their colleagues, but artists here in the Bay Area usually don't go a week without seeing other cartoonists.
And I can go on about other things, like the educational programs that the Museum offers to children's programs throughout the city, but I'll leave it at that for now. Details for contributing to the Cartoon Art Museum's Annual Fund follow. Please spread the word to friends and family--every little bit helps in our efforts to bring the public the best possible Cartoon Art Museum that we can. Thanks in advance to all of you who donate.
Please click here</url> to read the whole Annual Fund letter pitch that was mailed to our membership and past supporters. Please click here to donate money via PayPal. Checks may be made out to "Cartoon Art Museum" and mailed to Cartoon Art Museum; 655 Mission Street; San Francisco, CA 94105. For donations via Visa or MasterCard, please call (415) 227-8666, ext. 300. Thanks very much for your support!