Toonseum

Essential Pittsburgh
1:47 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Chutz-Pow, Superhero Holocaust Survivors

The cover of "Chutz-Pow! Superheroes of the Holocaust," is symbolic in more ways than one, says artist Marcel Walker.
Credit Daisy Ruth / WESA

The Toonseum and the Holocaust Center of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh have produced a comic book titled "Chutz-Pow! Superheroes of the Holocaust" to honor the bravery of five Pittsburghers during a tragic period of the 20th Century.

Author Wayne Wise and artist Marcel Walker say what makes their comic book so interesting is the fact that the heroes they depict are not the kind that wear capes.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:34 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

The Golden Legacy of Little Golden Books

The Poky Little Puppy is the most succesful Little Golden Book, selling over 15 million copies worldwide.
Marcus Charleston 90.5 WESA

For generations of children, Little Golden Books have served as an introduction to reading. The first set of 12 books was released on October 1, 1942, selling for 25 cents apiece. Since then, the series has sold more than two billion books worldwide in a variety of languages. They feature characters from all across the children’s pop culture spectrum drawn by many accomplished illustrators.

Having played such a significant role in the lives of children everywhere, several of the books were included in the Smithsonian Museum’s Division of Cultural History. This month selected artwork from the series will be on display at the Toonseum in Pittsburgh. Essential Pittsburgh visited the exhibit and talked with Joe Wos, the museum’s executive director. He explained why the books have remained timeless.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:42 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo: Where Artists have Full Control

Pix, The Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo, will be held at 10 S.19th Street in the city's South Side neighborhood this weekend.
Credit The Copacetic Comics Company / Facebook

PIX, the Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo, takes place this weekend. The event is a way to nurture and encourage the city’s independent comic scene.

Jim Rugg, a local indy cartoonist, and Bill Boichel, owner of The Copacetic Comics Company in Polish Hill, expect this weekend will be a bigger success than ever.

Boichel says Pix is different Comicon for one simple reason.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:29 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Beyond the Funny Pages: The Rich History of Pittsburgh African American Cartoonists

Phantom Lady #17, drawn by Matt Baker
Credit Wikipedia

Visitors to the City County Building this February may find themselves captured by the rich history of Pittsburgh-based African American cartoonists.

In a new exhibit titled Beyond the Funny Pages: The Works of Arts and Life Captured in Comics, Toonseum collaborates with the City Parks office of special events to create a time capsule of art by black cartoonists living in the Steel City. 

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:38 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

The Filmation Generation: Lou Scheimer's Legacy

The trademark Filmation logo and "ding!" sound effect were familiar openings to Saturday morning cartoons in the 1970s and 80s.
Credit filmation / wikipedia

Earlier this month, Pittsburgh native and renowned animator Lou Scheimer passed away. He was best known for creating Saturday morning cartoons such as Fat Albert, He-Man and The Archies throughout the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s.

According to Joe Wos, executive director of the Toonseum, Scheimer’s shows were more than fun, animated cartoons.

“He brought a certain morality to cartoons and showed that they could go beyond violent action and silliness. Fat Albert addressed a lot of issues of inner city youth like smoking and stealing,” says Wos.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:31 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Duck, Duck, “DUCK!” - The History of the Rubber Ducky

The 40 foot tall rubber duck created by artist Florentijn Hoffman, will continue to float at Point State Park until October 20th, 2013.
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

If you are a resident of Pittsburgh, you have undoubtedly heard about the enormous 40 foot tall rubber duck that is now floating majestically in the river. But where does this iconic bath toy originate from?

According to Joe Wos, Executive Director of the Toonseum, it goes all the way back to the late 1800’s, when regular Saturday baths first became popular. In order to be clean for church on Sunday, the entire family would gather to take their one and only bath of the week. Wos says dips in the tub went from oldest to youngest, Dad went first, then oldest brother, down to the youngest child.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:26 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Drawing a Crowd At The Pittsburgh Comic Arts Festival

Joe Wos, Executive Director and Founder of the Toonseum curates the Reuben Awards Exhibit
Credit Joe Wos

In the world of comic strip art, The Reuben Awards, are on par with the Oscars. Named after Rube Goldberg, the Reuben has been awarded by the National Cartoonists Society to artists such as Charles Schulz, Chester Gould and Bill Watterson.

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