Anyone who has read The Children's War knows that I have a soft spot for one of my favorite childhood pastimes - reading the Sunday funnies and comic books. So naturally, I was pretty excited when I heard that the New York Historical Society was planning an exhibit called Superheroes in Gotham. The exhibit is open now through February 21, 2016. I was particularly interested in seeing it because, as you know, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman were all WWII superheroes, doing their bit for the war. But the exhibit goes way beyond that.
How many remember George Reeves as Superman? I must have watched Superman rerums a million times each when I was growing up. Well, one of the old Superman suits from this show is there and it looks more like thick, woolen underwear that the kind of slick suit you see today:
There's even one of Adam West's Batmobiles from the 1960's Batman show:
The exhibit also contains some original art pieces original comic books, TV, movie, cartoon and audio clips of favorite comic superheroes, as well as comic characters you may never have heard of. For me, that was Will Eisner's Private Joe Dope, a character who is like a combination of Beetle Bailey and Sad Sack. Eisner, a talented artist, joined the army in 1942. Every post has a newspaper and Eisner became an artist on the paper his post in Maryland produced. But, Eisner quickly realized that soldiers needed training in preventative maintenance and Joe Dope became the bumbling incompetent solider whose mess-ups were lessons in how to not do something. Eisner's Joe Dope was so popular that he was soon appearing monthly in Army Motors, a maintenance magazine (and I was happy to discover that the NYPL has original copies of Army Motors to explore after the holidays).
|For more on Will Eisner and his comic characters, see the article Rare Eisner by Ken Quattro |
Of course, no visit to the New York Historical Society would be complete without a visit to the museum shop, and that's where I found two books that were exactly what I was looking for:
If you would like to know more about Superheroes in Gotham, you can find a great article with extensive photos from the exhibit by Jen Carson at the Gothamist
If you are going to be in NYC this holiday season, after you've seen all the stores windows and the tree at Rockefeller Plaza, you might want to journey uptown a bit and see this exhibit, as well as the Historical Society's annual Holiday Express: Toys and Trains exhibit. Both of these exhibits are totally kid-friendly and somewhat interactive, and not on that, but they even have a wonderful,very interactive Children's History Museum to visit.
Where is the NY Historical Society? It's the one with the statues of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass outside their doors, on Central Park West and West 77th Street, right across the street from the Museum of Natural History. Go this coming Wednesday, and you can even see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons being blown up.
|Available for selfies|