June 10, 2009

Original Harvey Comics Artwork at the Toonseum on June 13th

Click for a larger view!

The Toonseum, currently located in the Children's Museum, is hosting a show that includes some great original Harvey Comics artwork. This is a must-see show for all comic/cartoon/animation/illustration/anything-art-related enthusiasts! This is an outstanding opportunity to glimpse extremely rare artwork in person - understand that this is not an everyday thing! Read below!

From the Toonseum:
Pittsburgh-The ToonSeum proudly presents a visual history of one of the most popular comic book publishers of all time: Harvey Comics. From Richie Rich to Wendy the Witch: The Art of Harvey Comics celebrates the art and characters created and/or popularized by Harvey including Casper, The Friendly Ghost; Wendy, The Good Little Witch; Richie Rich, The Poor Little Rich Boy; Sad Sack; Little Audrey, and many more. The exhibition includes original art from various Harvey comic books by stalwarts such as Warren Kremer (1921-2003), who along with animator Steve Muffatti (1880-1968) defined the “Harvey” look.

Harvey Comics was founded in 1941 by Alfred Harvey (1913-1994), with a digest-sized comic book called Pocket Comics that put the company on the map with their line-up of superheroes that included The Black Cat. Various artists and writers who eventually achieved greater success elsewhere got their start at Harvey, including Jack Kirby, Joe Simon and Jim Steranko. By the end of the 1940s, Harvey transitioned to publishing comic books featuring popular comic strips of the day that included Joe Palooka, Dick Tracy, Blondie, Mutt & Jeff and Sad Sack. By the 1950s, romance and horror titles came into the mix.

An inspired bit of licensing in 1952 led to the 1957 purchase of Casper and several other animated cartoon characters created by Paramount Pictures’ Famous Studios, with Baby Huey, Buzzy the Crow, Herman & Katnip and Little Audrey among them. The enormous popularity of these characters spelled the end of the other genres at Harvey, and the company became solely a producer of children’s comics during that era.

Various newly created characters, such as Richie Rich, Little Dot and Little Lotta, followed the same house style to become a group affectionately known as the “Harvey World,” Though various ownership changes have occurred since the original Harvey shut its doors in 1982, the characters have never ceased to be influential, with hit movies like Richie Rich (1994), starring Macaulay Culkin, or Casper (1995), starring Christina Ricci, or the current five-volume series of Harvey Comics Classics published by Dark Horse Comics.

The exhibit is on loan from the Cartoon Art Museum of San Francisco, curator Andrew Farago and runs from June 13th through July 26th at the ToonSeum, inside the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.
Here is a cool video that guides you through the show opening at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco.

And just for fun, here's one of Harvey Films' productions, Candy Cabaret:

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