Friday, March 02, 2018

Don Simpson on the Toonseum

The Pittsburgh cartoon museum "The Toonseum" closed its doors on February 24, 2018.

Founded in 2007 by Joe Wos, it was housed in part of the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. Two years later, the museum moved to its downtown location on Liberty Avenue. In 2014, Joe left and, after a deliberation process, John F. Kelly was chosen as new president.

Marcel Walker, who was on the board, will take over as president, succeeding Mr. Kelly, who had left in the fall of 2017.

Marcel Walker as quoted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

"We just came to a collective decision that we need to place ourselves somewhere where we can do this affordably and in a self-sustaining manner. Unfortunately it's looking like we cannot do that in Downtown Pittsburgh."

The lease on the museum's building expires soon. 

Pittsburgh area cartoonist/teacher Don Simpson, creator of comic books (Megaton Man, Bizarre Heroes, Border Worlds) and illustrator of Al Franken's 2003 bestseller Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, talks about his experiences with the Toonseum in his blog post "Curtains: Ten Years of the Toxeum Draws to a Close."

"I considered myself a friend and supporter of the Toonseum up until the fall of 2015. But like most other people who offered friendly advice or constructive criticism to the institution over the years, I have since been branded a Toonseum "detractor."
"But this wasn't always the case. In 2009, I donated some 10,000 comic books and prints (the entire backstock of my self-publishing imprint, Fiasco Comics Inc.), textbooks on cartooning and comic book history, and original art to the Toonseum, as well as the drawing board tabletop my working mother had bought me in 1979 that I used to draw nearly all of my published comics.
"In the years that followed, I could be relied upon to contribute auction sketches to the Toonseum and pitch in with other forms of volunteer participation (including the suggestion of an "Artists' Alley" at the 2014 "Smackdown" fundraiser). Don't bother thanking all the little people, guys.
"However, on at least four distinct occasions, the Toonseum a) approached me with an idea or project that they had devised; b) enlisted my enthusiastic commitment; c) utterly failed to follow up or follow through on their promise in any way, shape, or form; and d) never found so much as the professional courtesy of informing me that they had changed their minds."

The rest is here.

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