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In the LA area? Check out Skirball.

The Skirball museum has a few exhibits through August 9th about comic books.

ZAP! POW! BAM! The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938–1950

Through never-before exhibited art and objects culled from private and institutional collections, ZAP! POW! BAM! The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938-1950 explores the genesis of cultural icons such as Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel, and Wonder Woman. In the midst of the economic and political turmoil of the 1930s and 1940s, comic books offered America champions who shaped the values of an entire generation. ZAP! POW! BAM! examines the creative processes and influences that drove young Jewish artists to express their talents through the storylines and art of comic books. The exhibition features rare vintage artwork and books, 1940s Hollywood movie serials, and colorful interactive displays including a drawing studio, a newsstand, a vintage Batmobile ride, and stations that allow children to dress up as Superheroes or transform themselves via a quick costume change in a telephone booth. Guest curator Jerry Robinson brings a long history as a comic book industry insider to the exhibition. Working with Batman co-creators Bob Kane and Bill Finger, Robinson named Robin, Batman’s young protégé. Robinson also co-created The Joker, Batman’s nemesis and one of the first Super-Villains.

There’s also some special one off events:

Cosmic Comics!

When: June 28th.

Holy cosmic comic strips! After a family tour of the exhibition ZAP! POW! BAM! The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938-1950, join comic book artist Crystal Webb to create your own comic book hero and draw an original comic strip to take home.

Batman (1943)

When: August 9th.

Catch this rare complete screening of the 1943 serial, originally created as fifteen fifteen-minute episodes shown before feature films. Reflecting anti-Japanese sentiment that was prevalent in America at that time, the serial centers upon Batman’s efforts to rid Gotham of a Japanese spy ring that uses zombies, alligators, and submarines to strike terror into the heart of the populace. Today the serial sheds light on how comic book heroes were employed to advance war propaganda and fuel racial stereotyping. (1943, 260 min. No MPAA rating.)

Superman Rarities

When: July 18.

Fans of the Man of Steel won’t want to miss this afternoon of rare Superman footage. At this matinee screening, view episodes from the famed Kryptonian’s big-screen debut in the 1948 Hollywood serial. Also see The Adventures of Superpup and The Adventures of Superboy, two never-broadcast pilots meant to replace the Superman television series after lead actor George Reeves’s untimely death.

Science of Super Heroes

When: July 26.

Join science expert Ben Dickow, a.k.a. Scarlet Scientist, and investigate the secrets behind some of comic books’ greatest heroes! Through hands-on experiments, expose the truth behind flight, x-ray vision, invisible jets, hulk strength, and lightning speed—and walk away knowing a little bit more about our own human powers.

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