Friday, June 13, 2014

On Strips: The 2014 Kenosha Festival of Cartooning, More Than Funny 2

The Kenosha Festival of Cartooning is a regular event in Wisconsin that was established a few years back for the express purpose of creating a venue for readers to meet newspaper cartoonists, who have historically been somewhat removed from the public. Founder Anne Morse Hambrock noted, "When I was growing up cartoonists were celebrities. They were on the news, they were on late night talk shows, they were guests at the White House." And while she acknowledges the rising number of comic cons and pop culture shows, it the newspaper cartoonists don't really seem to get much attention. Hence, the Kenosha Festival.

This year, it will occur on September 25-27. A little early to have a specific schedule set, but they do have some guest speakers lined up, including Jeff Keane (Family Circus), Lincoln Peirce (Big Nate), Todd Clark (Lola) , Scott Stantis (Prickly City), Terri Libenson (The Pajama Diaries), Rick Stromoski (Soup To Nutz), and the oddly compelling Denis Kitchen.

"OK, so another convention. Big deal," you might say.

This year, though -- perhaps inspired by the opening of the Billy Ireland Museum -- they made arrangements with the Kenosha Public Museum to exhibit some of the collection of George Hagenauer. Who's George Hagenauer, you ask? Among other things, he's a collector of original comic art. And part of the collection he's loaning to the Museum includes works by:
  • Carl Anderson
  • Ham Fisher
  • Mike Grell
  • Frank King
  • Steve Rude
  • Sidney Smith
  • Erwin Hess
  • Trina Robbins
  • Jules Feiffer
  • Frank Frazetta
  • Jack Kirby
  • Joe Kubert
  • Frank Robbins
  • Jerry Robinson
  • Joe Shuster
  • Joe Simon
  • Bill Sienkewicz
  • Sergio Aragones
  • Ernie Bushmiller
  • Gus Arriola
  • Milton Caniff
  • Roy Crane
  • Billy DeBeck
  • Bud Fisher
  • Hal Foster
  • Chester Gould
  • Harold Gray
  • George Herriman
  • Walt Kelly
  • Winsor McKay
  • George McManus
  • Virgil Partch
  • Chic Young
And those are just the ones from Hagenauer's collection! I trust you see a few names on there that you recognize?

Anyway, this impressive-sounding exhibit opened last weekend in the Touhey Gallery, and will run through the end of the Festival on September 27. Admission to the exhibit is free. More information about the Kenosha Public Museum can be found here.

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