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

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

Superman Yes – Jewish artists and writers dominated the Golden Age of Comics. In the midst of the economic and political turmoil of the 1930s and 1940s following the 1929 stock market crash and onset of the depression, comic books offered Americans an escapist form of entertainment and the champions who shaped the values of an entire generation. Those heroic characters became an American icon and helped shape American expectations of the perennial battle between good and evil.

Originated by The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum in Atlanta, ZAP! POW! BAM! includes vintage artwork and books, multi-media presentations and colorful interactive displays that immerse visitors in the world of Superheroes. The exhibition examines the creative processes and influences that drove young Jewish artists to express their talents through the story lines and art of graphic novels.

Comicbooksedit Guest Curator Jerry Robinson, who spoke at the opening and the following evening at the Museum, brings a long history as a comic book industry insider to the exhibition. You can see the entire presentation with Mr. Robinson on uVu, Channel 2's video websharing site (search keyword: Comic Books or check the "Speaker's Corner" section).

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. His experience and personal contacts presented The Breman with extraordinary access to original comic book materials, artists and collectors. Rare early comic books, superhero memorabilia, selected artifacts from creators and publishers and original art on loan from major individual and institutional collectors bring Superheroes to life.

ZAP! POW! BAM! features a news stand with comic books and interactive stations allow children to dress up as Superheroes or transform themselves via a quick costume change in a telephone booth. On both adult and children’s levels, educational aspects of the exhibition promote literacy, character development and understanding comic books as a cultural force.

There is also a contest for students to create their own comics, read about it here.

The exhibit opens to the public October 16 and runs through April 30, 2008.


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