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When Universes Collide

Some of the world's most beloved and powerful super heroes face off at a new exhibit at The ToonSeum, When Universes Collide: The Ultimate Superhero Smackdown.

The exhibit asks the question only fans can answer: Who would win in a match between Iron Man and Batman? Superman and Thor? Wonder Woman and Storm?

  “With superheroes doing blockbuster business and dominating the cineplex in 2014, we thought we’d be remiss if we didn’t join in the celebration and have some fun with these great heroes this summer," said ToonSeum Director Joe Wos. "It also allows us to introduce fans of the movies to the source material— the original art from the comic books and the animated cartoons.“ 

The exhibit covers the crimefighting careers of each hero, represented by artwork from legendary comic creators like Jack Kirby, Jim Steranko, Darywn Cooke, Adam Hughes and more. The original comic book and animation artwork spans more than 70 years of Super-hero history,  

Each week, for six weeks, fans will be able to vote for their favorite heroes using their smartphones in the museum galleries or on the ToonSeum’s Facebook page. The winner of each smackdown will be posted weekly on the ToonSeum’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.

  ”This exhibit has been in the planning stages for a long time," said exhibit co-curator Harold Behar.  "We have been working with top comic art collectors from around the region and nation to assemble this exhibit and bring this art to Pittsburgh.  There will be something for everyone from the casual fan to most serious fanboy. This is truly an all ages art show.”

 In conjunction with the exhibit the ToonSeum is offering a series of limited-edition prints highlighting the Super Hero match-ups created exclusively for the ToonSeum by cartoonist Shawn Atkins. There are five posters in this vintage boxing poster style set. The set will be offered as a special hand-signed folio, limited to 50 sets, available online at The print set will be available to preview at that web address on Wednesday, July 16th.  The prints will go on sale between noon and 1:00 pm on Friday July 18th.  The release time will be announced on the ToonSeum’s Twitter feed. Individual prints will be available at the ToonSeum in limited quantities. 


Cartoons are the Best Medicine:

The Healing Humor of Dan Piraro

A  new exhibition at the ToonSeum explores the role of the medical profession in the comic world of Bizarro!

“A guy goes to see his doctor…” could easily be the opening line to many cartoons. The concept is one of the most popular comic cliché’s.  This exhibition, sponsored by Highmark/Blue Cross Blue Shield, features some of cartoonist Dan Piraro’s favorite medical moments from his popular comic strip Bizarro.

“At Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, we try to positively impact the health and wellness of our community in many different ways,” said Mary Anne Papale, director of community affairs at Highmark. “By sponsoring this exhibition of Dan Piraro’s cartoons about health and the medical profession, I hope we can bring some laughter to the Pittsburgh community. Happiness is an important part of a healthy life.”

Launched in 1985, Bizarro appears in over 350 papers worldwide. The comic features Dan Piraro’s unique and often surreally exaggerated take on the day-to-day often-mundane life of us all.  His twisted sense of humor often pokes fun at our culture while providing keen social commentary.

“Dan Piraro is one of my personal favorite cartoonists.” Said ToonSeum executive director, Joe Wos. “He achieves a perfect balance of remarkable artistic skill, keen sense of humor and a social responsibility unique to the comic pages.”

The exhibition features 20 of Dan’s favorite Bizarro cartoons on health and the medical profession.

The exhibit is sponsored by Highmark and runs through November 2nd 2014.