Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Joe Wos & the Toonseum

Above: From the May 17, 2008 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Wonder Woman, Joe Wos, Betty Boop. A big tip o' the hat to Dr. Lynch for cutting this out of the PG and sending it along.

Last month, I had the chance to visit Joe Wos at the Toonseum, which is part of the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. Joe was kind enough to show my wife and I around, and we all went to Joe's office to peek at some treasures. So, here are a few behind the scenes photos.

Joe took us up to his office. On a table were a couple of boxes and plastic bags full of HALF HITCH originals by Hank Ketcham (with an able uncredited assist by Dick Hodgins, Jr.). These are all awaiting cataloging.

These are gorgeous strips, and deserve to be seen. Above is one wonderfully illustrated panel. Ketcham had donated these originals to an armed forces facility. The personnel discovered that they could not file the strips away in traditional filing cabinets -- so they cut each original down so it would fit. Arrgh! So, not only do the strips need to be cataloged, first they have to be matched up and affixed together.

Joe has an amazing story about this lightboard that I am totally forgetting. I'm sorry Joe! I know it's an animation lightboard from the 1930s and some seminal animation was done on it. Arrgh! again.

Above: Joe Wos, Mike Lynch (Photo by Stacy!)

He's collecting cartoonists' drawings. One day this board will be full of original doodles!

Above: a closer angle. You can see Dan Piraro, Morrie Turner, Robb Arnstrong, Mike Lynch ....

Above: just a portion of Joe's bulletin board with all sorts of fun stuff; originals by Dan Crum. Tom Yeates, a lovely photo of Mssrs. Wos & Guisewite. Click to super-size.

My thanks to Joe for the time he took out of his schedule to show us around. There is a new exhibit of titled Just Kidding Around!: Children in Cartoons and Comics opening June 7th, featuring original art and rare items related from newspaper strips and kids TV. The exhibit runs through August 3rd.

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