'Lights, Camera, ACTION' Opens At Cartoon Art Museum
Friday, November 14, 2003

In recent years, the roster of Coming Attractions at the local movie theater has read like a Who's Who in the comics world with such critical and commercial hits as Spider-Man, X-Men and American Splendor leading the way. Film companies have produced numerous movies based on comics in recent years with dozens more, from familiar names like Batman to lesser-known characters such as Hellboy, in various stages of production.

The Cartoon Art Museum's latest exhibition, "Lights, Camera, ACTION!!! From the Printed Page to the Silver Screen," looks back at comics-inspired films of the past and ahead at those that are "coming soon to a theater near you." This exhibition explores the long, rich and sometimes strange history of live-action movies based on comic strips, comic books and graphic novels, from the 1920s silent film Bringing Up Father to such recent big-budget spectaculars as The Hulk. Some filmmakers have produced faithful adaptations of characters like Popeye and The Rocketeer while others have presented looser interpretations of their original source material as seen in Blade and From Hell.

"Lights, Camera, ACTION!!!" reveals the inspiration behind these box office smashes and crashes through more 100 works of original comic art and movie memorabilia, including vintage lobby cards, posters, props and storyboards. The costume worn by actor Michael Jai White in the 1997 release Spawn is among the many unique items featured in this exhibition.

Among the wide array of artists starring in this exhibition are Alfredo Alcala (Conan), Mark Bagley (Ultimate Spider-Man), John Byrne (Superman), Eddie Campbell (From Hell), Al Capp (L'il Abner), Dave Cockrum (X-Men), Gene Colan (Blade), Robert Crumb (American Splendor), Jim Davis (Garfield), Dan Jurgens (Superman), Todd McFarlane (Spawn), George McManus (Bringing Up Father), Dale Messick (Brenda Starr), Frank Miller (Daredevil), Eduardo Risso (Batman), Alex Ross (The Punisher), E.C. Segar (Thimble Theatre/Popeye), Walter Simonson (Batman), Dave Stevens (The Rocketeer), Mark Texeira (Ghost Rider), Herb Trimpe (Incredible Hulk), Chic Young (Blondie) and Mike Zeck (The Punisher).

"Lights Camera Action!!!" premieres on Nov. 15, 2003, at the Museum, located at 655 Mission St. in San Francisco. For more info, check out