February 28th, 2009

Small Press Spotlight on Rina Ayuyang

Small Press Spotlight on Rina Ayuyang

Cartoon Art Museum Exhibition: March 14 – June 14, 2009

Beginning on March 14, 2009, the Cartoon Art Museum's ongoing Small Press Spotlight will feature the art of Rina Ayuyang.

Rina Ayuyang first became interested in cartooning while growing up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she spent mornings watching Merrie Melodies cartoons, afternoons reading the newspaper funnies and Mad magazine, and evenings scrutinizing illustrations in various children's books right before she'd fall asleep.

After focusing many years on painting and conceptual art in Pittsburgh and San Francisco, she reunited with her first love--comics--in 2001, and began self-publishing Namby Pamby, a semi-autobiographical series which focused on the humorous side of the ordinary, everyday moments of one's life.

This Small Press Spotlight exhibit showcases original art for Ayuyang's soon-to-be released graphic novel which will include new stories and old favorites from the Namby Pamby mini-comic series. The book will be co-published by Sparkplug Comic Books and Tugboat Press in Fall 2009.

Also included in this exhibit are samples of her sketchbook strips which she posts daily on her web blog, Doodle Bug Central. She recently self-published a minicomic entitled doodle daze that collected favorite strips and illustrations from the web blog in a pocket-sized print format which was nominated for the 2008 Maisie Kukoc Award for Comics Inspiration.

More of Rina's comics work can be found in various comic anthologies, notably SPX 2005, True Porn 2, Friends of Lulu's Girls Guide to Guys Stuff, Stripburger, Unicorn Mountain, and the upcoming Snow Stories.

Besides drawing comics, she has co-founded an online magazine called Creative Skin (creativeskin.net) which has showcased the work of writers, photographers and cartoonists from around the globe. She currently co-hosts The Comix Claptrap, a comics podcast with fellow Bay Area cartoonist Thien Pham in which they interview influential cartoonists and discuss various issues concerning the comics and small press community.

Rina currently resides in Oakland, California, with her husband and cat. You can view more of her work at her website and blog, rinaayuyang.com.

The Brinkley Girls: Cartoon Art Museum exhibition

The Brinkley Girls
Cartoon Art Museum exhibition: March 21 – August 23, 2009

The Cartoon Art Museum presents The Brinkley Girls, a celebration of one of the most popular cartoonists of the early 20th century, Nell Brinkley. This retrospective, guest-curated by comics herstorian Trina Robbins, showcases over 30 lavishly illustrated newspaper tearsheets, magazine illustrations, original artworks and other highlights from Robbins’s personal collection.

Details regarding the opening reception and a special presentation by Trina Robbins will be announced shortly.

About Nell Brinkley:

For over thirty years Nell Brinkley’s beautiful girls waltzed, vamped and shimmied their way through the pages of William Randolph Hearst’s newspapers, captivating the American public with their innocent sexuality.

In 1907, at the tender age of 22, Nell Brinkley came to New York to draw for the Hearst syndicate. Within a year, she had become a household name. Flo Ziegfeld dressed his dancers as “Brinkley Girls” in the Ziegfeld Follies. Three popular songs were written about her. Women, aspiring to the masses of curly hair with which Nell adorned her fetching and idealized creations, could buy Nell Brinkley Hair Curlers for ten cents a card. Young girls cut out and saved her drawings, copied them, colored them, and pasted them in scrapbooks.

Nell Brinkley widened her scope to include pen and ink depictions of working women. Brinkley used her fame to campaign for better working conditions and higher pay for women who had joined in the war effort, and who were suffering economic and social dislocation due to acting on their patriotism. Unlike most of her contemporaries, she drew women of different races and cultures.

Today, except for a small group of avid collectors, she is unjustly forgotten.

But no longer. The forthcoming Fantagraphics Books publication The Art of Nell Brinkley collects Brinkley’s exquisitely colored full page art from 1913 to 1940. Here are her earliest silent movie serial-inspired adventure series, “Golden Eyes and Her Hero, Bill;” her almost too romantic series, “Betty and Billy and Their Love Through the Ages;” her snappy flapper comics from the 1920s; her 1937 pulp magazine-inspired “Heroines of Today.” Included are photos of Nell, reproductions of her hitherto unpublished paintings, and an informative introduction by the book’s editor, Trina Robbins.

Retired cartoonist and current comics historian Trina Robbins has been writing graphic novels, comics, and books for over 30 years. Her subjects have ranged from Wonder Woman and the Powerpuff Girls to her own teenage superheroine, GoGirl!, and from women cartoonists and superheroines to women who kill. She lives in a moldering 103 year old house in San Francisco with her cats, shoes, and dust bunnies.

www.trinarobbins.com <http://www.trinarobbins.com>

March Cartoonists-in-Residence: MariNaomi & Jimmy Gownley

March Cartoonist-in-Residence Weekend:
MariNaomi, author and illustrator of Estrus Comics
Saturday, March 21st, 1 pm to 3 pm
Jimmy Gownley, creator of Amelia Rules!
Sunday, March 22nd, 1pm to 3 pm

The Cartoon Art Museum hosts MariNaomi, author and illustrator of Estrus Comics, on Saturday, March 21st followed by Jimmy Gownley, author and illustrator of the popular comic Amelia Rules! on Sunday, March 22nd as part of its ongoing Cartoonist-in-Residence program. Museum visitors will be offered the chance to talk to the artists about their comics and watch them at work.

About MariNaomi:

Currently residing in San Francisco, MariNaomi was born in Texas and raised in Northern California. Her comics were first published in Action Girl Comics in 1998. That same year, MariNaomi published her comic art in the form of a zine called Estrus Comics. Now a series, Estrus Comics is an autobiographical collection of stories chronicling, among many other subjects, relationships, sex and coming of age. MariNaomi’s comics have also appeared in many national and local publications including The Comics Journal’s Women in Comics issue, and the Storytime Anthology.

MariNaomi has also found success as a longtime painter. Her works have been featured in group and solo exhibitions throughout the Bay Area and beyond, including multiple live paintings/exhibits at the de Young Museum and an exhibit entitled TV of Tomorrow at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Her work has also appeared in galleries such as SomArts, 111 Minna Gallery, and at events like Ladyfest Bay Area as well as WonderCon. MariNaomi’s prints along with her Estrus Comics and some original works are currently available at Artist Xchange as well as the Femina Potens Gallery in San Francisco.

For more information about MariNaomi’s works and upcoming events, please visit http://www.marinaomi.com

About Jimmy Gownley:

Jimmy Gownley was born and raised in Girardville, Pennsylvania where he began creating and distributing his own comics in high school. Gownley now resides in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with his wife and twin daughters.

Gownley’s first success in the comic world came at the age of 15 when he wrote and published about 100 copies his comic book, Shades of Gray. He soon produced twelve more additions of the comic as well as a graphic novel and the distribution turned nationwide with over a thousand copies circulated.

In 2001, Gownley became recognized as a force in the comic industry when he created Amelia Rules!, a comic aimed at and about children. As an advocate for children’s’ comics, Gownley co-founded Kids Love Comics, an organization that promotes literacy and education through comics and graphic novels. Joined by other comic creators, publishers, and educators, Gownley travels to schools, libraries, and events to promote the distribution of high-quality kids’ comics. Gownley has received seven nominations for the Eisner Awards, a prize given for achievement in American comics. In 2008 alone, he was nominated for four of the awards, tying him for the most nominations of an individual that year. In addition, Gownley recently won the Pennsylvania Library Associations One Book Award.

To learn more about Jimmy Gownley and Amelia Rules!, please visit www.ameliarules.com <http://www.ameliarules.com>. If you are interested in Gownley’s organization Kids Love Comics, more information is available at www.kidslovecomics.com <http://www.kidslovecomics.com>.

This event is free and open to the public.

The Cartoon Art Museum hosts professional cartoonists in its galleries as part of its Cartoonist-in-Residence program. Museum patrons see cartoonists and work on their latest projects and learn everything they ever wanted to know about cartoonists – but were afraid to ask. Past featured Cartoonists-in-Residence include Paul Madonna (All Over Coffee), Keith Knight (K Chronicles, [th]ink), Paige Braddock (Jane’s World), Michael Jantze (The Norm), and Grady Klein (The Last Colony) among many others.