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International Museum of Cartoon Art

The International Museum of Cartoon Art

Written by Scott Messmore

Unique in the world, the International Museum of Cartoon Art in Boca Raton has a massive collection of daily cartoons, political cartoons and original sketch drawings of famous characters such as Charlie Brown, Blondie, Hagar the Horrible, Beetle Bailey, Dilbert, Hi and Lois and the Man of Steel himself, Superman. Visitors to the museum can also see Prince Valiant, Popeye, Flash Gordon, Pogo, Krazy Kat, Little Orphan Annie, Li'l Abner, Dick Tracy, Terry and the Pirates, Mutt and Jeff and the Katzenjammer Kids. Fans of social and political cartoons will enjoy editorial cartoons from the Civil War, turn of the century America, Jules Feifer, Pat Oliphant, Jeff MacNelly, Mike Peters, the New Yorker cartoons of Peter Arno and Herblock's decades long stretch of political cartoons. The International Museum of Cartoon Art collection of political drawings spans 200 years of world history. Cartoon families are well represented by Lynn Johnston's International Museum of Cartoon Art For Better or Worse, the Family Circus and the ever bickering Lockhorns. Cartooning has been around for many years, lampooning pompous politicians or just giving the public a much needed laugh to get through the day. Cartooning is also a highly developed art form and the International Museum of Cartoon Art is dedicated to preserving the work for future generations with special exhibits, seminars and classes. A recent exhibit showed 250 works by Dennis the Menace creator and artist Hank Ketcham. Ketcham worked with Walt Disney on the classic animation films Fantasia and Pinocchio. Ketcham created the famous comic strip and television show after his wife struggled with their son one day and sharply told Ketcham, 'Your son is a menace!' A star was born and today Dennis runs roughshod over next-door neighbor, Mr. Wilson, in more than 1,000 newspapers in 48 countries.

Beetle Bailey Meets Boca Raton

The International Museum of Cartoon Art was founded by Beetle Bailey and International Museum of Cartoon Art Hi and Lois creator Mort Walker. Walker started the Cartoon Museum in Connecticut in 1974 to preserve the art form's works. Walker had been collecting cartoon works on his own since 1960. After several moves around the northeast, the museum opened its doors in sunny South Florida in 1996 with a 52,000-square foot building with fundraising led by Garfield creator Jim Davis. The museum has several galleries with permanent exhibits by the Knight Newspaper chain, the Charles M. Schulz Comic Strip Gallery, the Comic Book Gallery, an Animation Gallery, theater, Cartoon Camp and classrooms for teaching the art of cartooning. Today the museum has 160,000 original drawings, 10,000 books and 1,000 hours of video detailing the history of cartooning. The museum collection also includes sports cartoons, greeting card art, magazine illustration, caricature and animation. A special Cartoon Camp teaches kids of all ages how to draw their own cartoons.

Hours of Operation and Location

The International Museum of Cartoon Art is located in Mizner Park at 201 Plaza Real. Mizner Park is located on Federal Highway (U.S. 1), between Yamato Road and Palmetto Park Road. Parking garages are located inside Mizner Park. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. On Sunday, the museum is open from noon to 6 p.m. Admission to the museum is: adults, $6; seniors, $5; students, $4; children International Museum of Cartoon Art six to 12 years, $3; children under three years are admitted for free.

For more information about the International Museum of Cartoon Art, call 561-391-2200.

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