Hey Spider-Man fans! At the Society of Illustrators (previously known as the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art), your friendly neighborhood web-slinger is swinging into action with the largest collection ever seen in the world… I counted over 160 framed pieces of art!
The first ever exhibition of original Spider-Man artwork by John Romita and other significant artists including Steve Ditko, Todd McFarlane, John Buscema, Ross Andru, Gil Kane, Ron Frenz, Keith Pollard, John Romita Jr. and others. The exhibit runs from June 6th through August 26th, 2017.
Get ready for Spider-Man everything, from never-before-seen art to memorabilia! Here are some of my favorite shots from my visit, plus a video at the end of this post:
Every inch of wall was taken up by something amazingly interesting, whether it was page from a Spider-Man script or a pencil sketch. But one of the coolest displays was the first setup as soon as you reach the second floor of the museum:
Here you find just a small glimpse of what’s to be expected inside: rare framed art from the comics, newspapers, ads, and more! Some were signed by the artists like John Romita, and even Stan Lee himself! Excelsior!
The first corridor began with a wall decal of Spidey and some iconic poses by John Romita. But around the corner was a fantastic display of more incredible pieces:
It took a while to get out of this hallway. Too much eye candy!
What I loved about this exhibit at the Society was that each framed piece has a tag that explains where it comes from with all of its credits (issue #, year, writer, penciler, inker, etc.).
As you make your way to the top floor, the museum continues to use every space possible before you even make it up to the next floor… Wall decals, more art, and even a ceiling decal! If you don’t look up, you’ll easily miss this fun sign:
Once you reach the top, you’re greeted with an oversized version of Amazing Spider-Man #50 (“Spider-Man No More!”), signed by John Romita:
As the final stop in the exhibit, the museum did a great job showcasing some even rarer drawings and collectibles on beautiful brick walls.
And what’s great about seeing this iconic art up close is that you can see that some of these pieces were not an overnight success. You can see where artists needed to undo and redo lines, touch-up, even white-out to get the perfect illustrations. Just look at this proof of 1972’s Marvel Tales #34:
But not everything was a published (or to be published) piece of art. Since much of the exhibit was on loan from collectors/experts Mike Burkey and Rob Pistella, many pieces were custom and personalized to specific individuals. What an amazing feeling that must be, to have original Spider-Man art drawn for you! Or to even own a piece of history like… John Romita’s pencil?
But fans of pop culture will be glad to know that this exhibit isn’t just for the art but also the lasting impression Spider-Man has made in TV, movies, and of course merchandise.
In two cases were shelves of collectibles, ranging from statues to collectible coins!
Some of my favorites were the 3-pack coin set of Spider-Man, Hulk, & Conan the Barbarian and a Midtown High diploma for Harry Osborn, complete with a Green Goblin sketch by John Romita!
This last floor is a shared space with their 128 Bar & Bistro so there were places to dine & sit, or have a drink at the bar. I had to ask the bartender for his signature drink for the event, aptly named “The Spider-Man”. Look at those Spidey colors!
Finally, on the way out, be sure to stop by the gift shop! They have some great items that coincide with all of their exhibits, not just the Art of Spider-Man. You can pick up a sketchpad, some prints, or apparel. Check out the range of Spider-Man gifts they have for sale in the video below! I opted for solely the exclusive variant of Secret Wars #1 from Dynamic Forces, limited to 15,000 copies and comes with a certificate of authenticity!
Don’t delay! This awesome exhibition crawls away very soon!