I’ve been to a few comic museums – Toonseum in Pittsburgh, the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco and recently the Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum at OSU and so far I haven’t seen that perfect cartoon museum, or at least the one big feature I want to see. I mean all of the facilities I mentioned are very nice – but none of them are made for the comic medium itself and that is the biggest issue.
Comics are sequential art. Comics usually tell a story. Comics usually are not a static moment like paintings are, like photographs are, like statues are. Comics are a serial art form and while a single page can show a lot, it doesn’t capture what a comic is – a way to tell stories. If you only give part of a story, devoid of context, you loose a lot. It becomes all about the art and writing for that page, not how everything ties in, and it removed the comic as a tool to tell stories. When you start posting single pages of original sets of art on the wall for a comic museum, devoid of context, unless that page is an entire story, you’ve messed with the art form. You don’t cut a hand off of a full body statue and put it in a museum as a solitary piece of art. If you post a single movie still, that is not the same as showing the actual movie – and sure it may be helpful to illustrate a directorial style but you miss the context and the actual format of the art itself. A well shot still from a movie is not a movie itself. A single page from a multi page story is not itself.