Comic-Con Museum opens animation and art exhibits

An exhibit in Comic-Con Museum's new exhibition "The Animation Academy – From Pencils to Pixels.”
(Courtesy of the Comic-Con Museum)

‘The Animation Academy’ is a hands-on introduction to cartooning, and ‘Cover Story’ showcases the Comic-Con International: San Diego convention program art from the past 50 years


The Comic-Con Museum’s blockbuster “Amazing Spiderman” exhibition swung out of Balboa Park last month, but the museum will reopen on Saturday with two new exhibits that will appeal to comic art fans of all ages.

“The Animation Academy — From Pencils to Pixels” is a hands-on exhibition that teaches visitors the history of animation, from hand-drawn cels to computer-generated imagery. And “Cover Story: Five Decades of Comic-Con” is an exhibition of souvenir programs from the Comic-Con International: San Diego convention since its founding in 1970.

“Animation Academy” features more than 20 interaction stations where visitors can experiment with creating their own stop-motion animated shorts, learn about story-boarding, and see the world’s largest three-dimensional zoetrope, which is a revolving visual device that creates the illusion that a strip of individual drawings are in motion.

There are also selfie spots where visitors can pose with their favorite animated TV cartoon characters. As part of the exhibit, the museum will periodically host drawing classes by artists and animators. To celebrate the opening, there will be appearances Saturday by Bill Farmer, the official voice of Disney’s Goofy and Pluto, and Disney fine artist Manny Hernandez, who will offer painting lessons.

“Cover Story” will feature program covers designed by a who’s who of comic artists, including Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Milton Caniff, Neal Adams, Frank Miller, Bill Sienkiwicz, Jim Lee, Alex Ross, Dave McKean, Moebius, Steranko, Babs Tarr and Michael Cho. There will also be a special exhibit on artist Rick Geary and his creation of the Comic-Con toucan mascot. As part of the exhibition in the coming months, the museum will host several other events including maker space and cardboard superheroes workshops and a display of Comic-Con Masquerade award-winning costumes.

Comic-Con Museum

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays

Where: 2131 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park, San Diego

Tickets: $25 adults; $18 seniors (65+) and juniors (13-17); $12 children 6 to 12


A hand drawing of the animated cartoon character Fred Flintstone.
A hand drawing of the animated cartoon character Fred Flintstone. It’s part of the “Animation Academy” exhibit opening Feb. 4 at the Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park.
(Comic-Con Museum)