It’s no secret that we here in Pittsburgh are pretty proud of our museums. We’ve got all sorts of fine art, creepy old mummies, giant dinosaurs, and modern art, and the many museums of the ‘Burgh are high on our tourist recommendations. But in the past few years, we’ve also acquired a different type of museum: The ToonSeum, which celebrates the fine arts of cartoons and comics.
So imagine our excitement when we learned we were able to attend their annual fundraiser, this year themed ‘Gotham Nights’ in honor of the latest Batman being filmed here. (I could write a whole blog post on how I feel about the latest Batman trilogy, in particular the third, fabulous, movie but… this is not that sort of blog.)
First things first, we had to get dressed appropriately for the event. (Just kidding. Michael totally did not keep his bat-ears the whole night. In fact, he’s probably going to give me a lot of crap for posting this.)
The event started at the ToonSeum itself, where we were able to see a bunch of the props that had been used in the movie (so cool, go see this exhibit RIGHT NOW), and also sample some Wigle Whiskey. Okay, okay, I didn’t sample the Wigle Whiskey, as I was starving and trying my hardest not to act a fool, but Michael tried it and loved it, and now we need four friends to get together with us so we can do a private Wigle Whiskey tour (takers?).
There was an open bar (okay, they gave you drink tickets, but somehow, everyone in our group handed their drink tickets to me… more on that later) and snackupons provided by Six Penn Kitchen. I don’t know what the little fried balls of wonder were, but I had about a dozen. (Pictured are mini-quiches, and they were way good as well.)
Since the ToonSeum gets the thrill of being a kid while you’re supposed to be a grown up, they had arts and crafts tables. This table was the mask-making table, where I worked very dilligently to make a mask of my very own.
And THEN, as if making a homemade mask with feathers wasn’t excitement enough, they had a BUTTON-MAKING STATION. And guess what kind of buttons you could make? Comic book buttons! I met this very nice young man named Juan who helped me sort through hundreds of pages of comic book preview magazines, searching for a Hellboy photo to make a button. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any Hellboy, but Juan did find me a Dr. Manhattan page to make a button out of!
Since you definitely can’t tell what the button looks like in that first picture, I scanned it on my computer. What’s Dr. Manhattan doing in the full picture? That’s a secret only Fox and Juan know ::wink wink::
I, Fox, do hereby apologize profoundly for maybe accidentally tipsily flirting with one of your fine young gentlemen.
Catwoman is to blame.
Seriously, I can’t be held responsible for any flirty and/or inappropriate behaviors that may have occurred throughout the rest of the evening. I was provided with a handful of free glasses of wine and permitted to do arts and crafts. I thought I was Catwoman.
In any case, after all the flirting and dancing and saying-of-clever-one-liners was complete, I finally got up the nerve to talk to my lifetime idol Rick Sebak!! You readers of the blog know how much I absolutely love this man, and so you can probably imagine, based on my fan-girl like reactions to like… anyone I have love for (ahem, Flea, I’m talking about you), how difficult it was to actually get my heart rate to settle down enough that I could actually talk to Rick Sebak.
Who, by the way, is the coolest dude in the world. And so down-to-earth. He’s Yinzerly famous, and yet, he stood around and talked with us for like fifteen minutes about things like how we Pittsburghers won’t cross rivers from where we grew up, and the magic of coming back here after living away. AND best of all (fangirl moment coming in 3…2…) I said, “You know, you follow me on Twitter, I’m SteelCityFox,” and HE said, “I know you! And I want you to know, I don’t just follow anyone. I read your Tweets before I click ‘follow’.”
MY LIFE = COMPLETE. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, FOX HAS ARRIVED.
As if things could get any better, we found out we’d won two of the silent auctions for the evening: one that I got as a 5th-anniversary present for Michael (a stay and breakfast at the hotel we stayed the night we got married), AND one that means Rick Sebak will record my voicemail for me.
Oh yeah. Kennywood Memories on my dang phone.
So… TL;DR: The ToonSeum threw one of the finest fundraiser parties this side of the Dirty Ball, and we are SO glad we were able to be a part of it and to support this fantastic organization. And you should get yourself down to the ToonSeum to check out their latest exhibits: not only can you see all the awesome Batman stuff, but they’ve got Carebears going on in the other room as well!
Carebears and Batman: be still my early-90s Catwoman heart. (If they ever run Hellboy and Popples exhibits at the same time, I might just spontaneously combust…. you know, Liz Sherman style. 😉