Tony Award meets comic book?

I’d be getting ahead of myself by speculating at this point about whether or not the new and improved “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” will garner future Tony Award® nominations. But for reasons beyond my mere human powers to decipher, I’ve been inundated during the last day or so with comic-related news.

I’m not a huge fan of comic books or comic book characters, mostly because I know very little about them. Maybe “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” will turn out to be my gateway drug. Until now, my biggest contribution to the comic book universe was giving my daughter Lizabeth a lift to “Comic Zone” in Scottsdale so she could visit friends with a higher C.Q. than my own. But alas — no superhero came to the rescue as they readied to close up shop last month.

Lizabeth is headed out tonight to see a midnight showing of “X-Men: First Class” with a friend from her graduating class at Arizona School for the Arts. Last weekend it was “Phoenix Comicon.” My only recent brush with comic books was watching an MSNBC segment titled “Superhero Success” — with Deepak Chopra and son Gotham Chopra discussing a new book titled “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Superheroes.”

Seems mama Chopra used to fret about her son reading too may comic books, but father and son were quick to praise characters like “Batman” during the MSNBC interview for illustrating the importance of drawing strength from adversity. I’d love to read their review of “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.”

Just the superhero I've been waiting for...

It appears I may finally have found a bit of comic book fare that I can relate to — because Scottsdale Public Art has just announced all sorts of free public events being held in conjunction with the “ZAP! POW! BAM!” exhibition you can enjoy through Sept 2 in a gallery located at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library. The exhibition was organized by The Bremen Museum in Atlanta.

Here’s an exhibit lowdown from event organizers…

“ZAP! POW! BAM! The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938-1950” explores the genesis of cultural icons such as Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman and Captain America, and the way those figures shaped popular opinion.

During the economic and political turmoil of the 1930s and 1940s, comic books offered Americans champions who shaped the value of an entire generation. The exhibition examines the creative processes and influences that drove young, largely Jewish artists to express their talents through the story lines and art of graphic novels.

I’m told there’s a “ZAP Costume Ball” Thurs, June 9 in the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts atrium and a “Family Movie” Tues, June 14 at the Center’s “Stage 2.” On Wed, June 22 kids can enjoy a “Drawing Comic Panels” workshop with Albert Morales at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library.

Come Thurs, July 21 the age 18 & up crowd can show their comic book pride with a “Metropolis RetroMovie Night” at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. And a “ZAP! POW! BAM! Water Battle” takes place Thurs, July 21 at the Fountain Stage in the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall (think outdoor entertainment area, not shopping mall).

Who knows — maybe this time next year I’ll be penning a post praising the superhero powers of the “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” cast, crew and creative team. For now, I can just dip my big toe in the water of the comic book universe a bit closer to home in Scottsdale.

— Lynn

Note: Always check event details (date/time, location, age recommendations, registration requirements, cost and such) before attending.

Coming up: Puppetry meets Tony Awards®

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