Official Press Release
Gainesville, Florida, November 20, 2001: In an exhibit opening January 22, 2002 at the New York City Fire Museum, comics creators are opening their hearts and sharing their talents by lauding the real-life heroes of the September 11 attacks. These heroes: New York’s firemen; policemen; medical technicians; and everyday citizens, reacted with selfless bravery on September 11 and the months following the tragedy, and their stories are represented in the comic book artwork created by some of the leading cartoonists of our day.
Teaming up with the non-profit New York City Comic Book Museum (NYCCBM), Marvel Comics and Alternative Comics are presenting an inspiring exhibit of comic artwork created in the aftermath of the attacks. To celebrate these artistic endeavors and the heroes celebrated, the NYCCBM is joined by the New York City Fire Museum in honoring the firemen, policemen, and their families, as well as New York citizens and fans of comic book art everywhere affected by the tragedy.
“Because comic art is such an important means of communication, this exhibit is very important to us,” remarked Museum president David Gabriel. “We want people to know about these tributes – many people who don’t regularly read comic books may not know about these works. The artists represented here are some of the most respected and talented working today.” “The comic book industry, with Marvel Comics’ Heroes and A Moment of Silence books, Alternative Comics 9-11: Emergency Relief trade paperback anthology, and Dark Horse and DC Comics‘ September 11 two-volume set along with others,” said Alternative Comics publisher Jeff Mason, “we are pulling together as a community to try to raise money for charity and to give artistic voice to cartoonists across the United States and abroad in reaction to the tragedy.”
The exhibit contains artwork from the Marvel Comics’ Heroes and the Alternative Comics 9-11: Emergency Relief charity books from such comic book legends as Spider-Man artist John Romita Sr., to the fan favorite Neal Adams to artists on the cutting edge of the comics medium such as Alex Ross (X-Men, Batman) and Frank Cho (Liberty Meadows), only to name a few of the many dozens of cartoonists represented.
The Marvel Comics’ tribute book Heroes is now in its third printing, and has already raised over $750,000 for September 11 related charities, and January will see Marvel’s follow-up A Moment of Silence, also a charity benefit book. Alternative Comics’ 9-11: Emergency Relief (ISBN: 1-891867-12-1) 208-page trade paperback anthology of non-fiction autobiographical stories related to the September 11 tragedy goes on sale early January, with all of the publisher’s proceeds going to benefit the American Red Cross general fund.
The comic art exhibit runs from January 22 through February 7 at the NYC Fire Museum located at 278 Spring Street; phone 212-691-1303 – http://www.nycfiremuseum.org for more information – and can be viewed Tuesday through Sunday 10-4. There is a suggested donation of $4 as admission to the New York City Fire Museum.
The New York City Comic Book Museum started its mission in 1999 to preserve the historical and artistic legacy of comic book culture, place it in the context of a changing society, show its usefulness in educating and entertaining, and instill in audiences the value and joy of this rich American heritage. It is the nation’s only museum dedicated to the art of the comic book. The New York City Comic Book Museum has concentrated on its outreach programs with traveling exhibits, industry gatherings, panel discussions, virtual exhibits and comic book promotions all around New York and the United States. The Museum is searching for its permanent home to serve as a research facility, library, and showcase for comic books and the creators of this American art form.
The NYC Fire Museum is housed in the old quarters of Engine 30, now disbanded. Edward Pierce Casey, a graduate of Columbia University’s School of Engineering and the Ecole Des Beaux Arts of France designed the building in a Italian Renaissance Palazzo style. Ground was broken on February 15, 1904 and the building was completed January 31, 1905. The builder was A. Nugent and Son.
Engine 30 moved from its former headquarters at 253 Spring Street, originally built for National Hose 24 of the Volunteer Department in 1856, into its own home on February 1, 1905. There they remained, along with Battalion 5, until 1959 when the company was deemed superfluous and disbanded. Engine 30 was a triple section company from 1909 to 1911. The first two sections had a steamer and a hose wagon each while the third section contained a large hose wagon used for the high pressure water system. Other units to have used the building include: Ladder 8 (1914-1915), Rescue 1 (1920-1947), Ambulance 3 (1947-1963), Satellite 1 (1967-1974), Oxygen Therapy until (1948-1974), and the Medical Offices (1948-1974). The New York City Fire Museum moved into the building on July 6, 1987.
The Fire Museum began as two collections, both started in the 1930’s. At that time, when many pieces of early fire regalia and equipment could still be found in the nation’s attics and barns, Harold V. Smith, President of the Home Insurance Co., commenced assembling a private museum of fire fighting at his firm’s headquarters in New York. FDNY was also building its own historic collection then, saving old apparatus as it was taken out of service and collecting memorabilia from its members and their families. The department exhibited these materials at the Fire College and then in an old firehouse on Duane Street. In the 1980’s these two collections were combined in one museum and the NYC Fire Museum was born.