Hemingway in Comics
The cover of “Hemingway in Comics.” Courtesy of the Comic-Con Museum

With its newest exhibit, the Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park is offering a moveable feast to pop culture junkies and fans of great literature

“Hemingway in Comics” takes a look at literary giant Ernest Hemingway’s influence in pop culture, including his more than 120 appearances in comics from 18 countries and in 40 works of art from a variety of artists.

The exhibit ranges from Jon Sable: Freelance, an American comic book series first published in the 1980s that featured an Olympic athlete turned mercenary and was influenced by Hemingway’s writings to an ink drawing of Hemingway boxing famed author Jack Kerouac. There are also a graphic novel exploring Hemingway’s life after he won the Nobel Prize for literature and references to Hemingway and his works in comic strips.

The exhibit touches on Hemingway’s life and career, from his journalist days at the Kansas City Star to his time spent in Paris and Cuba. Along the way, there are also references to his famous works, including “The Old Man and the Sea.”

Author Robert K. Elder curated the exhibit, based on research he did for his book, “Hemingway in Comics.”

“What really surprised me was how international his influence was,” said Elder. “Hemingway is truly a world figure, and his reach is astonishing. Cultures all over the world revere not only his work, but the myth of Hemingway.”

The pairing of Hemingway and the Comic-Con Museum seemed to be a natural fit.

“Hemingway had a very journalistic style, which he adapted in part from the Kansas City Star, where he worked as a cub reporter,” said Elder. “But there is a kinship between comic book creators, and Hemingway. Both value the economy of words and leaving room for interpretation, and bringing yourself to the experience of reading.”

The exhibit is scheduled to run through January 3.

“I just hope that there is a sense of discovery,” said Elder. “Not only will people find really interesting and curious stories that he’s been a part of — but I hope it inspires people to learn more about him, and read his novels and short stories.”

While “Hemingway in Comics” is the newest high-profile exhibit, the museum is also celebrating two other events.

The museum is joining other arts and culture organizations next month during “October for Kids Free San Diego,” an annual tourism promotion. Children under the age of 12 will get one free admission to the museum with an adult purchase.

Also, the museum has begun offering hands-on Makerspace workshops encouraging fans of all ages to design and build pop-culture themed arts and crafts, including a Batman frisbee and a Spider-Man emblem.

The workshops are being offered in the Cox Innovation Lab from 10-12 p.m. and 2-4 p.m. every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. It’s free with museum admission.

For more information, visit Comic-Con.org/Museum.



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Ellen Bullock