Kim Munson is going to Italy to curate a museum show called “Women in Comics.”
The Pacifican said it’s strange to consider the trip amid COVID-19 when even going to the grocery store requires a mask. Nevertheless, she plans to travel all the way to Rome on July 5 and then to Naples to curate a U.S. State Department-sponsored show called “Women in Comics.”
“An interesting part of my show talks about generations of women, women in comics books, who started in the ’70s as underground comics. Comics generally were sexist. We have the answer to that,” she said. “I hope I can bring this to California.
“It’s an overview of women who are doing amazing things,” she said. “Most have best-selling graphic novels. It’s nice how women have entered the field. Their sensibilities bring new insights into characters.”
The Rome exhibit is in Palazzo Merulana near the Coliseum until July 11 then it travels to Naples, to Foqua Corte Dell Arte until October. The Naples site is a big art center with outdoor spaces and classical music performances, she said. The show was on for most of 2020 at Society of Illustrators in New York, but she didn’t get to see it.
“The show is a representation of the many ways women are working on comics now,” she wrote in an email to the Tribune. “I have artwork from best sellers like Emil Ferris (‘My Favorite Thing is Monsters’), Colleen Doran (‘Neil Gaiman’s Snow Glass Apples’), and Ebony Flowers (‘Hot Comb’). I have work from Afue Richardson and Alitha Martinez who drew characters like Black Panther, Batman and Wonder Woman for DC and Marvel. I have editorial cartoons by Ann Telnaes of the Washington Post.”
She said Italians are fascinated with American editorial cartoons.
She is also a best-selling author of “Comic Art in Museums,” published in 2020 by University Press of Mississippi which is nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Academic/Scholarly Book at Comic Con in San Diego, July 23-26. She said she is the first one to write about the chronology and importance of comics in museum exhibits going back to the 1930s. The book is available on Amazon and other book sites. It’s her first full book after publishing many articles and academic journals on the subjects of comic art, museum exhibitions and labor emblems.
“Being nominated for an Eisner is like the Oscars,” she said.
In 2018, she was a volunteer art guide for an exhibit of hand-made rugs from 36 countries about what sanctuary meant to them.
She painted as a child, worked as a creative director for various tech companies, then painted scenic backdrops in Hollywood. Now she holds a master’s degree in art history from San Francisco State University where she curated shows.
Munson has lived in Pacifica with her husband since 2003. He’s a law professor at Golden Gate Law School.
“I love living here. We have a house full of books and toys,” she said. “We live close to the beach. I like to walk to the beach and enjoy the natural environment and the birds and the people. It’s very nice.”