PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The ToonSeum in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District is not to be confused with the “Bat Cave.”

But executive director Joe Wos is preparing an exhibit reminiscent of Batman’s hideaway.

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“This would be the Holy Grail to any Batman fan or Batman collector,” says Wos, gesturing toward the actual mask worn by Christian Bale in “The Dark Knight Rises.”

He says the ToonSeum exhibit, “Pittsburgh as Gotham,” will promote Pittsburgh/Batman connection.

“We really wanted to showcase all the Pittsburgh connections. So we got over six different artists who have worked with Batman or have done their take on what Batman looks like.”

A football jersey in a glass case to kick off to Hines Ward in Heinz Field. The scene depicting Ward dodging bombs began with an artist’s conception.

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“A location scout would have taken pictures of the Steelers stadium,” Wos says. “You can still see all the Steeler artwork. Then an artist would have inlaid what all that destruction looks like.”

Also featured are a number of comic book illustrations. Prominent among them is the work of Plum Borough artist Scott McDaniel. He has illustrated dozens of comic books and related works, lending a three-dimensional feel to the moody darkness of the character.

“Here I can balance highlights and shadows,” he says, “to take advantage of the threatening, concealing shadow. And up comes either the bad guys, or Batman.”

He once wrote to producers of the Batman TV series, asking to play the role of “Robin.”

“And in my letter, I wrote, ‘I know I wear glasses, but I can take them off for the action scenes.’ But for some reason they never wrote back.”

With his artist’s pen, he found another way to live the dream.
The ToonSeum exhibit opens Saturday night with “Gotham Nights,” a fundraiser hosted by comedian Jimmy Krenn.

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Artist Scott McDaniel