Many cartoon characters directly reflect their creators, which explains why a cat-lover started Garfield and a compulsive liar claims he knows nothing about the origins of Pinocchio. Confront your doodled self with today’s Groupon: for $100, you get a private-group cartooning class for up to 20 people over the age of 8 at the Cartoon Art Museum (a $200 value).
The Cartoon Art Museum houses more than 6,000 animation artifacts and leads toonsters of all skill levels through a variety of classes. Gather up to 19 other friends, coworkers, or imaginary coworkers and attend a private class of your choice; classes can also be utilized for birthday parties, corporate team building, or celebrating National Raspberry Popover Day. Master character or superhero design, comic-strip creation or post-it-note flip-book animation, or bolster pencil-wielding skills with a basic drawing course. Each class lasts two hours, but a session can also be split into a 90-minute lesson and a 20-minute guided tour of the museum’s eclectic exhibits. Classes must be booked at least three weeks in advance to ensure availability and to give instructors time to sharpen their pencils.
Cartoon Art Museum
The Cartoon Art Museum was once like a comic strip without a frame: lacking a brick-and-mortar home, its roving collection appeared in corporate spaces and local art galleries. But in 1987, with a generous endowment from Peanuts creator Charles M. Schultz, the museum finally claimed a home of its own in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Gardens. More than 100 exhibitions have passed through it since, focusing on everything from original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles artwork to the 25th anniversary of Neil Gaiman's Sandman.
Comics aside, the museum’s collection of more than 6,000 pieces spans cartoon history with artwork from anime graphic novels, Saturday-morning cartoons, and Sunday funnies from a time when that was the only day Americans were permitted to laugh. To supplement its extensive holdings, the museum hosts year-round programs and events, including cartooning workshops, lectures, and book signings. The organization even holds its annual benefit at one of the nation’s foremost animation studios: Pixar.