Showing posts with label Arnold Blumberg. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arnold Blumberg. Show all posts

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Arnold Blumberg, Geppi's Entertainment Museum's first curator, remembers the museum

by Mike Rhode

Geppi's Entertainment Museum (GEM) in Baltimore closed for good earlier today. It was one of my favorite museums with an overwhelming amount of fantastic material on comics and cartoons and I'm sorry to see it go. The only positive thing is that Steve Geppi is donating a lot of the Museum (3,300 items I'm told) to the Library of Congress in the coming weeks.

I've reached out to a few people to get their thoughts on the Museum. Dr. Arnold Blumberg was the first curator of the museum, and was very generous with his time over the years. As he has been this weekend, when he answered a few questions about the museum and his role in it.

I was proud to be Curator and part of the team that developed a one-of-a-kind display of 230 years of pop culture history, shedding light on the many ways we defined ourselves through the decades as a nation and as people. I think it's wonderful that so many media artifacts will now be available for public view. The collection will surely provide opportunities for future historians to examine the ways entertainment shaped and reflected the American experience

When were you curator?

I was Curator beginning in the summer of 2005, hand-picked by John Snyder, and worked on building the museum with the rest of the team for that next year until our opening on Sept. 2006. John was President of Geppi's Entertainment Museum when we started, and had already been running Diamond International Galleries before that and also Gemstone Publishing, which is where I was working as Editor when he tapped me to move over to the museum. I left in October 2010.

What did the work entail?

I was charged with being the intellectual custodian of the history behind all those amazing artifacts, coordinating educational and other programming in conjunction with other staff members, conducting tours and doing community and media outreach - lots of morning TV interviews! - writing most of the material on the walls and in various publications associated with the museum, and helping to care for and manage the collection alongside Registrar Andrew Hershberger. There were lots of other things in an average day, but that's the basic overview.

What was your favorite item or exhibit?

My favorite room was the museum within a museum - the comic book room, showcasing the history of that medium from periodicals and artwork stretching back centuries to the formal comics timeline of the 1930s to the present. One of my personal favorites was the Oscar Goldman action figure from the Six Million Dollar Man Kenner toy line in the 1970s room, mainly because it was one of the few things from that line that I never got myself.

Did you expect an outcome like this? It's a pretty munificent gift.

It's been years since I've been involved in the museum or in contact with anyone associated with it, so I have no particular insight into the reasons behind the museum's closure and the donation of the collection, but it's nice to know that all those items that give people so much joy and allow them to travel back into their own pasts will now be made available to view for free and at a facility that will respect their historical importance and preserve them for future generations.

After leaving the Museum, you put together your own publishing house?

Yup, since 2012 we've put out a number of titles from ATB Publishing, and we just put out our first book on comics and superheroes, Storytelling Engines, this past May!

We'll be checking in with Arnold in the coming weeks to find out more about how he went from being a museum curator, to a college professor, to a book author and publisher...

Sunday, January 27, 2013

OT: Dr. Who book published by local comics scholar

When I saw former Geppi's Entertainment Museum curator Arnold Blumberg last night, he told me that in addition to teaching courses on comics and popular culture at the University of Maryland, he's formed his own publishing house. Here's a press release on his company's first book.

RELEASE: 8/17/12

ATB Publishing is proud to announce its first publication:


160 New Perspectives on

160 Classic Doctor Who Stories by 160 Writers

edited by Robert Smith?

There are many books and websites that review all these Doctor Who stories – tales that fans know very well – but editor Robert Smith? (Who is the Doctor; Time, Unincorporated 2-3; Braaaiiinnnsss: From Academics to Zombies) set out to create an unprecedented archive of opinion from throughout the professional and fan communities, just in time for the 50th anniversary of the greatest television show in history! The results are inventive, provocative, and always surprising. Smith? himself says:

"It's the biggest, wildest idea I ever had: as many reviews are there are classic series stories. That alone was a huge undertaking. But what really makes this shine is that I put in an additional requirement: say something different. In short, these aren't your father's reviews. What I wanted for OUTSIDE IN was takes on the classic series that make you go, 'Wow, I never thought of that.' Fortunately, that struck a chord with everyone and I mostly got to sit back and watch everybody bring their A-game to the table.

Some reviews are thoughtful, some are funny, and some are utterly gonzo. I've had mock-angry letters to the BBC, transcripts of council meetings, even a recipe. There are flow charts, maps, TV scripts, timelines, Shakespearean plays... and, of course, intensely passionate and vocal opinions about the entirety of Doctor Who. You may not agree with everything that's said in this book – indeed, I hope you don't! – but the end result is something intensely personal that every Doctor Who fan will find resonates with them in some way.

The watchword of the project is diversity. That's one of the great strengths of fandom: put ten fans in a room and you'll wind up with eleven opinions. And isn't that the great thing about Doctor Who? It's like the weather: endlessly discussable and if you don't like what's happening right now, there'll be something else along shortly. OUTSIDE IN captures that essence, both in terms of the show itself and also its many-splendoured fandom."

OUTSIDE IN debuts on November 23, 2012 with a launch at Chicago TARDIS 2012 ( 5% of the full retail price of all sales of the book will be donated to Avert, a UK-based HIV/AIDS charity (

Cover Price: $24.95 (p/b)
Release Date: November 23, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-9882210-0-0
432 pages, 6" x 9"
Featuring contributions from:
ANDREW CARTMEL (DOCTOR WHO script editor, 1987-1989)
DAVID J. HOWE (DOCTOR WHO historian,  Telos Publishing co-founder)
DEBORAH STANISH (co-editor, Chicks Unravel Time)
GRAEME BURK (co-author, Who is the Doctor)
KIM NEWMAN (author, Anno Dracula series and DOCTOR WHO novella Time and Relative)
L.M. MYLES (co-editor, Chicks Unravel Time)
SHAUN LYON (Program Director, Gallifrey One convention)
TAMMY GARRISON (contributor, Chicks Dig Time Lords)
& 150 more!

ATB Publishing
P.O. Box 1863
Cockeysville, MD 21030

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Nov 19: Free educator tour at Geppi's Entertainment Museum

Arnold Blumberg's column has the information including, "We’re inviting teachers and educators to join us at Geppi’s Entertainment Museum on Wednesday, November 19, 2008, for an evening of pop culture, refreshments, and an exclusive introduction to our Educational Tour Program. Join us here at GEM from 4:00 to 6:30 PM and meet me as well as our Educational and Special Programming Associate, Bailey Ball, and Director of Sales and Marketing, Julie Meddows. We’ll be taking everyone on a private tour of the museum’s collection and providing educator’s kits containing information on our education program, related teacher resources, and more."

I love this Museum and recommend this if you qualify to go.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

GEM curator continues to discuss comics course

Arnold Blumberg, the curator at Geppi's Entertainment Museum, has another column online talking about designing his University of Maryland comics course. I mentioned the first and linked to it in this post.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Fiction House artwork on display at Geppi's museum

In his Scoop newsletter column, Curator Arnold Blumberg says they've put on display original art from "an installment in an ongoing strip, “Simba, King of the Beasts,” published by Fiction House in Jungle Comics... with art by William Allison."

Saturday, June 07, 2008

New exhibit at Geppi's Entertainment Museum is ... new?

Arnold Blumberg in Diamond's Scoop newsletter for June 6th wrote,

Beginning Saturday, June 14, 2008, we’re stepping “Out of the Box” and allowing visitors both young and old to get hands-on with pop culture by giving everyone an up close look at the characters that are popular right now with toys that you can actually touch and play with. It’s the future of pop culture today!

While it may sound strange to shift from a retrospective to something so up-to-date, it’s worth remembering the bigger picture. The mission of our museum demands that we not only take a look at what toys and characters shaped American pop culture and entertainment in the past, but which ones are defining our present and future. After all, those toys you see in the stores today and all those TV shows and movies you’re watching now are going to be the subject of museum exhibitions themselves before we know it, so why not get a head start on the process? It won’t be as easy to play with them when they’re locked behind glass!

Our “Out of the Box” exhibition will run until December 2008, and in addition to the toys and the opportunity to build and play right here at the museum, we’ll also be featuring giveaways, face painting, costumed characters, and much more. You can find out more by calling us at (410) 625-7060, e-mailing us at, or visiting the museum website at