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Best Museum 

Cartoon Art Museum

655 Mission (at Third Street), 227-8666, www.cartoonart.org

We were ordered, long ago, to start thinking of cartoons and comics as art, so stop fighting it. Seeing the work framed, labeled, and hanging on the walls of an austere gallery goes a long way toward legitimizing the form, but we also like the Cartoon Art Museum for its fascinating peek at the creative process. The size these artists work in is much larger than the strip or box you find in the newspaper, revealing otherwise hidden details. Frequently visible are initial pencil sketches and pasted-on bits of white paper used to mask flubbed ink. Selections range from early Disney, TV cartoons, and the strip era to magazine single-panels, underground artists, and comic books. Work from the Chris Ware-edited McSweeney's #13 is up until May 22, including eerily nostalgic Ben Katchor color strips and Ware's half-finished pages with underlying blue-pencil drafts. Foto-Graphix Books replaces the typical museum gift shop, a store that's worth a separate trip.

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