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Superhuman Collector

With just a dime in hand, a young Steven Rothman started a collection that has since grown to more than 20,000 comic books, 5,000 graphic novels and other related titles. The Havertown-born Rothman recently donated his treasure—or a chunk of it, at least—to the University of Pennsylvania Libraries. It’s featured thru March 22 in the exhibit Life in Boxes: Comic Art and Artifacts. Among the selection: Peanuts, Pogo, and underground comics Air Pirates Funnies and R. Crumb’s Funny Aminals. The exhibit traces the evolution of cartoons, comics, graphic novels and animation, spotlighting Superman, famous ducks Donald and Dirty, original comic-strip illustrations, and more. At 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 4 and 5, computer animator and video artist James Duesing hosts talks on animation and its history. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday; by reservation Saturday and Sunday. Kamin Gallery (first floor), Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, 3420 Walnut St., Philadelphia. Visit library.upenn.edu/exhibits, call (215) 898-7088, or e-mail jpollack@upenn.edu. —Shannon Hallamyer
 
 

Paleopleasure

Dinosaur admirers can’t get any closer to the objects of their affection than at the Academy of Natural SciencesPaleopalooza festival Feb. 14-16. Paleontology has existed for nearly 200 years, and the academy is celebrating this little-known fact by letting you handle its notorious fossil collection—from leg bones to dino vertebrae. Highlights also include guest speakers, interactive presentations, crafts activities, and academy scientists poised for questions. And while you’re there, explore Hadrosaurus Foulkii: The Dinosaur That Changed the World, an exhibit on the world’s first mounted dinosaur skeleton—a 9-foot-tall plant-eater uncovered 150 years ago in Haddonfield, N.J. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $8-$10; kids under 3 free. 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia. Call (215) 299-1043 or visit ansp.org. —S.H.
 
 

Weird … and Wonderful

An imaginative and chilling new play by Russell Davis, The Day of the Picnic premieres at People’s Light and Theatre Company thru Feb. 15. It seems like anything is possible as nursing home resident Betsy Fullbright and her friend struggle to explain some strange happenings—a TV locked on a program showing people burning flags, a lurking leopard, a grazing goat, a staff that’s simply vanished, and a disembodied voice calling out, “Yoo-hoo!” While most residents are picnicking, an African man who recently checked into the home silently watches Betsy from his wheelchair. How is everything connected, if at all? A discussion follows each Thursday performance for those looking for answers. $26-$48. Steinbright Stage, 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern. Call (610) 644-3500 or visit peopleslight.org. —Kimberly Marini
 
For more upcoming events, see our Calendar.
 

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