Back when she was about six years old, Kim’s father bought her some Wonder Woman and Captain America comics as a lure to get her interested in figure drawing. She has loved comics ever since, and has a jam-packed storage unit to prove it. She is a writer, art historian, independent curator, and fine artist based in the San Francisco Bay area, living in a seaside house that many of her friends laughingly refer to as a “library with action figures.” Since earning an MA in art history from San Francisco State University, her writing has focused primarily on contemporary works on paper, the intersection of the arts & popular culture, art and the law, and graphics used by the labor movement, such as union labels. She is the author of Dual Views: Labor Landmarks of San Francisco, On Reflection: the Art of Margaret Harrison, & the upcoming From Panels to Frames: Comic Art in Museums (University Press of Mississippi), as well as many contributions to academic books, journals, magazines, and other publications. Prior to this, Kim was the creative director for several tech companies, production coordinator for a large manufacturer, & a scenic artist for film, TV & theatre.
Header image: Kim Munson. The Jaguar Twins in the Underworld, 2006. 20" x 24" Chalk pastel on sanded paper.
The Neurotic Ravens
Neurotic Raven is named after the mated pairs of ravens who have visited our seaside balcony every morning for breakfast and a chat. They would peer in our door, watching us and discussing the actions of "those odd humans" with clicks, knocks and squawks, as curious about us as we were about them. Intelligent & obsessed with red-tailed hawks, peanuts & shiny things, I imagine them being as neurotic as any writer/artist can be.
Kim has presented on her papers & research at the San Jose Museum of Art; San Diego Comic Con; WonderCon; the AFL-CIO national convention; Pop Culture Association; SouthWest PCA; San Diego Comics Fest; Laborfest; Labor Archives & Research Center; San Francisco State University, and others.
Articles about Kim
“Sex! Nudity! Comix! iPhone App... Censored!” Michael Dooley. Print (on-line) 8/3/11 | The Beat “Apple censors underground comics classics” Heidi McDonald 8/9/11. | “An Uncensored Look at Banned Comics” Michael Dooley Print Magazine. Vol 68, #1 (February 2014) | “Beyond the Graphic Novel: Gender-Bending Superhero Feminism” Michael Dooley Print (on-line) 1/8/2016 | Book review: Margaret Harrison. John A Lent in the International Journal of Comic Art, Spring 2016 | “The Scholars Corner: Kim Munson” Art Cloos. Scoop/PreviewsWorld (on-line) 3/18/16.
Kim's "Past Lives"
Kim has had many experiences that inform her art and writing. She grew up in Manistee, Michigan, a small, predominately blue collar town on Lake Michigan surrounded by sand dunes & national forest. Although it occupied a beautiful natural setting, in the 1960's Manistee was also a center of industry for the region. Along with the steel mills, salt manufacturing plants, garment factories, and pulp paper processors, the town also had a very active civic theatre scene, and by the time Kim moved to Los Angeles in 1979 she'd done close to 50 plays & musicals as a scenic artist, designer & stage manager. She has managed to work in the arts & design in one way or another ever since [click the images below to see a slideshow with captions]. She has lived in the San Francisco bay area since 1986.