Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Event: Comics Unmasked

Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK
On exhibit at the British Library May 2 - August 19, 2014

Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK is an exhibit at the British Library exploring the history of British comics back through history, including contemporary comics, underground comics, 19th century illustrated reports of Jack the Ripper, and medieval manuscripts.  The exhibit will feature over two hundred pieces, from newly discovered Victorian comics to art from the iconic series "V for Vendetta," , making it the single largest exhibition of comics ever shown in the U.K.

Co-curator John Harris Dunning says, “This show is a call to arms – we’re trying to encourage creative disobedience that challenges the status quo. Comics have never been more influential.”
While the world's two most successful comic publishing houses may both be American, it's an undeniable fact that Britain's contributions have played a critical role in the development of the comic as a medium.  Today's cinematic obsession with all things super-powered was largely fueled by the cynicism and rebellion of the so-called British Invasion of comics in the late eighties. That, however, is only British comic's latest contribution to Western culture.

Historically, comics have been a natural home for fringe politics, thanks to the minimal cost of their publication.  Many social movements have been heralded by dissent expressed through their pages  The Comics Unmasked exhibit is a celebration of Britain's role in the art behind these social movements.

"Curators Adrian Edwards, John Harris Dunning and Paul Gravett talk about this major exhibition at the British Library. Runs 2 May - 19 August 2014.

Featuring such iconic names as Neil Gaiman (Sandman), Alan Moore (Watchmen, V for Vendetta), Grant Morrison (Batman: Arkham Asylum) and Posy Simmonds (Tamara Drewe), this exhibition traces the British comics tradition back through classic 1970s titles including 2000AD, Action and Misty to 19th-century illustrated reports of Jack the Ripper and beyond.

Parental guidance is advised for visitors under 16 years of age due to the explicit nature of some of the exhibits on display."

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