Comic drawings on display at the Huntington Museum of Art

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July 30—HUNTINGTON — Original comics, comics and drawings by some of the country’s most acclaimed comic artists will be featured in “Pow! Comic Drawings from the Permanent Collection” at the Huntington Museum of Art.

Artists featured in the exhibition include Bob Kane, Ernie Chan and Neil Adams. The objects are from the museum’s Michael Reynolds American Popular Culture Collection.

“Comic book culture is decidedly dominant,” said John Farley, HMA’s senior curator/exhibition designer. “It’s no longer a niche hobby. Original illustrations for newspaper strips and comic strips are coveted by collectors and exhibited by major museums. Once primarily an American art form, comic strips and the pantheon of characters spawned within their pages now connect legions of dedicated fans around the world through a common language.Comic book sales have been steadily rising for decades and consumer demand continues to reach stunning highs, a trend spurred by the popularity of graphic novels and digital downloads.

Farley said comics are more than entertainment.

“The comic strip represents a natural evolution from the political cartoons and satirical cartoons that have been printed in European and American newspapers and periodicals since the early 1800s,” he said. “Cleverly designed interactions between text and image enabled effective communication with a wide audience, regardless of age or literacy level, making this format ideal for social criticism, propaganda and entertainment. .”

The first comic book containing original cartoons was released in 1935. However, the golden age of comic books began in 1938 with Action Comics, no. 1, when an alien refugee baby with superhuman potential crash-landed in the idyllic American Midwest. The boy’s adoptive parents named him Clark Kent, but mankind got to know this superhero archetype through his alter-ego: Superman.

By the mid-20th century, in addition to a growing number of mainstream comic book creators, various independent artists, writers, and publishers were producing self-expressive comics that commented on culture and politics from new perspectives. Barriers continue to turn into frontiers for creativity as artists and writers who once had a limited voice in the traditional comics industry now enjoy wider audiences and wider platforms to tell their stories. .

The exhibit, which opens today, will run until October 25.

For more information, visit hmoa.org or call (304) 529-2701.


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