Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK reckons to be the UK’s largest ever exhibition of mainstream and underground comics and graphic novels. It starts at the British Library on the 2 May. The exhibition explores the world of graphic novels from the earliest pioneers to the current day.
On display, artworks from iconic names such as Neil Gaiman (Sandman), Alan Moore (Watchmen, V for Vendetta), Grant Morrison (Batman: Arkham Asylum) and Posy Simmonds (Tamara Drewe). The big buzz is all around the two artworks realised by Jamie Hewlett for the exhibition. Hewlett, who is Gorillaz co-creator and the mind behind Tank Girl comic’s design, will display original art and video from these two graphic projects.
The exhibition highlights the power of comics and graphic novels to tackle ‘heavy’ themes like politics, gender, violence, sexuality and altered states. Hence the exhibition’s subtitle ‘Art and Anarchy in the UK’. Comics and graphic novels in this country have always been distinctive and forward-looking, setting trends all over the world and changing stereotypes in the comics world.
Discover a type of art that mixes social commentary with drawing, from when it was all hand-drawn through to the most recent creative digital techniques. Note, though, that the British Library has set a parental guidance warning for under 16s, due to the explicit nature of some of the exhibits.