Monday, 30 April 2012

Comic Utopia

 A proposal for an exhibition of narrative  artists in the

National Art Library at the V&A

The exhibition ranges from the twenties to the fifties representing what impacted strongly on the American psyche; mass appeal stories in words and pictures from the culture maturing in tandem with Hollywood.
Until television entered the screen comics ‘nestled’ in almost every household. Beginning at the end of the 19th century, the early immigrants came ashore and learnt English from the newspaper comic-strips. Subsequently, when GI Joe went to war, there was a comic book in his pocket.
Visual depiction falls into two categories within the frame: The moving frame adheres more to cinema whereas the static frame bears the influence of unmoving sculpture and portraiture. Sometimes the art was burdened by excess words crushing the image. Other times the frame was ill served by inadequate text. In the land of perfection the word is equally in balance with the image.
The displayed 20th century classics reflect contemporary mores. The source material the comics’ collections, are lodged in the home for scholars; the NAL – available for research in surroundings appropriate for study.
Hollywood movies continue to be driven by frames; with comics it’s the same.
Both have the proscenium arch implanted in the mind.

Roy Crane; c.1924 Wash Tubbs and c.1933 Captain Easy.
Cartoon wit and romantic splendour wrapped in the Rubenesque embraces of high adventure. This is the moving frame at high speed.

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