Litgraphic: The World of the Graphic Novel

Posted by on Oct 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

I recently visited the Michener Art Museum just outside of Philly. In their traveling gallery they had an exhibition dedicated to comic book illustrations. Titled, Litgraphic: The World of Graphic Novels, the show included works by Dave Sim, Jessica Abel, Peter Kuper and probably a dozen other artists. I have mixed feelings about the exhibition. The branding and title of the show seem intent on legitimizing and sanitizing comix. Everything seemed whitewashed and the puerile and or subversive elements of the medium were curated out of the show. Spandex clad heroes are tangentially mentioned for their film counterparts and little context about the medium and industry was provided for the viewers. No where in the gallery was an actual graphic novel visible. Nor was there any thread pulling all the pieces together in terms of story, tone or artist.┬áDon’t get me wrong, I’m all about more people reading and enjoying comix. But in a stodgy museum setting presented in a shoddy fashion (the wooden frames were Fugly!) comix illustration is kinda boring.