It has been meticulously planned and intelligently curated by Paul Williams and Anita O’Brien, ably assisted by the rest of the very talented gang at the Cartoon Museum, and not only tracks the development of the art form, it provides an overview of the diverse talent within the UK’s graphic novel community and also offers an insight into modern and traditional creative techniques.
It was great to hook up with so many of my gallery-featured peers including Bryan Talbot, Posy Simmonds, Oscar Zarate, Mark Buckingham, Meanwhile… stablemates David Hine and Mark Stafford, Hunt Emerson (who also drew the fold-out exhibition guide in the style of a tube map), Woodrow Phoenix, David Lloyd, Ilya, Steve Bell and John McCrea.
Also nice to bump fists with dedicated liggers Tony Bennett, Jessica Kemp, Arty Miss Jessica Martin, Mary Talbot, Jamie McKelvie, a certain Meanwhile… publisher John Anderson, his manager/wife Cheryl and podcast king Alex Fitch.
The exhibition also features original artwork by Dave Gibbons, Eddie Campbell, the Pleece Brothers, Carol Swain, Darryl Cunningham, Nick Abadzis, Martin Rowson, and tracing the medium all the way back to William Hogarth.
My personal favourites were the spectacular multimedia work of Dave McKean and Mark Buckingham and terrific also to see two Exit pages from my old self-publishing colleague Nabiel Kanan.
I’m proud to say two pieces of mine are also on display, both pages from Strangehaven, and if for that reason and no other, I’d highly recommend visiting if you’re in London before the show ends on 24 July. Entry fee is £7.00 or £5.00 concessions.
And if you’re in the general Holborn area and like me you enjoy looking at various dissected human and animal body parts preserved in formaldehyde filled jars, I’d also suggest dropping into the Hunterian Museum (inside The Royal College of Surgeons) which faces the splendidly tranquil Lincoln’s Inn Fields park, just ten minutes’ walk away from the Cartoon Museum.