Jamie Hewlett's Art For The British Library's Comics Unmasked, On Display

We've been talking about the upcoming Comics Unmasked exhibition at the British Library for some time. Running from 2nd May to 19th August and curated by Man At The Crossroads, Paul Gravett and John Harris Dunning, they've just launched their poster art for the exhibition, by Tank Girl and Gorillaz' Jamie Hewlett.

And because this is comics, it is available in two panels. Clicky for biggy.

BL_Comics_POSTER_image_finalBL_Comics_superheros 72dpi

The Library says,

Comics Unmasked traces the history of the British comic book and explores how comics and graphic novels have uncompromisingly addressed such subjects as violence, sexuality and drugs, breaking social boundaries with the innovative form that marries literature and visual art.

This exciting new commission shows a moody, caped female, equipped with hipflask and knuckle duster, in an alley way after vanquishing a generic super hero, shown dazed on the floor (with St Pancras station just visible in the background). The new artwork, which will appear on the exhibition poster around the country and as a six metre high graphic installation in the Library, aptly represents the key ideas around sedition that are at the heart of the forthcoming show. A second image (pictured) has also been produced, creating a digital two-panel comic to celebrate the exhibition.

Comics Unmasked particularly highlights the trend set internationally by British comic creators, whereby comics are used to subvert and challenge stereotypes. The exhibition features original artwork and video montage of Jamie Hewlett's most celebrated creations, 'Tank Girl' and 'Gorillaz', alongside other exciting examples of original British comic art.

Here's how it looks in situ.

DSC01801 (credit Tony Antoniou)

The exhibition is recommended for 16s and over because of some of the more explicit works on display, and the first dates of events around the exhibition are up. No schedule yet for the Comiket comics mart being planned for the Library, much to the chagrin of some folk trying to plan their appearances, but I understand we'll know more soon. Tickets can be booked here – Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK. Standard Adult £9.50, Gift Aid £10.50, Senior 60 plus £7.50, Under 18s free, other concessions available.

Here are a few of the exhibits…

Misty – well known 1978 dark female comic book of supernatural and horror stories. Photography (c) British Library BoardRouge et Noir … from Miss Pettifer's Diary, London Illustrated News. Photography (c) British Library Board

Comic Almanack for 1849, 1849 (c) British Library BoardThe Trials of Nasty Tales, 1973, cover art (c) Dave Gibbons


Dotter of her Father's Eyes, 2012, by Mary Talbot, Bryan Talbot (c) Mary and Bryan TalbotCeasefire Fanny no.1, 1991, by Angela Martin (c) Angela Martin. Published by Fanny and Knockabout Comics

Heroine, 1978 (c) Suzi VartyIllustrated London News (Christmas 1884), Dolly's Revenge (c) British Library Board

Knockabout Comics, 1984, no.4 'Obscene' issue (c) Hunt Emerson. Published by Knockabout ComicsAdventures of Luther Arkwright Book 1, Bryan Talbot, 1982 (c) Bryan Talbot

Judge Dredd, the Complete America, 2003, by John Wagner and Colin MacNeil (c) With the kind permission of RebellionTorrid Erotic Art, 1979, (c) Erich von Götha - Robin Ray

And here are a few of the events coming up.

Bryan and Mary Talbot

Bryan and Mary Talbot

Fri 2 May 2014, 18.30-20.30

Price: £8, (£6 Over 60s) and £5


Jamie Hewlett's Art For The British Library's Comics Unmasked, On Display

European Literature Night: The Graphic Novelists

Wed 14 May 2014, 18.30-20.30

Price: £10, (£8 Over 60s) and £7

Woodrow Phoenix The First Graphic Novel Award

Fri 23 May 2014, 18.30-20.00

Price: £5, (£4 Over 60s) and £3


Jamie Hewlett's Art For The British Library's Comics Unmasked, On Display

Ellen Stein The National Lampoon and US Satire in the 70s

Fri 30 May 2014, 18.30-20.30

Price: £5, (£4 Over 60s) and £3


Jamie Hewlett's Art For The British Library's Comics Unmasked, On Display

Tank Girl. Jamie Hewlett and Alan Martin

Tank Girl and the Aftermath: Jamie Hewlett and Alan Martin

Fri 27 Jun 2014, 18.30-20.00

Price: £8, (£6 Over 60s) and £5

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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