An exhibit of original comic book art in a magical realist vein
Comicology features work by artists who represent an emerging wave of underground comics creators whose fictions are an alchemy of reality and fantasy. Populated with talking animals, impossible deformities, and cosmological surprises, their stories are a shocking reminder of the strangeness behind comic books' accepted conventions. Drawing in part from superhero serials, Sunday morning cartoons, horror comics, and Newspaper strips-- as well as sources as diverse as Victorian nursery rhymes and Christian iconography-- this is a magical realism that defies genre or convention.
At once disturbing and surreal, funny and mundane, wildly metaphysical and obsessively detailed, these stories refuse to be explained away. They are among the most ambitious and visually inventive-- not to mention creepy and hilarious-- achievements in comics today.
The work of the artists of Comicology reveals an impressive range of styles and themes. Kim Deitch, the longest established creator in the exhibit, began his career in the underground comix movement of the late 60s, but has continued to produce groundbreaking work ever since. Charles Burns first achieved prominence in the pages of Art Spiegelman's alternative comics magazine RAW in the 80s. Equally inspired by 60s artists and the punk aesthetic, Burns was part of a new wave of alternative comic artists that reinvigorated the medium. All inheritors of this liberated mood, Dame Darcy, Marc Bell, Anders Nilsen, and Ron Regé, Jr. began their comics careers over the course of the 90s, each defining their own highly individualistic style while refusing to settle for conventional means of expression.