Expanding comics exhibitions
For those who, like me, were disappointed that the Masters of American Comics art exhibition was fairly literal, in that all 15 of "the artists who shaped the development of the American comic strip and comic book during the past century" just happened to be white and male despite vast historical contributions to the artform by women and non-whites, you’re not alone, and Eye Trauma Comix is doing something about that.
Eye Trauma’s purpose is to "curate exhibitions which showcase in the gallery setting areas of sequential art that might otherwise be overlooked or underappreciated." To that end, they’ve planned a two showings for this year and next. From April 4 through 25, their exhibition Other Heroes: African American Comic Book Creators and Characters will showcase at Mississippi’s Jackson State University, featuring just about every major black American comics artist of note.
And in late 2008, they’ll be presenting Out of Sequence: Underrepresented Voices in American Comics at the Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. That exhibition plans to focus "on work by women and minority artists, experimental and small press comic creators, webcomics creators, and the contributions of comic book writers, inkers, colorists, and letterers," and will run from October 24, 2008 through the end of the year.
It’s great to see organizations step up to fill the gaping holes left by previous retrospective exhibitions, and even more hopeful to see this happening at the nation’s colleges, where the future of the comics industry is being cultivated.