Canada's "Conceptual Comics" & "Comic Craze"
First up: Conceptual Comics (April 27 - August 3), "a survey of over 50 books drawn from the inventory of Printed Matter, Inc., the artists' bookstore located in New York City." Consisting of artist's books that employ comics conventions, this one should be of interest to anyone interested in the formal aspects of comic art, particularly OuBaPo fans (en français ), as well as to book arts aficionados. Curator's tour Thursday, May 4, 7:00 p.m.
The other exhibit, "Comic Craze" (May 4 - September 3) focuses on French- and English-language comics from across Canada. Cartoonists include, among others, Marc Bell, Rupert Bottenberg, Shary Boyle, Chester Brown, Geneviève Castrée, David Collier, Rebecca Dart, Jeff Lemire, Billy Mavreas, Marc Ngui, Joe Ollman, Michel Rabagliati, Seth, Rick Trembles, and Maurice Vellekoop. This one appears to be pretty large, and conducive to reading, not just looking at, some great work:
For this exhibition, the Gallery is being transformed into a reading space. A black and white woodland forest, filled with luminous snails and hundreds of comic books, 'zines, and mini-comics accessible for on-site reading, is the stage for a unique experience in appreciating the visual and literary pleasure of reading comics.Curator's Tour May 8, 6:00 p.m.; Opening Reception May 20, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.; Exhibition Tour July 7, 7:30 p.m.
In conjunction with this exhibit, the Banff Centre will host the Comic Craze Symposium from May 4 - May 6. The list of featured speakers includes artists, scholars, curators, publishers, and fans, so it promises to offer wide-ranging appeal. One particularly interesting feature, given the recents (and welcome!) spate of comics gallery exhibits, is a session on "Curating Comics," designed to "provide an opportunity to discuss and debate the strategies that are currently used to represent this field of visual culture."
Unless someone has some airfare to spare, we'd appreciate any and all visitor's reports on these events.
Above: "Between Gentlemen" (excerpt), Rupert Bottenberg, 2003. Extra-special mega-thanks to The Queen of Everything for letting me know about these shows!