Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Canada's "Conceptual Comics" & "Comic Craze"

The Canadian city Banff, in Alberta, sounds like a must-see destination for comics connoisseurs this summer - specifically, the exhibits and programming at the Banff Center's Walter Phillips Gallery.

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!

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Blogger Bobby Kuechenmeister said...

Gene, Sorry, but the rhetoric and composition part of me needs to call you out. Look at your heading again...single quotes around Conceptual Comics, right, since the whole phrase is "Canada's 'Conceptual Comics' & Comic Craze"? I also see one too many closed double quotation marks at the end.

4/26/2006 9:17 AM  
Blogger Gene Kannenberg, Jr. said...

[Non-typo-geeks, feel free to skip.] Not exactly, Bobby. While I did drop (and since add) an open double-quote before "Comic Craze" (another title), it's Blogger (not I) that adds the unnecessary quotation marks around the entire titles of posts - and then only on "comments" pages. And unless I'm blind (entirely possible), I have in fact used quotation marks correctly in the "CCS" paragraph.

At least I knew how to spell "conoissue--" ah, "connoseu--" er, "connoisseurs."

4/26/2006 9:29 AM  
Blogger Bobby Kuechenmeister said...

I it is like trusting Microsoft Word's grammar checker. Sometimes it is wrong, but thinks it is right.

4/26/2006 6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

where is the list of works for this show ?
who is in it ?
do the artists know their books are in a prestigious Canadian gallery ?
if not, why not ?

5/28/2006 8:10 PM  
Blogger Gene Kannenberg, Jr. said...

The link I supplied in my post leads you to all that I know about the show.

I would certainly expect that the artists know their work is on display; that's standard procedure, I believe. What makes you think they would not be aware of this?

In any event, it still looks like a great show, and I'm disappointed that I can't make a trip to see it. If anyone does, I'd love to learn if there's a catalog or any other publication associated with the exhibits.

5/28/2006 11:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wasn't told i was in the show. many if not most have not been told. i asked around (banff admin, staff, residents, etc..) and a list of exhibitors only exists in the binder in the gallery. they are said to be working on one but it has yet to emerge.

a catalogue of symposium highlights and essays is due next year i believe ... perhaps with comic jam excerpts. still, the artists themselves have to find out for themselves if they are in show. standard procedure seems to have been skipped.
how do i know ? i found out for myself that i was in the show. so did some colleagues. as it stands that's the only way to know if you are in the show. go to the gallery. slog through the show and/or binder and find out.
400 plus books (many not comics - zines, storybooks, illustrated fiction)
a huge foam skull and trees in lieu of credit and or $.
highly unprofessional .

6/12/2006 8:04 PM  
Blogger Gene Kannenberg, Jr. said...


"Highly unprofessional" indeed. I'm genuinely sorry to hear this. To not even have a list of presenters available publicly yet seems unthinkable; did they put the exhibit together with their eyes closed?

Being located in Houston, TX at present, I've had no opportunity to visit the exhibit myself; I heard about it, and it sounded like it would be worth a visit. As the cartoon goes, on-line appearances can be deceiving.

Anonymous, there's really nothing I can do about this frankly crappy state of affairs, but if you'd like to talk about it more, please feel free to contact me privately. And I'm sorry that your work - and that of others - was taken advantage of in this fashion.

6/12/2006 8:39 PM  
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