The world of comics and the sphere of the gallery may sometimes seem like parallel universes, with different languages, customs, and worldviews. However, every avid reader of comics knows that place and time are infinitely porous. Harvey Pekar, author of the comics series American Splendor, was fond of saying, “Comics are words and pictures. You can do anything with words and pictures.”[i] In the myriad ways that comics can be used to tell stories and represent creators’ visions of worlds both near and far, fantastic and mundane, they model how we understand our own world in all of its diversity, waywardness, force, and beauty. While the everyday seems increasingly saturated with information, reading comics recovers the individual pleasure of making meaning between picture and text, panels and gutters, between what is told and what is understood.
Between the Panels: The Comics Art of David Collier, David Finch, Jeff Lemire and Kagan McLeod presents work by four noted Canadian artists, all of whom were born or have lived in Windsor and Essex County. Each is prominent in the diverse, international field of contemporary comics. Their work demonstrates collectively the range, ingenuity, flexibility, and public reach of the 21st century comics form. While all four artists have carved out substantial careers in comics, their styles, experiences, venues for publication, and artistic processes differ widely from each other and serve as examples of the various kinds of art and graphic storytelling strategies employed in the comics medium. This exhibition of four lead artists from southwestern Ontario, brings together a selection of 68 compelling sketches, drawings and works on paper, many bearing marks or features concealed when the works are published for mass audiences. Between the Panels offer insights into the artists’ processes as well as the stages by which their works journey into print and into our hands.
[i] Witek, Joseph. Comic Books as History: The Narrative Art of Jack Jackson, Art Spiegelman, and Harvey Pekar. Oxford, MS: University of Mississippi Press, 1989, 121.
This exhibition is co-curated by Dr. Dale Jacobs, Associate Professor, English Language, Literature, and Creative Writing and Dr. C. Suzanne Matheson, Associate Professor, English Language, Literature, and Creative Writing, University of Windsor, with the assistance of their students from Writing about the Arts.
A Class Resource booklet will accompany this exhibition.
See a short promo by The Comic Book Syndicate with curator Dale Jacobs: https://www.facebook.com/comicbooksyndicate/videos/928242617218634/