18 March 2014
Comics Unmasked vs Capt. America
Comics Unmasked exhibition artwork by Jamie Hewlett (photo by Tony Antoniou CC BY NC)
Comics Unmasked: art and anarchy in the UK opens at the British Library on 2 May: the Entrance Hall is already dominated by a giant poster by Jamie 'Gorillaz' Hewlett, featuring an as-yet-unnamed comic book character (above). She is introduced thusly: 'a sultry, caped female, equipped with hipflask and knuckle duster, in an alley way after vanquishing a generic super hero, shown dazed on the floor'. Should we fear for Capt. America? Probably not. Despite the subtitle we expect a few US publications to appear in the exhibition: we'll report back and see if we can beat the Robert Crumb item that we snuck into our Americas Treasures gallery exhibition a few years ago.
As well as the physical collection of comics, students of the format (and its various genres) can make use of some online resources, which can be accessed in the reading room. The first, shown above, are various collections of comics and graphic novels included in the Biblioboard collection.
We have also recently added to the Underground and Independent Comics collection, 'alongside interviews, criticism, and journal articles that document the continual growth and evolution of this artform'. It includes a run of The Comics Journal.
Biblioboard Comics & Graphic Novels collection
Elsewhere in the collection (and this is sparked by a discussion of the Hawkeye Initiative) we hold Marleen S. Barr, Future females, the next generation: new voices and velocities in feminist science fiction criticism (2000), which includes the chapter, Elyce Rae Helford, 'Postfeminism and the Female Action-Adventure Hero: Positioning Tank Girl'.