Published on May 15th 2014
Comics unmasked exhibition at the British Library
I saw the Comics Unmasked exhibition being advertised outside when I walked past the British Library while walking to Euston station one evening and I remember making a mental note to go see it at the time.
And what a good decision it was! I’m a big fan of popular culture getting the recognition it deserves, in fact that was why I chose to wrote my history of art dissertation on the Deathnote opening song, I wanted to believe I was helping to nudge anime into the traditional art lime light.
So as you can probably see where I’m going with this, I was likely to go and check out the exhibition. Despite the tickets costing just under £10, it was totally worth it to see an exhibition that:
A. Recommends comics based on your interests
B. Held at a great venue- if you look up you’ll see some of the funky permanent structure, there was also a big comic installed for the exhibition that flickered with comic scenes which reminded me of the opening to X Men 3.
C. Has great number of mannequins with V masks on
The exhibition is split by major political themes tackled by comics, there were cases featuring comics dealing with gay rights, erotica and violence with little plaques summarising the historical context of the comics.
It’s a good way to see which comics you want to was next- for me Preacher is one I’m eager to read. In fact you could even sit and read comics and graphic novels then and there on one of the many tablets dotted around the exhibition.
Which many people did. Snaking round, you come to a desk where you can try your hand at comic drawing. I got ‘pen fright’ and couldn’t think of anything to draw and show you… Strong apologies.
And then you come to what seems like my friend Matt’s room, shelves displaying character models and TVs showing clips from comic adaptions like Kick Ass ruining in the background. Finally you end up in a darkened room with glass cabinets but the exhibition was closing so we had to skim..
All in all great fun and a must see if you want an intro to the world of political comics.
Give yourself about an hour and half to get round. There are many pieces to see and for to the nature of the items exhibited, everyone stands there and reads the comic extracts displayed!
Dwell time means it can take a while before a space opens up so you can squeeze in and see the stuff in the display. Granted I did go on a Saturday, and there were lots of comic fans as well as people new to comics.
If you want to take your time, go down during one of the weekday evenings. Last entrance is 3.30pm (Sat, Sun) 4.30pm (Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri) 6.30pm (Tues). Click here to buy tickets.