From literary adaptations, modern retellings of the classics, and autobiography, to fantasy, political biographies, histories and more, the Great British Graphic novel covers every conceivable genre of storytelling, and the very best of each will be showcased in the heart of Bloomsbury.
Covering almost 300 years, the 100 + original artworks on display will depict the evolution of the graphic novel in the UK, from William Hogarth’s moralistic 6 scene tale A Harlot’s Progress(1732) through to Mary M. Talbot and Bryan Talbot’s brand new Louise Michel title, The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia; the latest story in the bestselling series about the French anarchist will be published in May this year.
Britain has been at the vanguard of this fascinating and increasingly popular art form since the very earliest precursors, Hogarth and George Cruikshank in the 1700s, through to H M Bateman and Ronald Searle in the 20th Century. Over the past 30 years, through translations, hugely popular film adaptations, awards, merchandising and wider cultural referencing, we have reached an international audience. Today we are recognised as being at the very forefront of the field, producing bestsellers such as The Adventures of Luther Arkwright, Gemma Bovery, Tamara Drewe, Sandman, V for Vendetta, Tank Girl and Watchmen – examples of which will all be on show.
The exhibition – which is being funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) with additional funding from the University of Exeter – will also include a number of artworks recently acquired by the Cartoon Museum as part of its Heritage Lottery Funded project Comic Creators which enables the museum to purchase original British comic artwork for the collection.
The exhibition will run from 20 April – 24 July. For the full low-down, visit www.cartoonmuseum.org