British Library staging exhibition of comics in ‘overdue’ celebration of Bulletproof Blues

Great news! In honor of the Kickstarter for the second edition of Bulletproof Blues (starting February 1, 2014), the British Library will be staging an exhibition of comics!

Boys in the late 1970s probably assumed the girls comic Misty was all boring romance, puppies and ponies. How wrong they were. They were full of “incredibly dark, weird, psychologically harrowing” stories with “trippy and odd” artwork, said John Harris Dunning.

Page from Misty, the 1970s comic book of supernatural and horror stories. Photograph: British Library Board

Page from Misty, the 1970s comic book of supernatural and horror stories. Photograph: British Library Board

Dunning is co-curator, with Paul Gravett, of what will be the UK’s biggest exhibition of British comics, taking in everything from newly discovered Victorian comics to modern classics such as V for Vendetta.

The summer show, entitled Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK, is being staged by the British Library which holds the complete output of the British comics industry but said it had not in the past done the genre justice.

Roly Keating, the library’s chief executive, said: “It is fair to say, if we are being honest, that we haven’t devoted to that sector of our collection the scholarly and curatorial effort we have devoted to some of the higher culture parts of our collection. This year we are addressing that with a vengeance.”

The exhibition will have sedition and rebellion at its heart, said Dunning. It will also aim to explode a few myths, not least that the publications are all about superheroes and that reading them is the pastime of boys, he added.

“When we first started to talk to people about this comic book show some people said ‘it’s only for boys’. It’s garbage,” said Dunning. “People were saying girls don’t like blood and psychologically upsetting things and the girls were saying, ‘we love it’.”

The show will explore the full gamut, from mainstream to underground.

(from “British Library staging exhibition of comics in ‘overdue’ celebration of genre“, The Guardian)

Okay, we were pulling your leg: the British Library has probably never heard of Bulletproof Blues. But the exhibition is real, and that’s pretty cool. 😉