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10 September 2008 @ 10:29 am
" - never been near a university - never took a paper or a learned degree "  

ITEM! i went to harrods yesterday for only the third time in my life - we were "window shopping" in town for baby stuff - tho inexplicably this somehow got transformed into looking at handbags - & eventually into the purchase of "a mulberry purse" ( which i suspect may not be destined for bumpo ) - & on our way home me & my comics lovin' better half popped into harrods to check out the exhibition of original comics artwork by british artists ( curated by the infamous gomics gossip golumist - & our former neighbour - rich johnston )

my first surprise was that they let the likes of me into harrods - the doorman bloke even held the door open for me ( - tho he did not salute )

despite not being at all signposted, the exhibition was really easy to find - go to door 5 in hans crescent, down the escalator to the lower ground floor & you're there - in the gomics ghetto, or "the blokes bit of harrods" as jenni described it - there's no signage whatsoever explaining what it is & why it's there, tho - just circa 30 pieces of ( mostly great ) comics art - next to "dior homme", not necessarily the most obvious happy hunting ground for comics fans

the exhibition = very much orientated towards boys gomics, with only one female creator on display ( as far as we could tell ) - mostly adventure, superhero & a few humour pages - & nothing at all from girls comics & only one newspaper comic ( - a shame gonsidering the great work british artists have done in that area ) - but i guess rich had to take what he can get - & also was presumably gonstrained by space gonsiderations

despite my goncerns above - the exhibition was a treat for me ( but then i am very keen at looking at pieces of original comics art ) - you're not gonna see such a selection of treasures all in the same place very often - & it's free

it's a great shame that there's not ANY info abt the pages on display tho - some plates ( or speech balloons! ) saying who each piece was by, where it originally appeared & putting it in some gontext would be a great help - especially for non nerds ( - tho you wonder if any non nerds will bother - we spent abt half an hour there & we were the only ppl looking at it - despite the shop being very busy in most other places - i think a sign, some advertising & directions in harrods itself would be a great help )

but it's very much worth a visit for any london based ( or nearby ) ppl interested in comics - did i mention it was FREE...?

there were four pieces we couldn't identify ( & wld be v.glad of any help in this area ) but otherwise the artists on display were:

jamie hewlett: a tank girl double page spread from deadline

mike mcmahon: a terrific very early judge dredd splash page - possibly the very first dredd strip from 2000AD no.2 ( "a judge! - he's coming to arrest us whitey!" )

artist unknown*: a recentish judge dredd page titled "dead ringer"

* to me & jenni, at least

brian bolland: a page from the killing joke with batman, harvey bullock & the bat signal on it

arthur ranson: a 1984 colour robin of sherwood ( michael praed vintage ) page from look-in

david law: perhaps the greatest treasure in the exhibition - a wonderfully expressive dennis the menace page - drawn partly in colour with pencils still showing - dennis's dad gets a huge saint bernard dog to keep dennis under gontrol ( page 50 of the 1958 beano annual ) - hilarious

glenn fabry: an early slaine splash, "time killer"

eddie campbell: a from hell page featuring sir william withey gull

sean phillips: john gonstantine in a page from hellblazer no.104

dave gibbons: two watchmen pages - page 19 from issue 4 featuring the gomedian doing atrocities in vietnam w/a flamethrower, dr manhatthan & the back of richard nixon's head - & page 15 from issue 7 - w/rorshach talking to his prison psychiatrist w/flashbacks featuring nite owl & all yr faves

artist unknown: pigeons & men in armoured suits on rooftops - possibly from a modern or recentish issue of 2000AD?

kevin o'neill: an ABC warriors interlude - rojaws has eaten something which disagrees with him - & hammerstein is trying to get it out - full of smutty innuendo & v.funny

andi watson: a page from breakfast after noon ( i think )

chris reynolds: page one of "the golden age" from mauretania comics

bryan talbot: a page from the tale of the one bad rat

james crighton(?): a colour korky the cat page from the dandy - very early, from the 1940s, i'd guess ( or maybe even 1930s? )

posy simmonds: a tamara drew page titled "away from it all"

phil winslade: page 25 from goddess no.7

paul grist: jack flagg vs an angry dwarf in a robot gostume/armour - the dwarf's face looks a bit like matt brooker ( which might not entirely be a goincidence ) - it's a great page

philip bond: a wired world page ( from an issue of deadline, i'd imagine )

terry wiley: ladies snogging to "move over darling" - from sleaze castle?

frazer irving: "death on the road", a judge death page from the megazine

jamie mckelvie: phonogram the singles glub, page 1 of issue 1

artist unknown: some men with bow & arrows shooting at pears - from a recentish american gomic?

joe colquhoun: a great charley's war splash page featuring muddy soldiers in the trenches, oct 1917

artist unknown: war picture library page - very accomplished & slick inks reminiscent of garry leach ( - but i don't think he did any war picture librarys - did he? )

kev f sutherland: a page of the bash street zombies

dudley watkins: beautiful oor wullie page from 06/10/1940 - extremely detailed work

david lloyd: v for vendetta page - the jordan tower explodes & the leader is after an explanation from creedy - w/the back of Vs head in the last panel

- & that's it - any gorrections or gomments grapefully received as ever

STOP PRESS! rich & them upstairs at harrods haven't finished setting up the exhibition yet - more pages are to be added, plus signage & gommentary ( thank goobness ) - go here for rich's explanation & some pics

( abt two thirds down, the item entitled "shop art" )

EDIT: & see the gomments section of this post for more info from rich ( including some gorrections & glarifications )

Current Music: the mayor of simpleton by xtc
(Anonymous) on September 10th, 2008 11:47 am (UTC)
There's Jackie, Jeremy Dennis and Posy Simmonds stuff up, but yes, it's a little more male based than I'd have liked... apologies. I was squeezing and squeezing by the end and a few popped out that in hindsight shouldn't have. And I did choose to emphasise comics stories over strips.

That's a Dredd page by John Wagner and Jock. And the other Dredd is, yes, the very first Dredd page.

The Pigeons page is a mystery. It seems to have added itself to the exhibition.

Terry Wiley - that's Petra Etcetera

Signage, text and the rest of the pages should be up by Friday.

Rich Johnston
(Anonymous) on September 10th, 2008 12:13 pm (UTC)
The Pigeons piece is from the Time Out comic Four Feet From A Rat by Liam Sharp and ad agency Mother - anew step in the desirability of comics as a form of expression from creative types.

Rich Johnston
worldofagwuworldofagwu on September 10th, 2008 12:55 pm (UTC)
hi rich - thanks for gommenting ( X3 ) & for the gorrections - the jeremy dennis page wasn't up yesterday, was it...? - i'd be v.ashamed of myself for not recognising that - unless there was another bit of the exhibition that we missed ( - with jackie stuff in it as well )
martinskidmoremartinskidmore on September 10th, 2008 11:58 am (UTC)
I hope Baxendale and Reid are added! They may be my two favourite Brit comic artists ever.
(Anonymous) on September 10th, 2008 12:29 pm (UTC)
There's a Nellyphant page from Baxendale and a Face Ache from Reid. And a line from how they influenced the likes of Hewlett and O'Neill.

Rich Johnston
worldofagwuworldofagwu on September 10th, 2008 12:58 pm (UTC)
- ooo - looks like i'll have to make another visit to harrods in the near future...!
Sheep with a guitarsbp on September 10th, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC)
Cool - what a lot of good stuff. I must get along there.

Comic Showcase in Charing X Road used to have a lot of original 2000AD art downstairs which was fun to look at.
worldofagwuworldofagwu on September 11th, 2008 09:11 am (UTC)
- i bought my two jack kirby originals from showcase in 1983 ( when it was in monmouth street ) - of course such things were a lot cheaper in them days than they are now...

( - i wish i'd bought a watchmen page when i had the chance...! )
Erkin Peavisserkinpeaviss on September 12th, 2008 01:31 pm (UTC)
In puberty, I used to read novels and otherwise pleasure myself in the basement gents at Harrod’s while truanting. A little later, when working in Hans Crescent, I was sent to the Harrod’s Food Hall for more wine during an office party, and was humiliatingly refused entry because of the state of my trousers. At some point, the charmingly ghastly Fayed bought dear old Fulham Football Club too, bringing them fortune and shame. Anyway, I do not shop at Harrod’s because of the trousers affair, but I would probably still use their lavatories, which should be handy for the comics show.
worldofagwuworldofagwu on September 15th, 2008 09:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Horrids
i didn't use 'em myself but they seemed to have signs for "luxury" toilets on every floor bar the ground

if i'm feeling "flush" ( ha ha ) next time i go in to see the original art, i might get myself a nice piece of cheese from the food halls

oh - & check out the tribute to diana & dodi