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 )
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