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article imageThe biggest UK comic exhibition ever

By Alexander Baron     Feb 6, 2014 in Entertainment
London - The British Library is not only the biggest library by far in these islands, it is also a major exhibitor. Some exhibitions are free.
One of these exhibitions isComics Unmasked: Art And Anarchy In The UK. You can find a short introductory video about this and more on the Library's YouTube channel. The exhibition runs from May 2 to August 19, and will be held in the PACCAR Gallery adjacent to the Sir John Ritblat Gallery.
It covers comics from the Victoria era (and beyond) to the present day, and as might be expected, the later ones will contain a lot more risqué material.
The British Library has a large number of comics in its archives. Some of these were held at Colindale - now closed - the rest are already at St Pancras, but if you look in the right places you can find vast collections on-line. Among dedicated comic websites are The Comic Archive and The Digital Comic Museum.
As might be expected, these have a heavy American bias, but in the 1960s, American comics - Marvel and DC in particular - found their way to the UK, and were often published here in separate editions.
Whatever, if you are able to get to the British Library in that three and a half month window, you will find something of interest in this field. The exhibition will include free student workshops, and a special conference for teachers on July 4.
A comic from the Library s own massive archives. The number at the top is the shelfmark; CUP stands ...
A comic from the Library's own massive archives. The number at the top is the shelfmark; CUP stands for cupboard; cupboard books were kept under lock and key, and before the Library moved to St. Pancras had to be read on the front desk in the North Library.
British Library Media Office
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