The Mrs. and I had just a wonderful day together yesterday perusing the Masters of American Comics exhibit up the the Milwaukee Art Museum.
It’s coming out New York way soon, and if you get the chance it’s a really inspiring show.
Just being surrounded by all of that magnificent and historic art was good for the soul. And being able to get so close to so many wonderful originals… Honestly, it was inspiring.
One of the things that struck me time and time again was how large the pieces are. An original four-panel Peanuts is shockingly big, and a Sunday seems gigantic.
I tend to work really really small. I have no idea why, and, honestly, I was getting a bit of a complex yesterday as I have a small gallery thing coming up this fall (more on that later), but my wife was reassuring in reminding me that if I took four of my gag cartoons and pasted them together they’d be a similar size.
BTW, you wanna talk gigantic, the McKays on display… Oh… My… GOD!
I gotta say, I’m not one of these guys that fawns all over the really early stuff, but for some reason McKay really struck a chord with me yesterday and I found myself, credit card in hand, buying this gigantic book of his stuff.
I also picked up the book accompanying the exhibit…
And this awesome orange coffee mug! (Orange is my favorite color.)
Maybe I’m just getting older/wiser, but even the Herriman seemed more interesting yesterday.
I’m also a pseudo comic book fan, and I really enjoyed the Kirbys on display too. Seeing an original solitary page like that is so different than reading the same page in a comic. Just fascinating.
However, I must say that, although I still am intrigued by the art of Chris Ware, I still can’t really get into this whole graphic novel thing. I respect the work, and it’s certainly fascinating to watch cartoons expand into new areas, but a lot of this writing leaves me cold. So we kinda breezed through the end of the exhibit.
Anyway, the exhibit is a wonder, and not to be missed. If you can see it in Milwaukee, treat yourself to a brat a root beer in the cafe at the museum. Those cheeseheads know how to stuff a sausage!
(Big thanks to the in-laws, BTW! I don’t think either of us had to say “I want that underwear off the cat and back on your bottom right now!” all day. Ahhhhh….)
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