Comics as High Culture
There are a couple of comics events in museums around the country to catch if you can. A Chris Ware exhibition opened at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art over the weekend. Here's what they've got to say about it:
Not quite comic books, not quite graphic novels, Ware's work mines art history, popular culture, and personal experience, capturing a queasy sense of reality of modern life in a "retro" style distinctly his own.
There's also an interview with Ware (although he seems much more like the kind of guy you'd just call Chris) and (if you're a slacker with nothing to do in the middle of the day on a Tuesday in the early summer--or a big fan) a curated tour at noon on June 20. The exhibit is up through August, so take a look if you're in town.
If you happen to be in the nation's capital through the weekend (which lets me out--I'm not going until a week from today), check out Colleen Doran talking about manga at the Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian. It's in conjunction with an exhibit on 18th- and 19th-century Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai, who coined the term manga to mean "whimsical pictures." If you think you're not familiar with Hokusai's work, check this out and realize you're incorrect. Doran's got a couple of blog entries (here and here) about her experience so far.