Monday, June 09, 2014

Comics Unmasked

Last week I went to see a fascinating exhibition at the British Library: Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK. It covered a lot of ground from Punch in the 1840s up to the present and filled in a lot of gaps in my knowledge. It set me thinking about the part comics have played in my own life and why I don't read more graphic novels.
Bunty was the first comic I read on a regular basis - I think my mother ordered it every week, along with - was it The Eagle? - for my brother. Of Bunty I remember scarcely anything, except a character called Lettuce Leaf. But my brother's comic had a thrilling serial called, I think, 'The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb,' and we were desperate every week to read the next instalment.
Later there was Jackie, which my friend Pauline and I used to read and reread. How innocent it all seems now, the advice on boys and make-up and the stories in which good girls always triumphed. But we also loved Superman and Batman: Pauline had a great collection of those. I guess we were about fifteen when we stopped reading both Jackie and Superman comics, and I've never gone back, though as a young art historian I did love Victorian book illustration and that was nearly the subject of my Ph.D. However, perhaps because stories told completely in pictures are so much associated with childhood and adolescence I have never got into graphic novels. A few years ago, I did read an excellent one, Exit Wounds, by Rutu Modan, a book group choice, so time to rethink, perhaps? I've begun by ordering her new book, The Property.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Clothes In Books said...

I too read Bunty and then Jackie, but haven't ventured further into the field of comics and graphic novels. Except for Posy Simmonds - I really liked her Tamara Drewe.

Tuesday, 24 June, 2014  
Blogger Christine said...

Posy Simmonds is great. I have just read The Property, a graphic novel by Rutu Modan. It was excellent, but I read it in about 40 minutes. I read it again, but even so . . .

Wednesday, 25 June, 2014  

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