This month, my pages from my “Radium Girls” comic are included in Direct Action Comics: Politically Engaged Graphic Novels, an exhibit at the Herter Gallery on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus.
Here is the gallery’s statement regarding the exhibition, as posted on their Facebook page:
The Herter Gallery at the University of Massachusetts Amherst presents Direct Action Comics: Politically Engaged Graphic Novels, the first exhibition to focus exclusively on activist, radical, and socially-aware works in the graphic novel and comic art medium. The exhibition features over 50 graphic novels, comic books, and cartoons by artists and writers from Will Eisner, who has been called the father of the graphic novel, to underground comix masters like Gary Hallgren of Air Pirates Comics and Sharon Rudahl of Wimmen’s Comix, and current activist and journalistic graphic novelists including Sarah Glidden (Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq), Peter Kuper (World War III Illustrated), Ilan Stavans and Lalo Alcaraz (Latino USA), and Sabrina Jones (Margaret Sanger, Our Lady of Birth Control), to name a few.
Graphic novels combine word and image, and the exhibition will present a copy of each book displayed together with selected pages of original art and will include a range of materials to illuminate the creation and social importance of this artistic and literary medium. Preliminary sketches, rare posters and ephemera, as well historical documents and photographs from the W.E.B. Du Bois Library Special Collections and Archives related to the Civil Rights and other movements for social change will be on view.
In addition to contemporary graphic novels, the exhibition will also feature a selection of important precursors for contemporary graphic novels including radical countercultural underground comics from the 1960s and original art and publications by the activist political artists who produce World War III Illustrated. Posters for films made from comics and graphic novels will also be showcased – from independent releases such as Persepolis and American Splendor to mainstream superhero films with political themes like X-Men and Watchmen.
I am honored to have my work included in this exhibit, alongside the work of many cartoonists a greatly admire. You can read about the show on the UMass website here, and if you are in the area, you can see it in person through February 22nd.