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On Exhibit at the Art Library: Reading Pictures

September 18, 2018
Reading Pictures exhibit promotional image

The Art Library is delighted to announce the opening of Reading Pictures: Highlights from Rutgers University Libraries’ Collections of Graphic Novels. On exhibit now through October 31, this exhibit was inspired by Self-Confessed! The Inappropriately Intimate Comics of Alison Bechdel currently on exhibit at the Zimmerli Art Museum, and the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program summer reader The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui.

This exhibit highlights works from Rutgers University Libraries Special Collections and University Archives, such as:

Kim Deitch, Shadowland. Seattle: Fantagraphics, 2006.
Kim Deitch, Alias the Cat! He Dared To Save the World. New York: Pantheon, 2007.

Kim Deitch was one of the group of artists involved in the Underground Comics movement of the late 60s and early 70s. Galvanized by the censorious restrictions of the Comic Book Authority, the writers and artists who created Underground Comics wove highly imaginative graphic narratives with a pronounced emphasis on drugs, sex, violence--and irony. Kim Deitch’s style is itself rebellious, using surrealistic imagery, densely packed frames, and hallucinatory narratives that flout the norms and standards of “good” storytelling.

Lynd Ward, Gods’ Man. New York: Cape and Smith, 1929.

Gods’ Man consists of 139 wood-engravings in the Expressionistic style of Frans Masereel, whom Ward discovered while in Europe in 1926. Adapting the Faustian myth to a story of an artist who sells his soul for a magical paintbrush, Gods’ Man makes the point that the artist’s decision is compelled by social forces he cannot defeat or fully understand. Ward maintained for many years that he intended the possessive apostrophe in Gods’ Man (after the “s”) to signify many gods, but later in life admitted to having made a typo.

Also on display are graphic novels from the general collections including works by Lynda Barry, Will Eisner, Megan Kelso, Jason Lutes, Frank Miller, Marjane Satrapi, James Vance, and more.

This exhibit was co-curated by Michael Joseph, rare book librarian, mjoseph@rutgers.edu and Megan Lotts, art librarian. For questions please contact megan.lotts@rutgers.edu or call 848-932-7189. To learn more about this exhibit visit the Art Library guide.