Welcome to SBC’s The Panel, a chance for you to put your burning questions – comics-related or otherwise – to a group of comics professionals.

The Panel lives or dies by your contributions; please email them to panel@silverbulletcomicbooks.com and we’ll add them to the list…

This week’s question is as follows:-

“Do comic books have a place in art galleries?”

Vito Delsante:

No, but comic book art does. Semantics…ain’t it a bitch?

Vito Delsante is currently pitching his creator owned mini-series, “The Mercury Chronicles”, with artist Jim Muniz. He can be seen in June’s “Batman Adventures Vol 2: Shadows and Masks” from DC Comics and in a forthcoming issue of X-Men Unlimited.

Vince Moore:

Yes, comics of all kinds have their place in art galleries. Years ago, in the early 90s, I had the pleasure of attending Misfit Lit, a gallery showing of works by comics artists. Namely those of Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, Burne Hogarth, Stan Sakai, and others. It was wonderful. I even stayed for the discussion panel with those artists, other attending artists, and hosted by Gary Groth. All in all, a wonderful event. Showing me that all it takes is a willingness to see the art in comics and the conviction to put on such a show.

Vince Moore is the writer of Platinum Publishing’s upcoming book, Kid Victory & The Funky Hammer.

Alonzo Washington:

Yes, I’ve had some shows at a couple of art galleries and the public loved it. All art should be open & diverse. Am I beginning to sound like a recording. The more people you get involved with art the better. Comic Book art brings another crowd to the galleries. At my shows the uppity White aristocrats always marvel at my ability to speak, think & create. It’s so sad! However, their image of Black people comes from the news, music videos & sports. That’s why more art & artist should be allowed in the galleries. Z0 Out!

Alonzo Washington is the creator of Omega Man and a noted black rights campaigner.

Gary Spencer Millidge:

Well, no, not really. They’re not suited. I know some “installations” can use film and music, but movies and songs themselves don’t have a place in art galleries, it’s not the right environment to appreciate them properly. I’ve seen comics exhibitions, which are interesting from a creative point of view – “ooo, doesn’t he use a lot of whiteout” – but for me comic art is created for the comics themselves, and the art is – or should be – produced to look its best on the printed page, not hung on a gallery wall.

There are exceptions – like the fabulous exhibitions of comic art at the Angouleme festival – but Lichtenstein used comic art to create something that was intended to be hung on a wall, not reproduced in a comic or book. Art is for walls. Movies are for cinemas. Music is for headphones. Graphic Novels are for bookshelves. Doesn’t make them any less of an art form.

Gary Spencer Millidge is the creator of the weird and wonderful Strangehaven comic, of which issue sixteen is coming imminently… yay!

Alan Grant:

Of course they have. In the absence of any kind of rules or formulae which define art–and which if they existed would probably destroy art–every piece must be judged on its own merits. Off the top of my head I can think of about a thousand comics pages which have more right in a gallery than much of the shite they actually display.

In reality, there’s no art. Only artists. And con-men.Alan Grant is maybe most famous for his Batman and Judge Dredd work, and his classic EPIC series The Last American is due out imminently from Com.X as a trade for the first time.

Fiona Avery:

If Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s soup does, of course. ‘Nuff said.

Fiona Avery plays in the Marvel Universe, with Wildstorm at DC, and is the creator of No Honor.

Donna Barr:

Why not? It’s art. Why does this question even come up?

Sometimes this industry is so putting up fences and gate keepers, that it puts up fences around itself.

Art is art is art. Put it in the galleries. Big deal. So what?

Donna Barr has books and original art at www.stinz.com, webcomics at www.moderntales.com, www.girlamatic.com, and has POD at www.booksurge.com Nothing she won’t try, at least once.

Jesse Leon McCann:

The comic books themselves? No, not unless they are extremely rare and have a popular character’s introduction. Like, perhaps, if only three of the same issue still existed in the known universe.

Original comic art is another story, most especially if they are colored and inked. Some of the finest artists on the planet do comic art. I once saw a Bob Kane exhibit in a gallery, set up right next to classic painters. Kane’s stuff fit in perfectly. If a museum had a section with originals of Alex Ross, Bryan Talbot, Steve Rude and others, it would be something to see.

Jesse Leon McCann is a New York Times Best-selling Author. He’s currently editing the fourth Simpsons TV Episode Guide for Bongo Comics/Harper Perennial, and writing stories for DC Comics’ Looney Tunes and Cartoon Cartoons.

Brandon Thomas:

Absolutely… dependent on the piece of course. But I’m sure all of us could easily name a few artists whose status deserves a prompt elevation into the realm of “high art,” if only to silence any critics who’d argue otherwise. Just because it’s contained in a panel, doesn’t discount its artistic merit.

Brandon Thomas is one of the writers of Spider-Man Unlimited #3, scripter of Youngblood, creator of Cross and long-time Ambidextrous columnist.


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