Comics Unmasked At The British Library

Comics exhibition in London
Recently me, Liam and our good friend Jack took a trip into Central London to go to the British Library’s Comics Unmasked: Art & Anarchy In The UK exhibition. 
Although I’ve only got into comics over recent years, to find out a bit about their history was a pretty exciting prospect! What’s more the exhibition was ‘artistically designed’ by one of my favourite comic book artists, Dave McKean.

So on Monday 21 July, me and Liam got up early and got ready to get the train into London. Naturally, this was an absolute disaster as the train had to be diverted via Staines to get to Clapham Junction. Cue me panicking that we might miss our booked timeslot! Luckily, we did eventually arrive to Clapham in time to meet Jack, get to Waterloo and jump on the Tube to St Pancras. 
We even had time to spare when we reached the British Library for me to take a few snaps outside the exhibition. 
British Library London

Comics Unmasked show
Unfortunately you are not meant to take any photos inside the Gallery (which makes perfect sense, to be fair!) so I can’t share any visual evidence of the exhibition…but I will say that it was really very interesting!
The gallery space was broken up into different areas such as Politics, Sex and Diversity, as well as subgenres of comics including superheroes and horror. Not only were there displays of rare comics and script pages, but there was also the opportunity to listen to audio clips from radio interviews and performances, as well as iPads set up to flick through free digital versions of popular stories such as From Hell.
It was really fascinating to see some of the comics created by a huge variety of artists that covered such diverse topics – from illnesses to injustices. I never really properly thought about how unique comics are as a vehicle for different stories and messages! I usually just read The Walking Dead and Batman comics which whilst they do have their underlying messages and brilliant stories, they are a completely different kettle of fish to some of the books which are much more grounded in real issues.

My only criticism of the exhibition would be that it tried to cram a hell of a lot in. I really wanted to read each and every part, but towards the end I started to just pick and choose what I thought would be most interesting! And as much as I love Dave McKean, the ‘artistic design’ could have been a bit more diverse – there seemed to be a big focus on the masks from V For Vendetta being used multiple times, and really not a lot else!

Despite this, I definitely recommend checking out Comics Unmasked : Art And Anarchy In The UK at the British Library, which ends in August. We were more than happy to pay the £9.50 per ticket, as it was worth every penny.

After the exhibition, we dashed off to a couple of comic book shops in the Covent Garden and Leicester Square areas. Liam ended up buying me a Jake (Adventure Time) mug from Forbidden Planet, and I picked up volumes 1 and 2 of Chew to give a go!

Chew comics and Adventure Time mug

Add me on Google+ | Follow me on Twitter | Follow on Bloglovin

Leave a Reply