Monday 14 June 2021

Comics: recent acquisitions

 In our recent trip to the fair city of Hereford I was pleased to see that "Q's Comics" in the historic Butter Market had weathered the Covid storm, lockdowns etc and was still trading. I managed to pick up these beauties:
Marvel Fanfare no.s 4 and 6, Master of Kung Fu no. 113 and Bat Lash no. 4.

The Marvel Fanfares boast some wonderful artwork from the likes of Paul Smith, Michael Golden 
( with the late, lamented Dave Anthony Kraft ), Charles Vess, and a stellar collaboration between the underrated Sandy Plunkett and P. Craig Russell. How's that for a line-up? Wonderful stuff!
The MOKF, on the other hand, features some of the worst artwork I've ever seen in a mainstream comic. The perpetrators are Rick Magyar & Alan Kupperberg  -  the latter I know has done much better work but, really, this issue is dire. Doug Moench's solid scripting just about redeems it, but at least the Gene Day cover is very nice.
By complete contrast, the Bat Lash ( very happy to find one of those in the wild ) features some beautiful work from the incomparable Nick Cardy, with his Eisner influences to the fore, especially in this masterful page:

Just the thing for reading whilst relaxing in the garden on a Summer's day:

I was doubly pleased with this purchase because I did a deal to trade in one of my duplicate copes of Fantastic Four no. 44 for the above comics  -  and, in fact, I was £3 up on the deal :-)

Here's the copy I traded, safely in its ( temporary I'm sure ) new home:

I'll definitely have to get back to Q's Comics when I can, it's really a great little business and the owner is always friendly and helpful. ( Wow! Things like that *almost* make it feel like the "old days" )

Thursday 3 June 2021

"Released" Exhibition - Hereford College of Arts

 Hello. ( Hello? ) It may sound stupid but sometimes I almost forget I've got a blog. I really should post more stuff here. ( Yeah, yeah, you've heard it all before, haven't you Dear Reader? )

Anyway, here's some artwork from an exhibition our son James helped curate recently. This was "Released", a showcase for the second year of the Fine Arts Level 5 degree course at Hereford College of Arts.

Here's James welcoming discerning art-lovers ( and anybody else, really ) to the temporary gallery in the heart of the lovely city of Hereford...

( Yes, he's developed proper Lockdown Hair since he went back to University in March. ) Below are some views of his sadly untitled but very wonderful piece of sculpture and some photos of the different stages of its construction...

This was obviously a very personal project for James, as can be seen from the description below:

We're very proud of what he's accomplished in his artwork and in the very fact that he's at University. He's the first person in our family to ever do that and, as he's on the autistic spectrum and really struggled with his early schooling, it's a real credit to him that he's done so spectacularly well.

As well as James' piece, the standard of all the other artists' work was also extremely high, so here are some further examples, starting with James' friend Callum's ultra-cool street art:

James with proud mum Sarah and Callum's skateboard collection  -

It's interesting to see how art students are still fiercely political. Back in my A-Level days ( which is as far as I took my art education ) the topical themes would have been the likes of nuclear war, apartheid or police brutality  -  now they're more likely to be gender politics or climate change.

All in all, it was a hugely impressive, interesting and challenging exhibition. James messaged earlier to say they've cleared the exhibition and locked the doors today  -  second year done, one more to go...


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