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The British Library Has Put Its Extraordinary Collection Of Comics On Display In The UK's Largest Ever Exhibition

Comics Unmasked is running till August 19.

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The British Library has put its incredible collection of comics on display in a new exhibition called: “Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK”.

The exhibition is the first chance to see the collection alongside original artwork and scripts loaned from hugely important figures in the comic world, such as Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison and Mark Millar.

With over 200 exhibits, the British Library claims it is the largest exhibition of mainstream and underground comics in the UK.

Bryan Talbot / Via British Library

Adventures of Luther Arkwright Book 1, Bryan Talbot.


The library says the collection explores how the art form has broken boundaries.

Richard James/BuzzFeed

The collection looks at comics and graphic novels "which unflinchingly address issues around challenging themes such as sex, violence, race and drugs, but also the inspiration and context behind them".

Comics Unmasked has been curated by the creator of the "Salem Brownstone" series John Harris Dunning, leading UK expert Paul Gravett and Adrian Edwards, the British Library’s Head of Printed Historical Sources.

We hope that this show will stimulate creative disobedience and throw down the gauntlet to young creators – as well as show audiences, who perhaps have not read comics before, what a diverse and exciting medium they are. The demystification of the process of creating comics is a key part of this exhibition, with once in a lifetime opportunities to see original artwork and scripts from comics greats.
Much more than childhood nostalgia, comics are a powerful adult medium which can reflect and impact on society and change's people minds and lives. From the very start, comics have been cross-pollinating with movies, music, theatre and all the other media and today are on the cutting-edge of digital storytelling and multi-media installation art.

Find out more about the exhibition here.

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