Today’s featured event:
Attend the opening reception for the new installation “The Art of the Comic Book,” featuring art based on comic books and graphic novels, at 6 tonight at Istvan Gallery, 1218 N Western.
Illustrated storytelling stretches back in history far beyond the printing press as artists spun yarns about super humans, heroism, love, and everyday life. Though comics might still be associated with pulp fiction and silliness like Tin Tin and Archie or superheroes like Batman and the Shadow, the art form dates back as early as Rome in 113 A.D. The new exhibit promotes a deeper understanding and appreciation of the art and culture of comic books that morphed from cheap, newsstand “funny books” to a driving force behind a multibillion dollar industry spanning the entire entertainment industry from critically heralded graphic novels to video games and blockbuster summer movies.
Artists of varying media and styles have been invited by Istvan Gallery owner Stephen Kovash as well as comic creator Charles Martin to participate in “The Art of the Comic Book,” a celebration of the comic book style as well as the genre’s rich variety of heroes and villains.
Kovash told our pal Matt Price of Nerdage that the idea to put on a comics-themed exhibit sprang from the success of his recent video game-themed exhibit.
“I think there are some great people doing comic books in Oklahoma,” Kovash said. He also said nontraditional art shows appeal to patrons in their 20s and 30s.
“They want to see stuff that is fun, but work that they consider to be quality,” he told Matt.
In addition to the art, the opening will feature costumed superheroes as well as members of the Oklahoma Comic Creators. Oklahomans play a huge role in the international comic book world and many will be represented at the opening which will feature work from traditional fine artists as well as illustrated storytellers.
Some work will be inspired by comic book icons and imagery and other work will be actual pages from original comic books. Featured artists include Eli Casiano, Clint Stone, Eric Gorman, Jerry Bennet, Jack Fowler, Trent Lawson, Dustin Oswald, Nathan Lee, Suzanne Thomas, Marilyn Artus, Michael Adams, Nathan Evans, Scott Henderson, Zachary Presley, Drace Brown, Kevin Stark, Michael Wilson and M. Paul Kirby.
Writers Charles Martin, Don Rosencrans, and Jackson Compton also will be among the comic book creators in attendance.
“I believe the show will create awareness of the thriving art community right here that is on par with other major cities,” Compton, who creates “Nadir’s Zenith” with featured artist Jerry Bennett, told Matt. “It may be a great networking tool for individuals to form creative teams to produce the next big thing. Exposure is the key to a following.”
To read more of Matt’s column about “The Art of the Comic Book,” click here.
Guests are encouraged to come in costume for tonight’s opening event, and artists will be on hand to do caricatures of attendees. Refreshments and beverages will be available at tonight’s reception, too.
The gallery’s comic book show will continue through Oct. 27. Istvan Gallery’s regular hours are Tuesday through Friday 4 to 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Openings can be made by appointment.
For more information, go to www.IstvanGallery.com.
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