Cartoon Museum celebrates 10th birthday with The Great British Graphic Novel

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Cartoon Museum celebrates 10th birthday with The Great British Graphic Novel

Britain’s only dedicated cartoon museum will celebrate its 10th birthday with an exhibition of The Great British Graphic Novel in the heart of Bloomsbury.

From literary adaptations, modern retellings of the classics, and autobiography, to fantasy, political biographies, histories and more, the Great British Graphic novel covers every conceivable genre of storytelling at the Cartoon Museum from Wednesday, April 20 until Sunday, July 24.

Covering almost 300 years, the 100 + original artworks on display in this ground-breaking retrospective will depict the evolution of the graphic novel in the UK, from William Hogarth’s moralistic 6 scene tale A Harlot’s Progress (1732) through to Mary M. Talbot and Bryan Talbot’s brand new Louise Michel title, The Red Virgin and the Vision of Utopia; the latest story in the bestselling series about the French anarchist will be published in May this year.

Britain has been at the vanguard of this fascinating and increasingly popular art form since the very earliest precursors, Hogarth and George Cruikshank in the 1700s, through to H M Bateman and Ronald Searle in the 20 th Century.

Over the past 30 years, through translations, hugely popular film adaptations, awards, merchandising and wider cultural referencing, we have reached an international audience.

Today, Britain is recognised as being at the very forefront of the field, producing bestsellers such as The Adventures of Luther Arkwright, Gemma Bovery, Tamara Drewe, Sandman, V for Vendetta, Tank Girl and Watchmen – examples of which will all be on show.

"Over the last 30 years some of the most exciting and original graphic novels have been created by British artists," said Anita O’Brien, Curator and Director of The Cartoon Museum. 

"These are memorable stories of emotion and imagination covering all aspects of human experience from the intensely personal to wider social analysis. We believe people will be moved and inspired by the exhibition."

Oliver Preston, Chairman of The Cartoon Museum, said: "For the past 10 years The Cartoon Museum has brought the very best of Britain's cartooning, caricature and comics to a wider audience.

"We are very excited to host The Great British Graphic Novel exhibition and to celebrate British graphic storytelling, a tradition that goes back nearly 300 years."

The exhibition will also include a number of artworks recently acquired by the Cartoon Museum as part of its Heritage Lottery Funded project Comic Creators which enables the museum to purchase original British comic artwork for the collection.

It is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) with additional funding from the University of Exeter.

Artists on display will include: Asia Alfasi, Nick Abadzis, Rachael Ball, H.M. Bateman, Raymond Briggs, Mark Buckingham, Eddie Campbell, Kate Charlesworth, Joe Colquhoun, George Cruikshank, Darryl Cunningham, Rob Davis, Hunt Emerson, Kate Evans, Karrie Fransman, Dave Gibbons, Jamie Hewlett, Dave Hine Jim Holdaway, William Hogarth, Ilya, Nabiel Kaban, Will Kevans, David Lloyd, John McCrea, Dave McKean, Kevin O'Neil, Warren Pleece, Ken Pyne, John Ridgeway, Martin Rowson, Ronald Searle, Jade Sarson, Posy Simmonds, Nicola Streeten, Carol Swain, Bryan Talbot, Ian Williams, W.F. Thomas, Una and Oscar Zarate.

Illustration: Watchmen, 1986: Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, John Higgins © DC Comics

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