Panel on Gallery Comics at 2006 CAA

Michelle Ollie, Andrei Molotiu, Mark Staff Brandl, and Joanna Roche have all worked on gallery comics, but from very different perspectives. They spoke of their experiences at a panel organized by fellow gallery comics pioneer, C Hill, at the College Art Association 94th annual conference (Boston, Mass. - February 25, 2006).

For the first time, the artistic and academic community saw examples and heard voices from the growing world of gallery comic artists. Ollie, co-founder of the Center for Cartoon Studies, described the struggles of art students and faculty in accepting and adapting a traditionally “non-gallery” medium – comic art – for the space of the gallery. Molotiu, assistant professor from the Fine Arts Department of the University of Louisville (Ky.), addressed the singular experience of viewing originals of comics pages, what they reveal that is otherwise invisible on the printed comics page, and how conservators can care for these artifacts. Brandl enthusiastically shared his experience as a gallery comic artist producing work in Western Europe, and how his American “blue collar” background interfaces with his process and how it interferes and teases the fine art world. Roche, associate professor of art history at Calstate Fullerton (Calif.), closed the session with a “pre-history” of gallery comics, or an initial survey of this new branch on the family tree of comic art.


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