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William Baker On EMU's Comics Show And Reception (PR)
posted March 31, 2009


March 31-June 5, University Gallery
Opening Reception: Tuesday, March 31, 5-7 pm
Panel Discussion: March 31, 7-8:30 pm, Student Center Ballroom B

Michigan artists and writers have created a significant body of cartoons and comics that is distinctive for its quality, inventiveness and variety, yet as a group they have received little attention before this exhibition. "Michigan Comics: Mirth, Mockery and Mayhem," opening on March 31, 2009, in University Gallery on the campus of Eastern Michigan University, provides an excellent introduction to the works of about forty contemporary cartoon and comics creators who have their roots in Michigan. The exhibition, comprised of original art for editorial cartoons, gag panels, comic strips, comic books, graphic novels and other works on paper, focuses on artworks by native Michiganders and artists who have worked or continue to work in this state.

The fourth show devoted to original cartoon and comic art at Eastern Michigan University since 2001, the exhibition is curated by Richard Rubenfeld, Professor of Art at Eastern, and Dave Coverly, creator and artist of the syndicated panel, Speed Bump. Responding to the quality and diversity of Michigan cartoons and comics, they invited artists who come from and reside in many different areas in Michigan. Building upon the considerable accomplishments of early luminaries in the field, including Winsor McCay and John "Ding" Darling, and the unwavering popularity of works by such Michiganders as Cathy Guisewite (Cathy) and Richard Guindon (The Carp Chronicles), today's creators are able to explore a broader range of themes and styles and can choose to work in media and formats that were unavailable until the late twentieth century.

Among the highlights of the exhibition are editorial cartoons by Mike Thompson (Detroit Free Press) and Larry Wright (Detroit News), and gag panels by Patrick Hardin, Tom Prisk and Harley Schwadron. Veteran comic strip creators, Jerry Dumas (Sam and Silo) and Jef Mallett (Frazz) are represented in the show as are comic book artists, Vince Locke, Bill Messner-Loebs and Mike Vosburg. Graphic novels are represented by artworks by Jeffrey Brown, Jay Fosgitt, Phoebe Gloeckner, and Paul Sizer, as well as by EMU alumni, Jane Irwin (Clockwork Game) , David Petersen (Mouse Guard) and Jesse Rubenfeld (Into the Dust). Classic underground comic book covers by Carl Lundgren, enchanting book illustrations by Laurie Keller, and painted murals of the Marvel and DC superheroes by Greg Hildebrandt are certain to generate discussion among visitors to the show.

In conjunction with the exhibition, a panel discussion of cartoon and comic professionals is scheduled for the evening of March 31st in Student Center Ballroom B. Moderated by Richard Rubenfeld, the panel includes his co-curator, Dave Coverly, as well as comic book artist, Katie Cook, and graphic novelists, Jay Fosgitt, Jane Irwin, Scott Rosema and Paul Sizer. The exhibition and panel discussion are free and open to the public.

For additional information, please call Larry Newhouse, Gallery Director, at (734) 487-0465 or write him at, or phone Richard Rubenfeld at (734) 487-1268 or contact him at

Lance Aldrich & Gary Wise
Jeremy Bastian
Suzanne Bauman
Gary Scott Beatty
Sean Bieri
Jeffrey Brown
Michelangelo Cicerone
Katie Cook
Dave Coverly
Mark Dancey
Jerry Dumas
Matt Feazell
Jay Fosgitt
Phoebe Gloeckner
Patrick Hardin
Jonny Hawkins
Greg Hildebrandt
Marty Hirchak
Jane Irwin
Laurie Keller
Vince Locke
Carl Lundgren
Jef Mallett
Bill Messner-Loebs
Jim Ottaviani
Mike Pascale
Dave Petersen
Nate Pride
Tom Prisk
Scott Rosema
Jesse Rubenfeld
Harley Schwadren
Paul Sizer
Greg Theakston
Mike Thompson
Jerry Van Amerongen
Mike Vosburg
Aaron Warner
Larry Wright