Life in 4 colours

Being the resident web design heroes in Brisbane we are proud to see the rest of Queensland taking a more pulp approach to art and modern media.  From the 6th of January until the 4th of March the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art is exhibiting Drawn to Screen: Graphic Novels, Comics and Serials, exhibiting some of the best comic book art from the past 70 years.  What’s stunning is how these 4 colour images of larger-than-life spandex clad ladies and gentlemen have saturated the public consciousness.  Growing from something that was once used as ballast on ships from the Americas to a multi million dollar industry it is a true story of heroic proportions.  Life and imagination would be a little greyer without these two-dimensional characters fighting unimaginable foes

Comics were the birthplace of huge elements of modern design and typography that still influence us as web designers today.  From colour selection, type and narrative, early comics are like cave paintings, showing a more image & design driven use of mediums.

Along with this amazing exhibition of artwork comes the moving images that followed their humble drawn beginnings. The Brisbane Gallery of Modern art has something for everyone, bringing together over 60 films for this stunning exhibition, tackling the huge spectrum that comics can offer.  Ranging from such classics as the Christopher Reeve’s rendition of Superman (1978) to Alan Moore’s masterpiece Watchmen (2009) you can see how the genre has evolved and even, maybe, just maybe grown up. From these two films alone you are shown the beginnings of the comic with Superman being the classic, whiter than white do-gooder with little else to offer the audience than an American set of ideals to the dark, cold war story of super heroes as normal people dealing with impossible powers and responsibility.

Comics are a worldwide phenomenon and are also tackled in this extensive exhibition. A girls coming of age story in war-torn Iran is presented in Persepolis (2007) to the Japanese post-apocalyptic future displayed in the animated classic, Akira (1989).

The artists and lives the genre has affected is under scrutiny too – From the heady, geeky and perverse Howard Crumb and his take on the 60’s lifestyle to Northampton’s hermit genius Alan Moore and his ongoing plight to keep his masterpieces from Hollywood and solely on the page.

So why not take the time out and do something a little different in the Brisbane summer heat?  Have you not heard?  Geeks are in these days! Don your cape, mask and embrace your inner dork get down to the GOMA to add some POW!!!  ZAP!!! And BAM!!! to your life!

The Drawn to screen exhibition runs from the 6th of January to the 4th of March 2012 at the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art.