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Art gallery a pretty funny place (con't)

The second is of famed comic book artist Alex Ross.

These are the first major exhibitions featuring comics at the gallery, says AGW Curator of Contemporary Art Srimoyee Mitra, and "celebrates the proud legacy and great work" of these artists.

Why comics?

"Why not?" Mitra says.

"The comics genre, like graphic novels and illustrations, are very much part of our contemporary culture."

Finch is a DC Comics artist, and has drawn for Batman: The Dark Knight, Wonder Woman, and Forever Evil.

Collier has published “prose rich” comic essays for several major newspapers including The Globe and Mail and National Post.

McLeod is staff illustrator at the National Post.

But his work has appeared in a wide variety of international magazines such as GQ, Maxim, Esquire and The Wall Street Journal.

He’s also known for “long-form” comics in science fiction and martial arts.

Jeff Lemire is famous for his Essex County Trilogy.

“Lemire’s work ranges in subject and genre from science fiction to semi-autobiographical narratives that circle around his home territory of Woodslee,” say his bio.

Lemire is an award-winner and has been nominated for many other prizes.

And he’s worked for DC and Marvel comics.

His Descender, a collaboration with artist Dustin Nguyen, has been optioned for a film by Sony Pictures

Then there’s the Alex Ross (picture above, not necessarily in the show) exhibition, Heroes & Villains.

The AGW says he’s the comic book version of pop artist Andy Warhol in that he “transformed” comics.

And in fact the exhibit was curated by Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum.

Considered a kind of wunderkind Ross began drawing from memory at age three.

In his early 20s he was hired by Marvel.

“His impact on the comic book industry became so powerful that his hugely successful comic book series, Kingdom Come (1996), marks the close of the ‘Dark Age’ of comic books, in which pessimism, violence, and gritty stories ruled, into the birth of the ‘Modern Age’ of optimism and strong superheroes,” the museum says.

Asked if there was any collaboration between the two exhibits or if it was purely coincidental they’re on at the same time, Mitra says the exhibits are planned well in advance.

But Dale Jacobs of the University of Windsor, who co-curated Between the Panels, called it a happy coincidence.

“We actually didn't know that it was coming when we approached the AGW.

“However, by showcasing the diversity of these four artists, we were, in some sense responding to the Alex Ross show.”

That’s by showing the “the diversity of the comics medium.”

Is there an attempt to connect to young people?

Mitra says the exhibits have drawn a wide cross-section of people.

But, "we are thrilled to see a rise in youth engagement."

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