The media preview for Krazy (show at the Vancouver Art Gallery) was packed. I guess it was a combination of having Art Spiegelman (probably best known for Maus, a biographical tale of World War II and the Holocaust presented in a graphic novel) giving a tour, the subject (comics, anime, video games, and art), and a very nice catered lunch (mini burgers and prawns) with martinis after the tour.
Parts of the show are still under construction so things are a little more edgy than usual in the gallery. For anyone who doesn’t know the gallery, it’s one of Vancouver’s older buildings and was originally the courthouse. It has a classic 19th century feel to it with Greek columns on the facade and when you walk into the gallery proper, it’s quite elegant with two spiral staircases, marble floor, and soaring cupola above you. It contrasts markedly with the show which is very much mid to later 20th century.
As you’d expect from a comic books guy, Spiegelman (he doesn’t make much distinction between graphic novels and comic books) who was both a curator for the show and tour leader for the media preview, the show was presented in a series of frames. First, you get the comic books, then the graphic novels, and so on. Spiegelman explained how to look at the panels and observe whether the panels vertical or horizontal and when the artist would change orientations. He also talked about the shapes.
I was hoping they’d talk about why they tied all these genres together. I was especially interested in why they included video games. Unfortunately, I was too shy to ask questions and nobody else was thinking along those lines.
They have some work from one artist (Justin Green) that has never been seen in public before. So, you’ll be treated to a premiere or an unveiling (we couldn’t see it because they haven’t finished the construction for the display).
It’s a fun show and you can learn a lot if you’re interested in this stuff. It is organized by genre and, mostly, in historical order. I wish they’d chosen to organize around topics. e.g. war. It would have been interesting to contrast how comic books, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, and art represent war. From there you could have branched off into more specifics about each genre.
The show is merchandised every which way you can imagine so you might want to bring a few extra bucks with you. The show starts May 17 and goes to Sept. 7, 2008.
Bratsa Bonifacho’s banners got some more coverage. This time it’s Ming Pao. Hopefully, you read Chinese. This is not a very good jpeg but here’s what the banners look like: