Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Comic Relief

I've just returned from a wonderful trip to Portland, Oregon, and while I get myself reacclimated, and edit a pile of photos, here's a look at two of the other art exhibits currently on display in downtown London, Ontario...

 Clockwise from top left:  Urban Renewal, 1970; Baseball Strike, 1985; "American Oil Tankers on Canadian West Coast, 1979; Dundas Street Development, 1964

The second annual Ting Comic and Graphic Arts Festival is a three week showcase of the work of comic and graphic artists from London and Southwestern Ontario, held at The ARTS Project.  The festival is named after Merle Tingley, who was the editorial cartoonist for the London Free Press from 1948 - 1986.  Tingley, or "Ting" as he signed his work, is celebrated in the exhibit with a number of his cartoons, and I was delighted to see how relevant his work remains - cartoons such as those above, from the 1960's - 1980's display his down-to-earth humour, and focus on issues that sadly, are still being faced by London, Ontario today.

Luke Worm was Ting's comic mascot, and comic book artist/writer J. Bone created a textile version for the exhibit.

Visitors to the exhibit are invited to colour a picture of Luke Worm and the results are displayed on the wall.  

Jamie Jardine, one of the artists whose work is on display, submitted this letter and drawing he received from Tingley in 1985, in reply to a note he had sent to the artist.  Tingley has had a significant influence on generations of comic artists who have come after him.

"Robot" by Jamie Jardine

Illustrator, curator, filmmaker, painter and dollmaker Sarah Legault was at the opening.  Her animated short "Dear Love", which will be screened as part of the Festival, recently won Best Animated Short Film at the Toronto Independent Film Festival (TIFF).  On the right is "Bug Test", one of Legault's pieces in the show.

Photographer Richard Gilmore, (right), who is also the Communications Coordinator at the ARTS Project, was on hand to document the opening.  My apologies to the woman on the left for not remembering her name.

Many Canadian comic book artists draw story inspiration from the lives of famous, (or not so famous) historical figures from Canadian history.  David Collier's submission to the exhibit includes a panel with a story about Canadian painter Alex Colville.

 left:  The Adventures of Astrodog by Alison Williams   right:  Daring the Sun: A Space Comic by Scott Woods
Other artists create their own worlds populated with crime-fighting dogs and nasty cavemen

A panel from J. R. Faulkner's online comic,"Promises, Promises", a humorous look at the struggles to stay fit.  Faulkner is working on a new comic titled Knight and Dave.

The work of Janice Chu has strong elements of graphic design, as illustrated in the four works above from her "Selfie" series.  Chu works as a concept and UI artist at Digital Extremes. 

The Ting Comic and Graphic Arts Festival runs until May 9th at the ARTS Project.  The festival also features workshops, including one on Cartooning on May 9th, and film screenings.  For a list of all the events, see the ARTS Project website here.

And over at DNA Artspace...

You will find a new exhibit by London artist Jamie Q, titled "Surfacing".  In previous exhibits, Jamie Q has shown drawings, paintings, sculptures, and zines, and in this one, past projects have been 
re-constructed into new shapes and mediums, primarily textiles.   The title of the exhibit refers to surface design, and includes new paintings and resurfaced objects.

Manifold/Medusa, 2015 - mixed media

Stitches Fabric, 2015 - mixed media

Clockwise from left:  the artist, Jamie Q; HB Pencils - mixed media; Shirt (Black and Yellow Flannel) - gel medium transfer on panel

Jamie Q - Surfacing is on view at DNA Artspace until June 3


  1. You never stop, do you? I haven't been to an art exhibit since last October. My head is a cultural desert. I really struggle with cartoons, I'm afraid, although I really loved Persepolis and could watch it over and over again.
    Dying to hear about your trip to Portland. xxx

  2. What fun to see this! Glad to managed to squeeze it in.

    How I love Sarah's hair and that last work with the HB pencils. Those images with the people's heads as camera's brings a whole new idea to the word "selfie". Brilliant.


  3. You go to such fun events!!!!

  4. There is something so satisfying about line drawing. One teensiest squiggle changes everything. I chuckled at all Mr. Tingley's frames. All of the work is engaging. I love the photos of interesting-looking people you captured as well. I would like to see Jamie Q's textile works in real life. I particularly like the photo of the artist in front of the bold graphics.
    You're still on a time change - how did you manage it?!

  5. Ooh, your trip to Portland has happened, has it? Looking forward to hearing all about it!
    In the meantime, despite cartoons and comic book art not really being my thing, the exhibition looks fun, and I love that you go to so many interesting cultural events. Those HB pencils are fab! xxx

  6. Loving all of these pieces, especially that "Robot" one - it really appeals to me. I would totally attend these exhibitions. I have another art gallery event coming up in June - thank you for sharing the Toronto experience.