If you happen to find yourself in Kettering over the next two months, I can thoroughly recommend spending a little time to find the Alfred East Art Gallery (part of Kettering Museum), which is hosting the free Comics Unstripped exhibition until 20th August 2016.
This exhibition features work from the US and British comic scene and honours one of Kettering’s talented sons, Frank Bellamy, including examples of Frank’s work from “Dan Dare” and his Gerry Cottle’s Circus posters. As an added bonus, you can see that I photographed one of the pictures of Frank showing his fascination for all things Africa.
Amongst the other pieces of Frank’s work is a selection of his work on Garth and the Radio Times. Of the pieces that were on display, it is hard to pick between the portrayals of Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker, so I am going to go with the picture that has come out best.
As I said, this is a mix of UK and US artists and of the many other pieces that are on display, one of my personal favourites is Hal Laren‘s homage to Ron Embleton’s credits from the TV series Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons.
And you can’t really do a comic exhibition in Northants without having at least one thing giving a nod to Alan Moore, so the crime scene writing desk is a lovely homage to this brilliant writer.
My thanks to Jeff Chahal for being the driving force behind this exhibition. And I am sure that the comic fans that make the time to visit this exhibition will happily lose an hour or three as they browse through the art and comics on display.
• Comics Unstripped runs until 20th August 2016 at the Alfred East Art Gallery, Manor House Gardens, Sheep Street, Kettering, Northamptonshire NN16 0AN. It’s easy to get to by train, bus or by car. The gallery is situated in the close to the Library and the parish church of SS Peter and Paul Opening times: Tuesday – Saturday 10.00am – 4.45pm (Last Admission 4.30pm), closed Mondays and Bank Holidays. Entry to the Alfred East Gallery is free, however charges apply for some events and activities. More details online here | Facebook
• The Frank Bellamy blog has posted images from the exhibition here
• Buy True Brit: A Celebration of the Great Comic Book Artists of the UK from amazon.co.uk – or the digital edition direct from Twomorrows, which has more content in colour
Comic Strip & Character Workshop – Saturday 23rd July, 11.00am – 1.00pm and 2.00 – 4.00pm
Learn how to create your very own comic strip and design your own characters in this two hour workshop for children aged 8 and above, run by the Cartoon Art Museum’s Steve Marchant. The workshops cost £5 per child, (£4 with Leisure Pass) and booking is essential; call 01536 534 274. Visit Kettering Borough Council’s Children’s Activities page for more details
Super Heroes and Heroines Family Fun Day – Wednesday 3rd August, 1-3.30pm
A family fun day in the Manor House Museum Gardens dressed as your favourite super hero or heroine! Come along to take part in craft activities, trails, face painting and lots more! Visit Kettering Borough Council’s Children’s Activities page for more details