The art, drawn by current Comic Laureate Dave, consists of two large format prints in two perspex box frames, both signed and dated on reverse, the overall size measures 41 x 94 inches and was created in response to the work of pop artist Roy Lichtenstein who directly “appropriated” many of his images for his most famous works from comic artists like Irv Novick, Russ Heath, Jack Kirby, John Romita and Joe Kubert, who received no fee or credit.
“A couple of years ago, the Tate Modern art gallery on London’s South Bank put on a major exhibition of Roy Lichtenstein’s work,” says dave. “I was invited to appear on a BBC TV programme about the exhibition, where I took the opportunity to speak out, as I had done in the past, about my dislike, on both aesthetic and ethical grounds, of the ‘appropriation’ of comic strip images by ‘pop art’.
“The feeling amongst the comics community has always been pretty much unanimous,” he continues. “We feel patronised and we feel that several of our revered elders have been, frankly, robbed. To us, their creativity and skilled labour has been discounted by considering their work as being merely, in the jargon of the art world, ‘found’ and they have received no credit or recompense for what amounts to celebrated and expensive copies of their creations.
However, it was Rian Hughes, another vociferous critic of the art establishment’s attitude who, prompted by the TV show, came up with the brilliant idea of our comic community using its own medium to make public our disapproval. Under the title IMAGE DUPLICATOR, the response from creators was very heartening and we staged an exhibition of several dozen images in the gallery space at Orbital Comics in London.
“For my part, I created a digital image, appropriated from a comic book panel originally created by Irv Novick, that I entitled “WHAAT?. This was printed and sold as a tabloid size poster. I also produced a unique, large size print of the image, split into two parts, mounted in clear acrylic and measuring some 41 x 94 (104 x 238 cm). This gallery-scale print is now being offered for sale in a public auction. I have signed both parts and will provide documentary evidence of its authenticity.”
All profits from the sale will be donated to the Hero Initiative, as were the proceeds from the earlier exhibition and like Dave, we’d echo his sentiments that your support for the Hero Initiative would be greatly appreciated.”
In late 2000, a consortium of comic publishers came up with the idea to create a financial safety net for comic creators, much in the same fashion that exists in almost any other trade from plumbing to pottery. By March of 2001, the US federal government approved The Hero Initiative as a publicly supported not-for-profit corporation. Since its inception, The Hero Initiative (Formerly known as A.C.T.O.R., A Commitment To Our Roots) has had the good fortune to grant over $500,000 to over 50 comic book veterans who have paved the way for those in the industry today.
• Bid here for a good cause on Ewbank’s auction site
• Hero Initiative: official Site – www.heroinitiative.org
Categories: Art and Illustration, Auctions, Comic Art, downthetubes Comics News