In Review: Local Heroes Exhibition

Local Heroes - The Art of the Graphic Novel Exhibition 2008 - Poster

We have been promoting the National Library of Scotland‘s free Local Heroes: The Art of the Graphic Novel exhibition in Edinburgh, and its associated events, here on downthetubes for some time now, and having finally seen it, it certainly is an impressive exhibition.

With information panels around the walls detailing the history of British comics, the display cabinets have everything from Obadiah Oldbuck to the current Virgin version of Dan Dare. Graphic novels rub spines with comics history and reference books, newsstand comics and small press.

The inevitable copy of Maus is there, but so are Alice In SunderlandJudge Dredd reprint books, bound copies of Action and Battle, and even Hiberia’s small press reprint of new Eagle’s Doomlord.

As you venture further into the large exhibition room you will find original DC Thomson artwork. Three pages of Grant Morrison’s black and white artwork from Starblazer 15, Algol The Terrible, including its title page are there as well as Ian Kennedy’s painted cover to Starblazer101, Forgotten World.

Strangely enough downthetubes used the same images to illustrate our Blazing Through The Secrecy Starblazer article, two years ago. There is also a page of Dudley D Watkins artwork from the DC Thomson version of Kidnapped. The eight panels of this have been extended and coloured since their original publication.

Kidnapped by Alan Grant and Cam Kennedy

And yet the best is left for last. When Alan Grant and Cam Kennedy created a new version of Kidnapped for the One Book One Edinburgh reading campaign in 2007, the National Library of Scotland bought the original artwork for the successful graphic novel.

In addition to Cam Kennedy’s painted cover and a selection of preparatory sketches and colour tests, the exhibition has the entire 63 pages of original painted art framed and on display in printing order. Indeed there are so many art boards that they do not fit on a single wall and wrap around onto a second wall. It is a quite breathtaking display of original art by one of Britain’s best living comic strip artists.

Local Heroes - The Art of the Graphic Novel Exhibition 2008 - Bus Stop Poster

The Local Heroes: The Art of the Graphic Novel exhibition runs until 1st June 2008 and is open seven days a week. It is even being promoted on Edinburgh’s bus shelters.

Find out more here on the National Library of Scotland web site

This article was amended on 29th July 2023 to update web links

Categories: British Comics, British Comics - Graphic Novels, Comic Art, Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Events, Exhibitions

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