Hypercomics: The Shapes of Comics to Come at Pump House Gallery

By Richard Moss | 17 August 2010
a black and white comic strip featuring a boy talking to a rabbit

(Above) Warren Peace, detail from Montague Terrace

Exhibition: Hypercomics: The Shapes of Comics to Come, Pump House Gallery, London, until September 26 2010

Comic art has long been liberated from the confines of the printed page and, despite its proud cult status, is now a regular staple of the art gallery.

But at Pump House Gallery they are exploring the next steps for the form itself with Hypercomics, an exhibition that ventures into the brave new world of interactive reader choices, multiple storylines and different perspectives on the same character, place or event.

Using the former Victorian pump house’s setting, history and architecture as a springboard, four comic artists present newly commissioned and interrelated works that relate to one another and utilise every available space. The result is a gallery full of sequential and highly experimental art that challenges our notions of what comics are.

Adam Dant has transformed the top mezzanine level into the period library of Doctor London whose autopsy of the capital includes a street map overlaid with an anatomical drawing that creates a bizarre biologically-inspired topography.

Daniel Merlin Goodbrey’s alternate history is an archive of glam-rock dictator Hieronymus Pop charting the facets of a lone archivist at work, at play and in dreams.

Dave McKean’s ‘The Rut’ presents three characters’ viewpoints of an assault in the park: Perpetrator, Victim and Witness. Warren Pleece’s animated installation ‘Montague Terrace’, pries into the lives of four dysfunctional tenants including a magic bunny and a spy.

In some circles comic art is still seen as low art, for others the printed comic book format is sacrosanct. Hypercomics' grid of multi-directional storylines includes sculpture, photography as well as other media. A move beyond mere words and drawings, is this an art gallery experiment or the shape of comics to come?

Visit the Hypercomics website to find out more and add your own images to become part of a Hypercomic at www.hypercomics.info.

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