Library hosting comic exhibit

By Joseph C. McCain The Winston County Journal

Comic strips provide a colorful and humorous respite from the serious news that precedes them in the newspaper. With this in mind, John Read collected together the original art of 140 different comic strips and panels that were published in newspapers on the same Sunday (April 11, 2010).

A quintessentially American Sunday pleasure, The One Fine Sunday in the Funny Pages, is now on display at the Winston County Library for the month of September.

This show is a unique, one-of-a-kind collection of today’s comics, from the oldest, The Katzenjammer Kids and Gasoline Alley, to the newest, Dustin. It will be a trip down memory lane as much as an overview of the state of newspaper comics of today.

Show curator John Read contacted the creators of comic strips and panels requesting they loan the art for their April 11, 2010, cartoon for an unprecedented exhibition of their craft.

“I wanted to do something unique,” said Read. “I expected to get about 60 to 70 but got 140.”

Among the cartoons in the exhibit are Fernando Ruiz’ Archie, Bill Amend’s FoxTrot, Carole and Jack Bender’s Alley Oop, Jan Eliot’s Stone Soup, Jerry Scott and Jim Borgamn’s Zits, John Hambrock’s Edison Lee, Dean Young and John Marshall’s Blondie, Patrick McDonnell’s Mutts, Leigh Ruben’s Rubes, Terri Libenson’s Pajama Diaries, Tom Batiuk’s Funky Winkerbean and Crankshaft, Paul Gilligan’s Pooch Cafe, Sandra Bell Lundy’s Between Friends, Norm Feuti’s Retail, Scott Stantis’ Prickly City and one of Read’s favorites, Garfield.

“I am glad the artists were kind enough to take a chance on me and the idea,” said Read.

Read, who has taken the exhibit around the country and visited 10 different states with it, is glad to have the exhibit displaying closer to his home in Madison, Mississippi.

“We had great crowds in Boston and Pittsburgh but glad to have it closer to home,” said Read.

Read added that the show was intended to end months ago but was such a success that he has continued it and will do so for a few more months..

“I am not suppose to have all of the show still but so many offered to continue to lend their artwork until the show ended that I have continue it,” said Read who plans to wrap up the show in the next few months.

The exhibit will be in the library all month and offers visitors a unique experience.

“This delightful museum-quality experience is for comics fans of all ages … everyone who enjoys or has ever enjoyed the quintessential Sunday pastime,” stated Read.

The event is in conjunction with the Backwoods Comics Festival at the end of the month.

“This is complimentary to the Backwoods Comics Festival,” said librarian Beth Edwards.