Cartoon world of shrinking violence
Friday 29 December 1995
Artists from Belgium, Sweden and France are represented in the show, which includes work by Tank Girl artist Jamie Hewitt and Javier Mariscal, the Spanish cartoonist responsible for designing the Olympic mascot Cobi. Mariscal's dog-eat-dog interpretation of natural born niceness: "You die so I can live, I die so you can live'' (left), figures what appears to be bloodthirsty cobis obeying Darwinian laws of survival. As well as imagining their own stories, each artist has contributed a single panel to a collaborative cartoon dubbed Outbreak of Violets. The story is written by Alan Moore, famous for filling the speech bubbles of 2,000AD, Judge Dredd and Swamp Thing. Given the dystopian slant of many comics and graphic novels, the concept of sudden and ubiquitous kindness is a clever conceit, and Moore's text provides the artists with bizarre ammunition for their diversely styled illustration. Hezbollah give their airline captives impromptu makeovers and "wife treaters'' feed their spouses with chocolate until they are forced to escape to refuges for "fattened women''.
In a country swamped by American cartoons, curator Paul Gravett seized the show as a way to introduce insular Brits to the cream of European graphic art. Gravett also hopes the exhibition will raise the profile of the museum, which is presently seeking to ensure permanent funding. "There are national museums of cartoon art in Istanbul and Macedonia. It's quite ridiculous that there isn't one here.'' So perform a random act of kindness and go and see this show.
`Random Acts of Kindness' is on show at the National Museum of Cartoon Art, 15-17 St Cross Street, London EC1N 8UN (0171-405 4717) 2-12 Jan 1996; the Museum is open Mon-Fri 12noon-6pm
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 3 Kajieme Powell: Missouri police release video footage of second man killed by officers
- 4 Paul Scholes: Manchester United need five experienced players who can turn round a desperate situation
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
Laughs go global as Eddie Izzard and Dylan Moran bring international comedians to the Edinburgh Fringe
The Top Ten: Horrible buildings
JK Rowling writes new Harry Potter story on Pottermore: Introducing 'Singing Sorceress' Celestina Warbuck
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Celebrity Big Brother 2014 line-up: Meet the contestants from Lauren Goodger to Kellie Maloney and Audley Harrison
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Scottish Independence Referendum: Salmond described as 'arrogant, ambitious and dishonest' by Scottish women