An Escapist's Oasis-Interview with Steve Marchant


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Along a city side-street that splinters off from the chaotic flurry of Oxford Circus, I descend a set of stairs and find myself smack-bang in an escapist’s oasis.

Like stepping into the colourful inked pages of your favourite childhood comic book, The Cartoon Museum is as vibrant and playful as it is educational and inspiring. For those of you that remember leafing impatiently through the typically extraneous fluff of the daily newspaper in order to locate that one condensed page of cartoons and funnies, then this is the place for you.

The museum’s current exhibition, Comic Creators: The Famous and the Forgotten, running until the end of 2019, delivers in spades in it’s promise to showcase the wild, the wonderful, and the whimsical world of British comic strips. With original pieces of art (some unpublished or on display for the first time) and spanning roughly 150 colourful years, a good deal of these comic creations are enjoying a well deserved revival, in an industry where local writers and artists have all-too often been overshadowed by their European, Japanese or American counterparts.

Expect to see some original pieces from Watchmen artist John Higgins.

From those who went on to create instantly recognisable or award-winning graphic novels, comics or television series, to the lesser known characters and creations, that for some reason or other seemed to have faded into obscurity over the years, this exhibition has managed to assemble an impressive range of original works, all hanging side-by-side and chronologically adorning the museum’s walls. Complimenting each and every piece are fun and informative side-notes on placards provided by comic art curator, tutor and academic, Steve Marchant.

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