January 22, 2014 7:31 pm

Comics to go on show at British Library

Tales of Terror, by Matthew Lewis, part of the British Library's Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination exhibition, one of its 2014 events..©British Library Board

Dark goings on: an image from Tales of Terror by Matthew Lewis, published in 1808

V for Vendetta, Batman and The Trials of Nasty Tales are some of the action-packed titles that will go on display in the UK’s biggest show of British comics at the British Library this year, writes James Pickford.

“Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK”, will use original artwork, unseen comics and “bizarre objects” to explore the colourful and occasionally controversial medium that has fed a thriving Hollywood niche of fantasy action movies.


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The exhibition will feature high-profile names from the world of graphic novels such as Alan Moore, writer of Watchmen and V for Vendetta, Neil Gaiman of Sandman and Mark Millar of Kick-Ass.

Announcing its programme of exhibitions for 2014, the British Library said it would host a commemoration of the first world war and The Gothic Imagination, a show about the 18th and 19th century literary genre. It will include works such as Tales of Terror by Matthew Lewis, published in 1808. The library also revealed that it had acquired the personal archive of Hanif Kureishi, the novelist, playwright and screenwriter, including 50 personal diaries and notebooks.

The library was the venue on Wednesday for a speech by Maria Miller, culture secretary, in which she said she had been the victim of “selective hearing” when criticised last year for extolling the economic benefits of culture. Her argument, she said, had been “extracted, extrapolated and amplified until the message sounded like the only justification for supporting the arts is its value to the economy”.

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