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Party Crashers: Comic Book Culture Invades the Art World opens tomorrow night at the Arlington Arts Center. The exhibit is geographically split between the AAC and the new Artisphere in Rosslyn; it’s also split thematically between alternative comic books at the AAC and fine art that’s sort of related to comics at the Artisphere.
“I was looking for three examples that played well together,” says AAC curator Jeffry Cudlin (also a City Paper contributor), and that’s what he’s done: He’s selected alternative comics, the self-produced inheritors of the underground comix scene; Creative Time Comics, a web comic project that invited 24 artists to produce a comic on current issues; and Andrei Molotiu‘s Abstract Comics book, which argues for a dramatically expanded comic world beyond pages, panels, and word balloons. Working with Artisphere’s Cynthia Connolly, Cudlin says they “curated two separate but equivalent shows, but the AAC side is definitely the comic-book side.”
The comics artists at the AAC half of the show include Jim Rugg, Gabrielle Bell, Derik Badman, Warren Craghead III, Jamar Nicholas, Jeffrey Brown, Dash Shaw, Rina Ayuyang, Joshua Cotter, Molotiu, and CTC‘s Deb Sokolow and Robert Pruitt. Cudlin told me he’s been thinking about this show for several years, and it should be worth seeing what exists beyond superheroes and Maus. The AAC half of the exhibit opens tomorrow with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. with a members-only preview from 6 to 7 p.m. Molotiu will attend the opening. The exhibit runs to Jan. 16. The AAC is at 3550 Wilson Blvd., and Artisphere is at 1101 Wilson Blvd.