Book Review: Comic Art in Museums

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Journal of Popular Culture

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Book Review: Comic Art in Museums, makes the case that the gallery and museum space were important sites that shaped our understanding of sequential art as just that—an art. As M. Thomas Inge notes in the book’s introduction, this is a vital first step. Munson then delivers a collection essays with a narrow scope; included in the collection are curators, scholars, and artists, who have done the work of the last seventy-five years to promote and validate comic art. Building on her contribution to the recent collection The Secret Origins of Comics Studies, Munson shows how museums remain hallowed ground and curators the gatekeepers. If the funnies, intended to be flipped through by adolescent hands, were suddenly and very carefully matted and placed on the walls of the world’s historic institutions, then they could be seen as legitimate. Their exhibition and the public commentary are the focus here, and Munson’s volume gathers many of the prominent voices who helped hang the art on the walls, run museums of their own, and organize the shows—as well as their critics.


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