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Comics Unmasked: The Digital Anthology is a free download in conjunction with the British Library’s major comics exhibition running from May to August this year.
The exhibition is the largest display of comics and graphic novels ever shown in the UK. Proving that comics are much more than the stuff of childhood and nostalgia, it shows how their unique form and ephemeral nature have allowed for ceaseless invention and the expression of unconventional ideas and personal views. Comics Unmasked challenges preconceptions and prejudices by revealing the daring of British comics writers and artists. No subject is off limits as they tackle everything from politics and erotica to autobiography and magic.
This free digital anthology gives you over 150 pages of comics and information on display in the exhibition. Selected comics are shown in short excerpts, each with an introductory page giving information about the publication and its place in British comics’ history.
Highlights include rarely-seen strips from The Trials of Nasty Tales by Dave Gibbons and Ed Barker, early forms of sequential art such as A Harlot’s Progress and Ally Sloper, excerpts from 2000 AD favourites such as Judge Dredd, Slaine and Zenith, and strips from British comics legends including Alan Moore, Hunt Emerson, Brian Bolland, Neil Gaiman, DaveMcKean and many more.
This anthology will be available to download for free until the exhibition ends on August 19, 2014. Please note that the anthology contains graphic content and is not suitable for minors.
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The Daily Telegraph
“It’s no accident that the exhibition’s opening coincides with May Day, the yearly festival of vitality, subversion, social awareness and change. Comics growing in popularity by the year, and this is a superb time to celebrate their wild, vibrantly coloured and gloriously disruptive history.”
“[Comics Unmasked] may be the most extensive ever survey of Britain’s rich tradition of words-and-pictures storytelling, and it may see the art form being welcomed into the nation’s august, if shed-like, Library, but don’t imagine that comic strips have joined the establishment … the exhibition will be a rude awakening for anyone who assumes that the height of the medium’s naughtiness is Minnie the Minx swiping an apple pie from a window ledge.”
“One of the strengths of [the exhibition’s] broad historical scope is that it encourages us to make links between comics from different centuries, and to explore the continuities and contrasts between distinct cultural moments.”