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Comic-book art gets a place on the wall

June 21, 2007|Alex Chun

Comic-book art burst out in a big way 1 1/2 years ago with the "Masters of American Comics" museum exhibition, so it should come as no surprise that Giant Robot, a seemingly perennial purveyor of all things cool, has been hosting its own comic-book art show for the past three years running.

This year's installment, "Panelists 3," at the GR2 store in West L.A., features more than 40 of Giant Robot's favorite indie (read non-superhero) comic-book artists and 196 illustrations, painting and mixed-media works ranging from a 1 1/2 -inch-

by-1 1/2 -inch inked drawing by Ivan Brunetti used for a recent New Yorker cover to award-winning artist-writer Jordan Crane's four-page story "Take Me Home."

"There's always been a stigma attached to comic-book art -- it's below lowbrow and not deserving of a place on the wall," says show curator Michelle Borok, who also manages Giant Robot's three Los Angeles stores. "This show gives people a chance to see the skill that goes into making a comic book come to life and to see the works as pieces of art that can be appreciated on their own."

Proof that comics have moved beyond spinner racks and the funny pages are strips such as Megan Kelso's "Watergate Sue," which runs in the New York Times Magazine. Kelso's original strips are currently for display only, but works by indie darlings such as Sammy Harkham, Renee French, Jeremy Tinder and Bwana Spoons can all be had for $500 or less.

"We wanted the artwork to be accessible to people who never thought about collecting art before but who read comics," Borok says. "It's a nice chance for them to make an investment in something they can relate to, something from off their bookshelf."

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"Panelists 3," GR2, 2062 Sawtelle Blvd., West L.A. 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, noon to 7 p.m. Sundays. Ends July 17. (310) 445-9276, www.gr2.net

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