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  • CALL FOR ARTISTS: VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2020

    Location: Venice,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS: VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2020 Venice | April 09 – May..
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  • CALL FOR ARTISTS: THE EXTENDED BODY 2020

    Location: London,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS: THE EXTENDED BODY – MIXING CULTURES ITSLIQUID International Art Exhibition THE..
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  • Call for Proposals: 2020 The WALL Artist

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Vancouver Heritage Foundation is now accepting proposals from independent artists and curators for..
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  • 10th Annual

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • Appreciation of the Arts

    Location: London, ON

    Three day art and music event to recognize local artists in London, Ontario...
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  • Call to Artists - 2020 Sooke Fine Arts Show

    Location: Sooke, BC

    Artists are invited to submit work for consideration to the 2020 Sooke Fine..
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  • INK by Shawn Zheng

    Location: Saskatoon, SK

    Shu Cheng (Shawn) Zheng features his distinctive style of making marks in Chinese..
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  • North Shore Art Crawl

    Location: North Shore, BC

    The North Shore Art Crawl is a free community arts event March 7+8,..
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  • Art exhibit at local funeral home is proof art isn’t dead!

    Location: Alexandria, ON

    • Friday, 21 Feb 6--9: Wine & cheese, entertainment by recording artist Katie..
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  • New Craft Coalition: Call to Artists

    Location: Calgary, AB

    New Craft Coalition invites applications from all mid-career and professional artists to be..
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  • TRAVEL EXHIBITION

    Location: Toronto, ON

    John Mantha will be participating in a group show at Twist Gallery in..
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  • David Tycho: Urbania

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Guest artist David Tycho will exhibit 10 paintings from his latest series. This series..
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  • ACAF (Accessible Art Fair) 2020

    Location: Brussels,

    ACAF (Accessible Art Fair) is back on October 15-18, 2020 for its 14th..
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  • Clarkson Society of Artists 2020 Show & Sale

    Location: Mississauga, ON

    The Clarkson Society of Artists invites you to attend their annual show &..
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  • Call for Artists: Urban Matrix

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    North Van Arts is inviting artists to take part in an upcoming group..
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  • 9th Artist Spotlight Solo Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art is now accepting entries for the 9th Artist Spotlight Solo Art..
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  • Call for Art - 11th Annual

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • Call For Artists: The Other Art Fair Toronto

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Other Art Fair are thrilled to present the newest edition of The..
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  • Call for Art - 4th Annual Colors Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 4th Annual Colors online art competition. For this..
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  • Marlene Kawalez and Corynn Kokolakis

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Presented by: Cedar Ridge Gallery. Part of the Cedar Ridge Gallery Contemporary Exhibition series. March..
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  • Jane Selbie and Joseph Farrugia

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Presented by: Cedar Ridge Gallery. Part of the Cedar Ridge Gallery Contemporary Exhibition series. February..
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  • Dianne Davis and the WAP Collective

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Presented by: Cedar Ridge Gallery. Part of the Cedar Ridge Gallery Contemporary Exhibition series. February..
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  • “Grey” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline February 28, 2020

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Grey surrounds us, sometimes in surprising ways. In beach pebbles, a..
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  • on thin ice Polar Bear Art Exhibit

    Location: Toronto, ON

    On thin ice is a solo exhibit of polar bear portrait paintings by..
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  • Support the Worldwide Art Community | Participate in 6x6x2020

    Location: Rochester, ON

    Hello Artists in Canada, We want YOU to participate in 6x6x2020! Let your creative..
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  • Olivier Du Tre: New Works

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    January 7 to February 29, 2020 At HUB@302 302-1235 26 Ave SE, Calgary, AB..
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  • WAAH 124th Juried Exhibition at the Art Gallery of Hamilton

    Location: Hamilton, ON

    Who:  The Women’s Art Association of Hamilton (WAAH) at the Art Gallery of..
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  • The Indian Contemporary Art Competition

    Location: New York, NY, ON

    The Indian Contemporary Art Competition (ICAC) aims to discover and promote talented artists..
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  • The Loft On King Street

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Loft On King Street is one of the most unique private event..
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  • Overzealous Fine Art Exhibition 2020 Call for Entry

    Location: Toronto (GTA), ON

    Submission Deadline: Sunday, March 1st, 2020 -- Exhibition Dates: March 30 – April 18,..
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Captain Marvel

By Robert Amos February 23, 2004

} Captain Marvel I was invited to Legends Comics (636 Johnson Street, 388-3696) to see the current show of original ink drawings by UVic visual arts student Amy Cheng. Cheng’s work is amusing, though slight. Yet Legends Comics itself is anything but slight. It is a temple devoted to the culture of comics. A sense of my own ignorance came over me immediately. I didn’t know the language and didn’t recognize the points of reference. So I made myself comfortable at the front counter and let myself be guided by the informed and witty owners, Gareth Gaudin and Lloyd Chesley. The centre of the shop is filled with bins of comics I remember, antique editions of Donald Duck and Superman among them. In the back, a rack of Mad Magazine paperbacks recalled the first inklings of art which ever crossed my young path. Lining the walls are racks displaying an irresistible array of Head Comix and Japanese manga and new evolutions of superheroes and many many more categories unfamiliar to me. There are graphic novels and ... as I said, I was really beyond my depth here. What is going on? This isn’t a dungeons and dragons lair for role-playing gamers; it’s not like the shop next door which sells what Gaudin calls “bulk comics - family friendly, the Save-On Foods of comics”. This is a shop that takes all forms of the illustrated story seriously. “We want to put the book back in comic book,” Gaudin quips. Captain Marvel, Isue #68, December 1946 Legends was started ten years ago by Grant Wilson, and he made it a mecca of the cult. I’m told it is equalled in Canada only by Beguilings in Toronto, as a place where the emotional commitment to the art form was complete. Wilson recently sold the shop to Gaudin, his former staff member, and the equally committed Lloyd Chesley. Chesley filled me in on a bit of recent comic history. “The store opened on November 7, 1992 - the day Superman died... and the comic industry, too. The Death of Superman was the number one selling comic of all time; more than 8 million copies were sold. It came in a black bag with an black armband. Businessmen were lined up down the block - it was the height of comic books being collected as a commodity, rather than as stories and art. Immediately, everyone became so disgusted that the industry went into a depression. During the nineties there was no substance to the stories.” It was during that time that tiny publishers sought out serious and innovative writers, and the art form was slowly reborn. Art Speigelman’s Maus (a comic novel of the rise of Nazi power in Germany) showed many people the potential of the graphic novel. World famous publishers Drawn and Quarterly from Montreal courted artists who demonstrated a new, more profound intent. Chester Brown published his series devoted to the life of Louis Riel, itself a remarkable slice of Canadian history. During the past Christmas season Legend’s supply of this carefully-researched story sold out. But lest we get too reverent, Gaudin takes me back to the start. “My first comic book,” he recalls fondly, “was Godzilla 17, a Marvel comic. I bought it at Turner’s [at Richmond and Fort Street]. My mother was a hairdresser and she worked at Ladybird Beauty Salon across the street. I must have been three or four years old.” He has a copy of it in the store. It’s not a coincidence that most customers for superheroes material are in the 25 - 35 age range. I begin to reflect on how comics have influenced me. In my childhood, at summer camp we had stacks of tatty smelly comics - Uncle Scrooge and Gyro Gearloose, and the world of Bizarro Superman. Later, I was just at the right age to be swept away by the acid-soaked iconoclasm of R. Crumb, a draftsman who captured the zeitgeist of that moment more perfectly than any other artist. At Legends I find Crumb has continued his work (with wife and daughter as co-authors and artists) and many volumes of his early sketchbooks are also in print. What about Classics Illustrated? I’ve scarcely thought of those since 1962. Chesley tells me they are the most sought-after collectible comic of all. “We get request from New York,” he mentions. Gaudin adds that they have none in stock, except one copy of a German language version. Is this comic book genre literature or art? There are obvious predecessors. Goya’s satirical series of etchings, Los Caprichos, are now on show at the Vancouver Art Gallery. William Hogarth’s etchings were produced in a continuous narrative form. Expressionist artists created novels in woodcut at the time of the fist world war. Dickens’ novels were published as serials, as were those of Arthur Conan Doyle. The great French writer Alexandre Dumas had a veritable factory to keep up with the demands for installments of his popular novels. In fact, one of the best parts of Legend’s business that comics are published in series and customers come back again and again. Legends has a large subscription department with many standing orders. “The books come in every week,” Chesley points out. “People get really committed to them. You never saw a customer as happy as when his new comic comes in. We’re like bartenders here - we just cheer people up!”. ___________________________________________ Copyright © 2004 Robert Amos Robert Amos is an artist and art writer who lives in Victoria, B. C.. He can be contacted by e-mail and you can view his paintings at www.robertamos.com