From Warhol to Wolverine

BLAM! 3 aims to show people that comic books can be considered art

CRASH! POP! POW! BLAM!

BLAM! 3 the third in a series of comic book art shows curated by Justin Waterman.

According to the local artist, the exhibit – opening Oct. 26 at cre8ery – is “a collection of works fished from Winnipeg’s immense pool of talented comic book/pop culture artists.”

The exhibits are intended to blur the lines between comic book and classic artwork and create a larger audience for pop culture-based art. 

Waterman likes to act like any other BLAM! attendee. He’s just as excited as someone who might be hearing of this event for the first time. 

“Being the third installation of the exhibit, I have to admit I’m going to be as surprised as the patrons when I see the full show,” Waterman says. “I am trying a ‘blind faith’ approach as I have never been let down by them before.”

Waterman is a comic book artist himself. He says comic creators are often overlooked as artists but that they draw inspiration the same way as many other artistic mediums. 

“When I was very young in the ‘70s, I had comic books confiscated from certain teachers. One actually referred to them as ‘the devil’s choice,’” he says. “I was collecting them before I could read. This forced me to make up my own dialogue based on the stunning panels of art. This served as a great tool for imagination, and determination to learn how to read.”

In addition to Waterman, BLAM! 3 features artists Kari-Ann Anderson, Colin Bell, Mark Humphrey, Donovan Yaciuck, Evan Quiring, Victoria Free, Nicholas Burns, Justin Shauf, Nick Iskierski, Michael Joyal, Robert Pasternak and Chech Abstract.

“I have a mix of professional and up-and-coming artists this year. Most of them are new to the exhibit.” 

BLAM! first took place in 2007 at The Label Gallery. 

“It was basically put together to fill a time slot. I was amazed by the talent that responded to the submission call. The show was a great success in attendance as well,” Waterman says.

Next up was the Centennial Concert Hall. Waterman wasn’t sure if he could get away with displaying comic style art there but decided to do it anyway. 

“I assembled a crew of about 12 comic artists in 2011, requesting larger works that really pop. I quietly hung the show without warning the administration staff of the subject matter.”

“Another success, works sold,” he says.

Waterman hopes to add a fashion aspect to the exhibit and encourages everyone to attend in “fun attire” - though if they are unable, they can always head to John R. Izzard’s special F/X kiosk for some zombie makeup. 

With the 2013 Central Canada Comic Con just around the corner (Nov. 1-3), Blam 3! is a great kick-off for costume-clad fanatics. And if you feel like dancing, there will also be music provided by DJ King Cabernet. 

“The costumes, music and art fit like a glove” Waterman says.

Published in Volume 68, Number 7 of The Uniter (October 16, 2013)

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