I have a press release from the British Library detailing some of the special exhibitions that they will be running this year. The following may be of interest.
Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK (2 May – 19 August 2014)
This spring sees the opening of the UK’s biggest exhibition of British comics, featuring unseen comics, original artwork and bizarre objects exploring the form’s tumultuous history.
From newly discovered Victorian comics to iconic titles such as V for Vendetta and Batman, Comics Unmasked will explore political and social issues raised by British comics and their creators over the last century, from violence and drugs to class and sexuality.
Today we are revealing a rare and little-known comic book from our archives, The Trials of Nasty Tales, an early example of an underground work by Dave Gibbons of Watchmen fame. The comic relates the story of the short-lived ‘Nasty Tales’ series which stood trial for obscenity charges in the early 1970s for its graphic content, an incident which crystallised the perception of the comics industry as a vehicle of subversion and dissent.
The Trials of Nasty Tales, Watchmen and many more titles both rare and iconic will be on display in Comics Unmasked this May.
And yes, those dates do overlap Worldcon. Well planned, British Library!
Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination (3 October 2014 – 27 January 2015)
In October 2014 the British Library will stage the UK’s most comprehensive show of Gothic literature yet. Marking 250 years since the genre burst into undead life with the publication of Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto, Terror and Wonder will explore the enduring influence it has had, not just on literature, but film, fashion, music and art ever since.
The exhibition will explore how literary greats, such as Ann Radcliffe and Horace Walpole, broke conventions with 18th century gothic masterpieces, paving the way for some of the most imaginative minds of literature, from Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker to Mervyn Peake and Angela Carter.
Today we announce a newly-discovered letter written by ‘queen of gothic’ Ann Radcliffe, one of only three manuscripts in the world written in the author’s hand and the first known to exist in Britain. Surprisingly little is known about Ann Radcliffe’s life, but this letter appearing in the exhibition later this year will provide the most personal insight yet into the author.
The British Library is delighted to announce that BBC Four will broadcast a season of programmes about the gothic imagination to coincide with Terror and Wonder in Autumn 2014. Further details will be announced later in the year.
That looks like a good year to me.