Some fine-art mavens may find it uncouth to embrace art normally associated with the gloss and garishness of pop culture—the comic book. Josh Rose, formerly the Dallas Museum of Art’s manager of public programs, sees it as a perfect fit, which is why he started a monthly comic book club there. “The program ties in so closely with the Dallas Museum of Art’s institutional mission to engage as many diverse audiences as possible through explorations of art and creativity.”
For the past two years, the men and women attending the Comic Book Club have been dedicated attendees of any of the DMA’s programs. They meet once a month, usually on the second Thursday and excluding Decembers. Rose leads the group in discussing a select comic book or graphic novel, titles that reveal a greater depth to this medium. Recently the group read The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Novel Adaptation, which takes the 604 pages of the official government report and graphically translates it into a more digestible 128 pages.
It’s not a stretch to see the panels on a comic book page like an art gallery itself, where the viewer moves along to get the entire experience. Even if not everyone can appreciate comics, Rose believes the exposure is important. “I think the wider public is still uncertain about the validity of comics as an art form. The club is our own little way of attempting to rectify this.”
On April 10, the Comic Book Club will read Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return. Satrapi appears at Arts & Letters Live the following evening. Ticket information is available on the DMA’s website, www.dallasmuseumofart.org.