On View
Oct 24, 2008–Jan 4, 2009

Although recent attention to the history and  development of comics and sequential art has  been well deserved and long overdue, it nevertheless has been limited in scope. Out of Sequence sought to showcase American sequential art that steps outside the traditional bounds of the medium.

Exhibition supported in part by Office of the Chancellor, U of I; Office of the Provost and Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs, U of I; Illinois Arts Council; Krannert Art Museum Director's Circle; Krannert Art Museum Council. Image credit: Dawud Anyabwile, You don't need to know my name!, 2007 © Dawud Anyabwile

One such boundary is race and gender.  Therefore, Out of Sequence focused on women and minority comic creators, both historical and contemporary.  In addition to works by creators from underrepresented demographics, the exhibition also exhibited works that transcend the boundaries of the comics form.  This included comics work created with nontraditional techniques, experimental design and story elements, and webcomics.  Finally, Out of Sequence saved a place for comic book writers.  Although not technically visual artists, the sequential art writer is to comics what the director is to film.  Out of Sequence showcased sequential artwork from its incipient stages to the present.  It also focused on the alternate histories, the overlooked, and the underrepresented, in an effort to form a more extensive canon of American sequential art masters and, in so doing, express the limitless possibilities of this art form.

Exhibition programming

October 30
5:30 pm: Gallery Conversation
With education coordinator Andrea Ferber

November 8
1–4 pm: Gallery Conversation
"Emerging Out of Sequence: Examining the Past and Charting the Future of American Comics," with Nancy Goldstein, author of Jackie Ormes: The First American Woman Cartoonist (2008); Andrei Molotiu, abstract comics artist and writer; Trina Robbins, comics curator and herstorian; and Ashley A. Woods, independent comics creator.

Curators: Damian Duffy + John Jennings

John Jennings is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Jennings frequently lectures on visual literacy, popular culture, and the visual communication found in Hip Hop culture. Jennings is also the co-author of the graphic novel The Hole: Consumer Culture and a co-founder of Eye Trauma, a web based collective of sequential artists, activists, and curators who seek to expand the public's perception of the comics medium.

Damian Duffy is editor-in-chief of the Eye Trauma Comix online anthology. He is the writer and letterer of several graphic novels, including Whisp (2005) and  The Hole: Consumer Culture. In addition, he is an active film, music, and television critic. He has presented on comics at such conferences as the International Comic Arts Festival at the Library of Congress and the Symposium on African American Culture and Philosophy at Purdue University. His comics collaborations with fellow Eye Trauma founders John Jennings and Whisp artist Dann Tincher have appeared in art exhibitions throughout the nation. 

Historical consultant: Robert C. Harvey

For well over a quarter of a century, R. C. Harvey has published scholarly work on comic strips, editorial cartoons, comic books, magazine cartoons, and graphic novels. He is a member of the National Cartoonist Society, an associate member of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists, and a member of the Comic Art Professionals Society. He has authored several books about cartooning, including the aesthetic histories The Art of the Funnies (1994) and The Art of the Comic Book(1996).

Acquisitions Consultant: Daniel F. Yezbick

Dan Yezbick is Assistant Professor of English at Peninsula College, Washington, where he currently teaches film, drama, literature, and writing. Originally from northwest Detroit, Dan grew up on Motown, Shakespeare, Spider-Man, and Citizen Kane. Ever since then, he's been feeding his triple addiction to screen, stage, and comic strips non-stop. He has lectured and published on diverse topics in literature, theater, and media studies including Victorian stereoscopic views, American radio drama, Blaxploitation cinema, and New Deal Shakespeare. He has taught in both the U.S. and Great Britain, and he also pioneered the first undergraduate surveys of American comic art at the University of Illinois and Peninsula College. He recently edited R. C. Harvey's mammoth critical biography of the legendary American cartoonist, Milton Caniff.