Comic book art on display at Richmond Center

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Photo of Pencil to Print poster.

Through June

KALAMAZOO--Original page and cover art from Marvel Comics' "The Amazing Spiderman" will be on display through Friday, June 29, at the Richmond Center for Visual Arts on the campus of Western Michigan University.

"Pencil to Print: Process and Production in the Silver Age of American Comics" will open in the Kerr Gallery Thursday, Feb. 23. All Richmond Center exhibits are open to the public free of charge during normal gallery hours, and free parking is available.

Included in the exhibition are all of the original drawings from Marvel Comics issue 93 of "The Amazing Spiderman" along with various other original cover art. Also included are two sets of progressive color proofs with the original cover art drawings. Progressive proofs were used by the printer to ensure that the process colors of magenta, yellow, cyan and black combined properly to create the full-color printing. The works on display also pay homage to the incredible talent of several famed comic artists, including John Severin, Mike Ploog and John Romita Sr.

The original page and cover art featured in this exhibit was donated to the University Art Collection in 1972 by Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Stan Lee. At that time, the practice of returning artwork to the artists was rare. Most artists were "work for hire," meaning they had no rights to their finished work; it was owned by the companies in which they were employed. Marvel and DC editor Jim Shooter was among the first to advocate artists' rights to the work they produced. Although Marvel and DC were not contractually bound to return the art, it was seen as a goodwill gesture from the company, and saved many thousands of pages of comic art from being lost or destroyed. For this reason, the University's Stan Lee Collection is considered significant.

Gallery hours

RCVA galleries are open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, and noon to 6 p.m. Saturday. Beginning May 1, the galleries will be open summer hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information, contact Don Desmett in the Richmond Center exhibitions office at donald.desmett@wmich.edu or (269) 387-2455.