Enjoy a “Lurid, Unsavory, Gruesome” Exhibit at the University of Maryland

by Betsy Gomez

If you live near the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, you might consider a trip to the special collections department of the Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery for “All Lurid, Unsavory, Gruesome Illustrations Shall Be Eliminated: The Comics Code as seen through the UMBC Comics Collection.” The exhibit is open to the public and includes comics and original art from UMBC’s special collections.

A UMBC article describes the exhibit:

It’s a chance to see the ways in which the industry has changed over the past 70 years, from pushing the envelope of taste in order to sell comics, to wilting under restrictions on its creativity, and back to pushing the envelope.  We see how rare pre-Code, Silver Age and underground titles led to non-Code magazines and today’s graphic novels.

This exhibit is also an opportunity to see some fantastic original comic art from the 1970s, from legendary artists such as Jack Kirby, John Romita Sr. and Joe Sinnott.  Straight out of the Special Collections vault, these pieces have almost never been seen in public! Paired with the finished published books, they are great examples of the process of the comic book artists of the time.

The exhibit will run through May 16, from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday; 1:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Thursday; or by appointment. You can find more information on the exhibit here. For more information about the Albin O. Kuhn library, visit their website here.

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