Written by Aaron Jolly
15 Sunday 15th August 2010


The Pump House Gallery in Battersea Park is hosting installations by four comic artists that may change what comes to your mind when you think of comics. Called Hypercomics: The shape of comics to come, the exhibition turns the traditional ideas of comic narrative on their head, immersing you in the characters lives and putting you in the driving seat of the storytelling.
Liberating the artists from the traditional confines of the printed page and singular narrative, Hypercomics lets you have a choice of multiple storylines, offering different perspectives on the same character or event. Placing the specially commissioned comics within an art gallery context allows their stories the unique opportunity to relate to one another and the local surroundings of Battersea Park.
The first artist’s work you come across upon entering the gallery is Warren Pleece. He mixes an animated installation Montague Terrace, a table of items relevant to the characters and a traditional comic strip with key panels enlarged. Throughout, you follow the characters, Marvo the magic bunny, the Puppeteer, Paul Gregory the wannabe celebrity and Babushka an unlikely covert spy.  Pleece imagines the Pump House redeveloped as the Montague Terrace apartments and turns the gallery space into a fifth seedy flat from which to spy on the other ‘inmates’.
Daniel Merlin Goodbrey creates an alternate history for the gallery as an archive for infamous glam-rock dictator Hieronymus Pop and charts the facets of its lone archivist at work, at play and in dreams. Each wall engages the viewer in a grid of multi-directional storylines. The fourth glass wall leads to a further virtual manifestation.
Dave McKean, best known for his work with Neil Gaiman and directing the 2005 film Mirrormask, exhibits The Rut which presents three characters’ views of an event in the park; Perpetrator, Victim and Witness. You are lead through a series of different comic strips shown through a mixture of mediums. As the three characters lead you through the event, the truth becomes more ambiguous.
Adam Dant, celebrated artist and winner of the Jerwood drawing prize 2002, has transformed the top floor of the gallery into an old gents library belonging to a Doctor London. The bookcases are filled with hundreds of books chronicling the streets of London, their spines and titles painted in oil on canvas. These books follow Dr London’s metaphorical autopsy of the capital, which is also represented by an old map overlaid with a drawing of a man, merging biology and geography.
The exhibition is curated by journalist, broadcaster, writer and specialist in the art of comics Paul Gravett.
Hypercomics: The shape of comics to come is at the Pump House Gallery in Battersea Park until September 26.


Don't Panic attempt to credit photographers and content owners wherever possible, however due to the sheer size and nature of the internet this is sometimes impractical or impossible. If you see any images on our site which you believe belong to yourself or another and we have incorrectly used it please let us know at panic@dontpaniconline.com and we will respond asap.


  • Guest: josephine.grenfell
    Tue 17 - Aug - 2010, 11:09
    definitely want to check out this exhibition, great article