A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Punch Line
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Punch Line:
The Evolution of Chicago Comics into an Art Form
by Donald G. Evans
Newspaper comics started as a hook to attract readers—a quick laugh on the way to becoming fish or gift wrap, something to catch the coffee grinds. But over the past century, the throw-away funnies have evolved into a major art form. Chicago has been at the center of the movement. When Claire Briggs created A. Piker Clerk for the Chicago American in 1903, Chicago planted its flag as a pioneer in comic arts. Since then, comic artists have created an uninterrupted chain of memorable and important characters, and in so doing transformed comics into a form that deftly explores subjects as nuanced as love, personal tragedy and politics. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Punch Line takes a peek at Chicago’s role in comic book history, including some of the major creators, characters and movements associated with our city.
This modest exhibit includes comics, artwork, merchandizing any other fun artifacts representing Chicago's comic book history. It covers a range of comics, including Gasoline Alley, Moon Mullins, Little Orphan Annie, Dick Tracy, Brenda Starr, Binky Brown, Sylvia and Jimmy Corrigan. It tells the story of the various movements from the Chicago Tribune's comic empire, to the Underground Comics, to the present-day takes revolution. The Chicago Literacy Alliance is co-sponsoring and hosting the exhibit, as well as an opening and closing reception. CLA is one of Chicago's finest non-profit organizations, a home and enabler of many fine groups working in the literary and literacy communities.
The opening reception is free and open to the public. More details on special guests will be available soon.