The characters and themes developed during the Silver Age of comics are typically better loved and more durable than those of any other age. Though we might feel a kind of admiration or nostalgia for the classical heroism of Superman, characters like The Thing—with his rocky exterior and tender heart—or the shared aims but opposing strategies of Professor X and Magneto—and their relations to Martin Luther King, Jr and Malcolm X—are more transcendent. We see these characters and these tensions today. What hacker has never thought of himself as a sort of Iron Man? Who hasn't wanted to rip off their shirt and go Hulk after a few shots of tequila?
In this show, Ian "South Bend" Seniff reimagines these characters into his life and into the present. The Thing looks out at you from a loveless black with teary blue eyes. His wife serves as a model for Wonder Woman. Newt Gingrich becomes The Mole Man.
The artist's statement: It was 1988 when I received my first comic book, Avengers #188. My Uncle Paul had given me the book after I stumbled upon it in a drawer at his house on Johnson Street. While the book eventually turned to dust, my love of comics remained and throughout my life comics have been a constant influence on my art. Copies of drawings by Jack Kirby, John Byrne, John Romita, Neal Adams and countless others were some of the first works I produced. It is these under-appreciated artists that Silver Age is meant to honor and it is Paul Jankowski, the man who sparked my love of comics, to whom this show is dedicated.
Please join us for the opening on April 5 starting at 5:30. The artist will be present and serving a keg of homebrew. The show will run through April 29.
Photos by John Carleton.