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Chicago becoming ‘center of comic universe’?

Is Chicago becoming ‘center of comic universe’? – that’s what the Museum of Contemporary Art is trying to promote – along with their new exhibit “New Chicago Comics.” The exhibit focuses on Chicago artist Jeffrey Brown, Lilli Carré, Paul Hornschemeier, and Anders Nilsen.

From the Sun Times:

Chicago’s relative affordability, prominent art school and expanding cartoonist community have helped grow the scene. The weather also helps, said Paul Hornschemeier, author of the graphic novel “The Three Paradoxes” and one of the four featured at the MCA.

“Comics are labor intensive,” he said. “This is a city where you can’t go outside six months a year.”

Exhibit info.

Community Comments

#1 Zoe Kirk-Robinson
January/24/2011
@ 9:27 am

Quick answer to this: no. The people who pose this sort of question need to realise there are countries other than the US who have well established comics communities in their own right.

#2 Stephen Beals
January/24/2011
@ 10:03 am

Hyperbole in a promotion? Unheard of.

I love Chicago.

#3 Terry LaBan
January/24/2011
@ 10:59 am

As a veteran of the 90s Chicago comics scene, I can say that Chicago was ALWAYS the center of the comics universe. Especially if you lived there and drew comics.

#4 Jeff Knurek
January/24/2011
@ 12:08 pm

Amen Terry!
Did ever hang out at the Bucktown Pub home to the Underground Comix Hall of Fame?

#5 Rich Diesslin
January/24/2011
@ 1:30 pm

Having lived in Chicago (twice) I can say that Chicago is definitely the center of the universe to people who live in Chicago – regardless of the topic. They are rarely aware of the rest of the state, let alone the country. However, that may well be true of any large city (NY, LA, etc.). So their claim rings true especially if you live in Chicago – as to whether anyone else would agree … well it’s clearly debatable.

#6 Keith Knight
January/24/2011
@ 1:35 pm

Portland. More cartoonists per capita than any other U.S. city.

#7 Stephen Beals
January/24/2011
@ 1:46 pm

@Rich, That’s how I felt about Los Angles. I’ve found that I like it much better as a visitor.

The center of cartooning needs to be someplace tropical. No snow. Free drinks. And an India Ink spring.

#8 Stephen Beals
January/24/2011
@ 1:47 pm

Or Los Angeles, for that matter.

#9 Rich Diesslin
January/24/2011
@ 1:50 pm

@Stephen – good point – love the tropical idea!

#10 Ted Rall
January/24/2011
@ 2:38 pm

No doubt, Portland comes first. Then probably New York and then Chicago. San Francisco used to be bigger, but is still very significant cartoonwise. All three have big cartooning scenes. But if it’s the universe, surely France and Japan rate a mention.

#11 Terry LaBan
January/25/2011
@ 10:00 am

@Jeff Did ever hang out at the Bucktown Pub home to the Underground Comix Hall of Fame?

I went there once and saw all the comix stuff on the walls, but that was it. Back in the very early 90s,I, Dan Clowse, Chris Ware, Gary Leib, Jessica Abel, Archer Prewitt and assorted other comers and goers used to gather once a week or so to draw at a coffee shop called Earwax in Wicker Park. After several core members of the group moved, I started getting together with a quite large and shifting group of comic book luminaries for lunch at various places around town. It was quite a nice scene, till everyone started getting old and moving. Actually, we used to envy Seattle back then for its status as a cartoon mecca.

#12 Jen Sorensen
January/25/2011
@ 11:22 am

As a recent transplant to Portland, I’ve gotta agree with Keith and Ted.

#13 Matt Bors
January/25/2011
@ 11:41 am

I agree as well. Motion passed.

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