Cartoonists gather to push for legitimacy of cartoon art

An exhibit in Seattle is opening featuring the work of a small group of cartoonists who are pushing for the legitimacy of comic art.

Cartoon artists have a long, proud history of pushing people’s buttons. Gary Larson once baffled and infuriated readers with a Far Side panel depicting odd objects in a field captioned “Cow tools.” In “Real Art?A Question of Culture,” at Sessions Gallery, a cozy basement space in Ballard (through Sunday, Dec. 18; 206-234-5000), a group of illustrators and cartoonists take issue with the established definition of art and make a good case for the legitimacy of their own work. Curated by Don Hudgins of Sedrat Arts and Sessions owner and artist David Lasky, the show was inspired by a Peter Bagge strip called Real Art, which ran in the political magazine Reason in 2004. In it, Bagge says that much that art institutions deem worthy of respect is actually rubbish, and concludes, “So who needs modern art museums?”