New York

“Africa Comics”

The Studio Museum in Harlem

Comics have been cropping up in galleries with increasing regularity of late, with Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes, and others taking up the mantle of ambitious predecessors such as R. Crumb and Art Spiegelman. “Africa Comics” provided the US’s first comprehensive glimpse of the creativity and variety of comics published in sub-Saharan Africa, its European diaspora, and elsewhere. Organized in collaboration with Africa e Mediterraneo in Bologna, Italy—a nonprofit association concerned with promoting intercultural exchange—the Studio Museum show was small but still managed to feature work by thirty-two artists, and it packed a visceral wallop.

Comic art is not the subtlest of genres, but it can be an effective tool for satire and political critique. Much of the work in “Africa Comics” is timely in addressing urgent social and political issues, including corruption, poverty, state-sanctioned torture,

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