San Francisco’s innovative nonprofit arts organization 836M presents an exciting new showcase of the work of Bay Area cartoonists, graphic novelists, and zine makers. Cartoonists@836M challenges four local artists to create brand-new work responding to a prompt about the history of SF’s neighborhoods. Check it out from May 25-Sept. 28, 2023 at 836M in San Francisco.
The four-month residency will dive into the challenges artists face during the creative process of formulating a new comic, zine, or graphic novel. In adjacent programming to the exhibition, guests will have an opportunity to learn about the latest techniques and technology permeating the world of comic making. It’s an exciting peek into the past, present, and future of the industry that viewers rarely get to see firsthand.
Four artists will take on the challenge. They are Rina Ayuyang, author of Blame This on the Boogie and co-curator of the exhibition; Tyler Cohen, author of Primahood: Magenta which won the 2017 Bisexual Book Award for Graphic Memoir; Janelle Hessig, a multimedia humorist known for Too Tough to Die and The Cruising Diaries; and Thien Pham, author and illustrator of Sumo and illustrator of Level Up.
The exhibition’s opening will be preceded on May 11 by Nam June Paik: Moon is the Oldest TV, a documentary film screening and discussion about renowned video artist Nam June Paik (whom you may know from the 2021 exhibition at SFMOMA) You’ll also want to save the dates for the opening reception on May 25 and the closing reception on Sept. 28.
“During their residency, each artist will produce a zine offering their personal take on the multicultural history of San Francisco, and the public will have many opportunities to interact with the artists whose practice usually happens behind the scenes,” said Céline Ricci, 836M programming director.
Cartoons, graphic novels, and comic books have a special place in the hearts of Bay Area residents, with the industry’s history preserved in local spots like SF’s Cartoon Art Museum and Santa Rosa’s Charles M. Schulz Museum. The comic book industry has evolved greatly since the era of sensationalist journalism in the 19th century and the Golden Age of Comic Books between 1938-1956, and Cartoonists@836M is an exciting opportunity to see what’s next for the future of comic making.