Move Over, New York; Chicago Comics Affirms a Vibrant Local Legacy

Installation view, Chicago Comics: 1960s to Now, MCA Chicago, 2021. (© MCA Chicago; photo by Nathan Keay)

CHICAGO — When people think of comics, they typically think of New York, the historic home of the US comics industry. They might think of comic book legends like Stan Lee and Jack Kirby or the ubiquity of New York in superhero comics and movies. Chicago Comics: 1960s to Now, now on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art, makes a case for including Chicago in discussions of how the comics industry, massive and varied, has developed to this day. The show includes the work of major creators who were born, lived, and/or worked in the city such as Daniel Clowes of Ghost World, Nick Drnaso of Sabrina, and cartoonist Lynda Barry. 

Integral to the show is its highlighting of the contributions of Black cartoonists who published their work in the Chicago DefenderJet, and other Black Media outlets, and whose work has not received the same amount of attention as their white counterparts. 

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