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New art exhibition explores The Art of the Comic Book Cover

January 8, 2018

Zap! Pow! Bam!: The Art of the Comic Book Cover opens Jan. 18 at the Alfred Berkowitz Gallery.

Guest curator and collector Corey Gross has spent his life amassing a substantial and impressive collection of comic books dating from the 1960s to present day. He proudly owns almost every Iron Man issue ever created.

Zap! Pow! Bam!: The Art of the Comic Book Cover, which runs at the Alfred Berkowitz Gallery Jan. 18 through April 7, features the best of Gross’s remarkable collection and focuses on the idea of the printed comic book cover as an art object. The exhibition displays around 250 comic books that showcase themes prevalent throughout the history of the art form including a large selection of Iron Man comics that illustrate the evolution of comics over the last fifty years.

The exhibition also features several pieces of original artwork, on loan courtesy of Western Michigan University Art Collection, that were used to print comic book covers, and that provide viewers with a greater understanding of how comic books are produced.

Thematic groupings of comics include:

  • Social issues in comics
  • Gimmick covers of the 90s
  • Non-superhero comics
  • Superhero pose covers
  • Unusual text integration/title banners
  • Use of super powers
  • First issues
  • Important/first appearances
  • Death of…

Supplementary pop culture items are presented along with the comics including action figures, collectibles, promotional items, and tchotchkes. These items are primarily for visual diversity and to further expound on comic book culture.

Zap! Pow! Bam!: The Art of the Comic Book Cover will be on view from January 18 to April 7. Gallery hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 9-5 and Thursday, 9-7.

Related upcoming gallery events:

Opening Reception
Thursday, January 18, 5-7 p.m.
Alfred Berkowitz Gallery, UM-Dearborn

Join guest curator Corey Gross and guest speaker Jerzy Drozd for the opening reception for Zap! Pow! Bam!: The Art of the Comic Book Cover. This free event includes complimentary hors d’oeuvres.

Comic Book Making Workshop
Thursday, March 15, 5:30-7 p.m.
Alfred Berkowitz Gallery, UM-Dearborn

Individual instruction by professional comic book artist Matt Feazell for 6th grade to college level students. Space is limited. Please visit to sign up in advance. Free to the public.

Dearborn Gallery Rally
Saturday, April 7, 2-5 p.m.
Alfred Berkowitz Gallery, UM-Dearborn

Come view the exhibition again on its closing day and see professional comic book artist Dave Acosta demonstrate comic book superhero drawings! Free to the public.

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