Romance! Violence! Crime! Science Fiction!, Horror!
All Sensational! All Surreal! All Irony Free!
The words above capture the feel and subject matter of a small and magnetic niche genre, Mexican Pulp Illustration. Comic and Novella covers needed to grab a customer’s attention in a quick second at a checkout counter. Easily done with the use of garish color, over the top sexuality, and suggested violence, one would be compelled to buy these myriad serial stories of mystery, suspense, and more… once hooked you’d hopefully buy every week. Writers and illustrators were constantly grinding out ”stories” on a deadline schedule and the tradition continues to this day… these little comic books can still be purchased at Mexican grocery stores and bodegas, all across the United States and the Americas. The works in the exhibition are from the early 1970’s, executed with gouache on illustration board and are what we perceive, the glory days of these unknown and underrated artists.
The non-sequitur choices made by the artists are so odd one after another… over a green background a woman with blue hair has her hands in an omigosh position, while a male is getting clunked on the head by a wooden rolling pin…. all the while an ominous envelope hovers behind them in space. Or….a pair of hands emanate electric power, with the face of a blue ghost spirit in the background, while a miniature UFO hovers near a doctor checking the heartbeat of a little boy.
There is one consistent compositional element always evident; the top third of the vertical rectangle is left open for the graphic title of the comic or novella. Micro-supsenso / micro-misterio / micro leyendas (legends)… are some of the categories for the stories. For this exhibition we have one example of a full set: the small book, the cover illustration, and “the dummy”, which is the black and white inking of the story itself told over 125 pages.
The exhibit overall will have over 100 works.
Presented by Aron Packer Projects