Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

The Actress And The Bishop And The ArtWalk

The PopCulteer
July 17, 2009

Cool Comic Of The Week: Poetry In Comics

Desperado Comics has collected the complete run, three stories in all, of Brian Bolland’s comic series “The Actress And The Bishop,” and the world is better for it.

Bolland is veteran British comic book artist, best known for illustrating “Batman: The Killing Joke” (written by the legendary Alan Moore), and the ground-breaking maxi-series “Camelot 3000.” He’s spent most of his career as a cover artist, applying his meticulous pen to such characters as Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Judge Dredd and The Invisibles, among others.

Created originally as one plate of a limited-edition art portfolio, Bolland’s strip “The Actress And The Bishop,” ran as three-page installments in the first two issues of the anthology comic, A1 in the late 1980s. The third strip, a 17-page epic, was drawn in the early 1990s, but remained unpublished until a collection of Bolland’s work was released as a hardcover a couple of years ago.

“The Actress And The Bishop,” taking it’s title from an obscure (to the US) bit of British slang, tells, in rhyming couplets, the story of the unlikely pairing of an elderly Anglican Bishop, and his beautiful lady of the evening (“Actress” is a very polite British euphemism for prostitute).

The rhymes and stories are clever, but the real star is Bolland’s ultra-detailed art. This is eye candy so good you can actually gain weight looking at it. The level of detail is just amazing. The fact that Bolland draws some of the most beautiful women in comics is a bonus. You don’t get to be the cover artist for Wonder Woman by drawing ugly women.

“The Actress And The Bishop” is a unique, very British, work of art. It’s poetry. It’s comics. It’s drawing. It’s entertaining, charming and engaging.

Beyond that, this is a really hard-to-describe comic book. It’s in black-and-white, which shows off Bolland’s artwork in sparkling clarity. It’s definitely not for kids. The Actress spends much of the comic book sans clothing. Any fan of offbeat comics and fantastic art should seek this out. One other cool thing about this book is that the back cover promises Bolland’s long-promised book on a week he spent in Burma will be published by Desperado soon.

ArtWalk July 16 Photo Essay

ArtWalk was just last night as I write this, and we’re going to take a leisurely photographic stroll among the folks taking in the art.

Keith Allen and Mark Wolfe hang out with Amy Williams, who WAS an exhibit, DARN IT, a performance art piece, darning socks at The Purple Moon.

Captain Crash has returned from Iraq! Jonathan Slack and Laura Summerhill, RFC’s “cutest couple” reunited at The Purple Moon.

Tofujitsu (Karen Allen and Sean Richardson) performing at The Purple Moon

Dave Frazier, with some of his spectacular art, at The Art Emporium

Artist, Vasillia Scouras and musician Mark Davis (The VooDoo Katz, Barebones, Comparsa) taking in the Art Walk.

Striking work by Colleen Anderson and Michael Davis, at The Good News Mountaineer Garage Gallery.

Very cool small pieces, on really cool easels, created by Emily Haynes, at Vision’s Day Spa.

A quick shot of the crowd at Taylor Book’s Art Annex.

Finally, back at The Purple Moon, Charlie Hamilton looks on as Amy Williams darns.

No Pants This Weekend

The No Pants Players will be performing Saturday, July 18th at 8 p.m. at the La Belle Theater, 311 D Street S. Charleston. As always, show is family-friendly and tickets are only $6 each. Concessions and NPP merchandise will also be available. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or reserved by calling 1-877-IMPROV9.

Saturday Night At The Glass

The music starts at 6 p.m., with a benefit featuring music from Andy Park, Maya Nye, and other quality musicians. I do not have the details of this show handy, but a five-dollar donation gets you in the door for this show, which runs from 6 to 9:30.

At 10 p.m. The Universes and Tofujitsu open for Melty Melty, a visiting band from Columbus. The Radio Free Charleston cameras will be on hand to record the evening’s proceedings for future shows.

That’s this PopCulteer Done

Check back next week for our Sunday Evening Videos, Monday Morning Art, and Radio Free Charleston 76, featuring music from Suburban Graffiti and Option 22.

1 Comment

  1. Mam Bear

    You are truly an asset to this community, much love and thanks to you and all your support.

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