Small Masterpieces: Fantastic! The Comic Art of Sandy Plunkett

Hannah Ticoras,

The first thing that I heard Sandy Plunkett say after I arrived at his Kennedy Museum of Art exhibition was “Can you hear me?” But what he may or may not have realized was he was screaming out of every frame in the gallery. The drawings were more than just seeing the world through his brilliant eyes. Looking around, Sandy was everywhere.

Historically, I have not been into comic books. (KEEP READING I AM NOW I PROMISE.) But I never really had the chance to understand them. They are extremely intimidating from afar; their skinny spines taunting, their fantastical pictures — fantastical. Truth is, I always wanted to read comic books, but I was afraid. I was always in the right place to start — they were in hundreds of boxes right next to the vinyl records in the kind of stores I hid inside during high school, but I was afraid that I would take one up to the checkout counter and it would be the wrong one, or an infamously bad one, and that every person in one of the only places I felt myself would turn against me immediately like the Guardians in the Silent Realm portion of Skyward Sword.

I forfeited a lot of experiences because of my social anxiety in high school, and college for me has been (on the most basic level) making up for lost time, including an immersion into comic books. So when I heard that a local comic artist had a exhibition at the Kennedy Museum, I had to go.

So I’m newly infatuated with comic books, standing in this gallery of original drawings by a man who lives in my town. Sandy’s exhibition was designed by a genius. There are three rooms. The main room is various original copies of his drawings, the one to the left is a room for his influences — mostly the original copies of various syndicated newspaper cartoon strips. The room to the right includes the coolest thing. Across an entire wall are the drawings from one issue of a comic book with no color or text. And there is still a story, with just drawings. The beginning of a story, right in from of me. I feel spoiled because I can immerse myself so deeply in something so recently meaningful to me.

Anyone who is passionate about comic books, art, or breathing should go to this exhibit. I’m going again next week. And probably again after that.

The Info:
Fantastic! The Comic Art of Sandy Plunkett
January 25-June 2
Kennedy Museum of Art



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