UK comic enthusiasts are rejoicing this morning as the refurbished, rejigged and relocated Cartoon Museum reopens its doors a year after being forced to abandon its previous premises. The decision to up sticks from the original site in Bloomsbury came after a planned hike in rent apparently made the Little Russell Street location untenable.
Now embedded deep in ritzy Fitzrovia – just a stone’s throw away from the perma-hustle and mindless-bustle of Oxford Circus – the new incarnation of the only museum in the capital dedicated to highlighting the cultural and social value of cartoon and comic art has been overseen by Sam Jacob Studio.
As we reported back in late July 2018, the studio looked to the visual language of comics and cartoons for architectural inspiration.
A new home is a nice excuse for a party, and the Cartoon Museum equivalent of having some of the old uni lot round for an evening of Dr. Oetker and Echo Falls is Comic Creators, the Famous and the Forgotten, a brand new exhibition which, yep, looks at both forgotten and famous examples of comic artwork from across the decades.
That show forms part of a double header, with The Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell curating Drawing Life, a show that explores the history of British cartooning through the museum’s extensive, exhaustive archives.
With around 6,000 “original cartoon and comic artworks” being joined by an 8,000-strong book collection, you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else in Britain as dedicated to the past, present and future of the medium.