Blab! Retrospective opening @ Society of Illustrators
Start Time: 6:00PM End Time: 9:00PM
BLAB!, a periodic anthology of visual art, was founded by Chicago-based graphic designer and art director Monte Beauchamp in 1986. Characterized by an emphasis on comics, the first seven issues of BLAB! were produced in a digest-sized format (5½" x 8½"), printed in black-and-white with a color cover, and contained illustrated stories by such figures as Joe Coleman, Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, Drew Friedman, Chris Ware, and ZAP artist Spain Rodriguez.
In 1995, after a three year hiatus, the eighth issue of BLAB! appeared with a redesigned format and a significant shift in editorial focus. It was square (10" x 10"), included 4-color printing on the interior, and featured a cover commissioned from the then relatively unknown Chris Ware, now a renowned comic artist. Ware's impeccably drawn cover design and tag line, "Liberating Art from Quality," heralded BLAB!'s new direction. Beauchamp significantly reduced the number of prose pieces, featured fewer comics artists, and invited illustrators such as Gary Baseman, Christian Northeast, The Clayton Brothers, Jonathon Rosen and Mark Ryden to contribute. He also featured selections of vintage "found" graphics such as depression-era matchbook covers, Valmor cosmetic labels, and European devil postcards. Though it has continued to reflect Beauchamp's passion for storytelling, BLAB!'s character is resolutely visual. Each year he invites approximately twenty-five visual artists from the fields of sequential art, graphic design, illustration, painting, and printmaking to contribute to BLAB!, a selection informed by Beauchamp's distinctive vision and aesthetic.
Today BLAB! is acclaimed as a highly influential periodical of visual art and as a venue for work by some of the world's brightest artists, illustrators, and printmakers.
Monte Beauchamp is an award-winning art director/graphic designer whose work has appeared in Graphis, Communication Arts, SPDA, Print, American Illustration, and The Society of Illustrators Annual. He has received numerous awards and honors, and has served as a juror for American Illustration and The Society of Illustrators.
He is the founder and editor of the graphics-illustration-comics annual BLAB! His books include: The Life & Times of R. Crumb (St. Martin's Press), Striking Images: Vintage Matchbook Cover Art (Chronicle Books), The Devil in Design (Fantagraphics), and New & Used BLAB! (Chronicle Books).
He is the founder, editor, and designer of BLAB! Picto-Novelettes - a series of story books presented in a faux-children's book format for adults. Titles include: Sheep of Fools by Sue Coe and Judith Brody, Old Jewish Comedians by Drew Friedman, The Magic Bottle by Camille Rose Garcia, Struwwelpeter by Bob Staake, and SHAG: A to Z.
Society of Illustrators
128 E 63rd St
New York, NY
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