The British Invasion of American Comics exhibition

Comic books are American as apple pie and Uncle Sam… aren't they? Visit The Cartoon Museum this Spring to discover how British artists and writers invaded America and made their mark on iconic superheroes and more!

HEROES: The British Invasion of American Comics tells the story of early American comics such as Buster Brown, Miss Fury and Superman, how they influenced British artists and culture, and how the British took that influence and sold it back to America through legendary comics such as Watchmen and V For Vendetta.

The exhibition also celebrates The Mighty World of Marvel which brought Marvel's heroes and heroines to newsagents across Britain every week.

In 1972, Stan Lee launched Marvel UK with an event at The Bung Hole wine bar in Holborn, London. Up until then, UK distribution of American comics had been patchy at best, and fans often had to make do with poorer-quality black and white imitations. The Mighty World of Marvel brought Marvel's heroes and heroines to newsagents across Britain every week, establishing a new fan base and influencing an upcoming generation of comic creators.

We are thrilled to be able to display a rare original press kit given out at the launch event, which has never been on show before.

The exhibition also shines a light on the many British creators who provided art for iconic superheroes including Batman, Spider-Man, Hellboy and Hit-Girl, including works by Brian Bolland, David Lloyd, Doug Braithwaite and Alison Sampson. On the way you'll discover British attempts to imitate American strips in the 1940s, find out the story behind the 1972 launch of Marvel UK, and enjoy stunning artwork by key figures from DC Comics and the British Invasion. You'll even get to see the costume of a real-life British superhero!

The exhibition features an incredible collection of original Sunday Paper Strips and artworks from the early 1900s and wonderful British and American comic art from the 1950s to the modern day. Among these are works by legendary names such as Jack Kirby, Jack Davis and Tarpe Mills.

Since the 1938 publication of Action Comics #1 the world has fallen more and more in love with American comic books, right up to the box office success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Drawing inspiration from popular characters of the 1940s, such as Popeye and Aquaman, the Brits took no time proving they could do it just as well as the Americans, leading to decades of collaboration and competition across the Atlantic. Through this exhibition you will be able to step back in time and see just how right they were.

"We love our superheroes because they refuse to give up on us. We can analyze them out of existence, kill them, ban them, mock them, and still they return, patiently reminding us of who we are and what we wish we could be." - Grant Morrison, Supergods

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The Cartoon Museum can be found at 63 Wells Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1A 3AE. Tel: 020 7580 8155