New Chicago Comics


Paul Hornschemeier, from The Three Paradoxes, 2006. Non-photo blue pencil and India ink on bristol board, Courtesy of the artist.
Lilli Carré, excerpt from The Lagoon, 2008. Ink on paper; 11 × 16 in. (27.9 × 40.6 cm), Courtesy of the artist.
Jeffrey Brown, page from Clumsy, 2002, Courtesy of the artist.
Anders Nilsen, Big Questions #5, page 22, 2002. Ink on paper, Courtesy of the artist.
Anders Nilsen, Big Questions #9, page 40, 2006. Ink on paper, Courtesy of the artist.
Lilli Carré, excerpt from A New Leaf, 2009. Pencil on paper; 11 × 14 in. (27.9 × 35.6 cm), Courtesy of the artist.
Paul Hornschemeier, excerpt from The Three Paradoxes, 2007. Pencil and ink on paper with digital color. Courtesy of the artist.
Jeffrey Brown, cover of Undeleted Scenes, 2010, Courtesy of the artist.


For the month of January, the MCA presents an exhibition of the work of four young, Chicago-based cartoonists and animators: Jeffrey Brown, Lilli Carré, Paul Hornschemeier, and Anders Nilsen. In their own unique styles each of these artists expands and challenges the conventions of a visual art form for which Chicago continues to be renowned: the comic book.

Jeffrey Brown‘s autobiographical works examines modern relationships with discomforting detail and intimacy. His comics are drawn in a deliberately awkward and simple style that heightens both the emotional impact and charming humor of the stories. Each comic is written and drawn in an individual sketchbook, and Brown is showing a selection of these original books as part of the exhibition.

Lilli Carré is an animator and cartoonist who has produced a series of celebrated comics, illustrations, and hand-drawn, animated short films. Her work combines an elegant visual style with elliptical narratives that are imbued with an absurdist, and at times, unsettling humor. Along with a series of original illustrations, the exhibition includes a selection of Carré’s short films.

Paul Hornschemeier‘s widely acclaimed comics incorporate complex, self-referential narrative structures that knowingly appropriate various comic book styles. A selection of his original blue graphite and ink drawings are on display.

Using a sparse aesthetic and narrative style, Anders Nilsen creates existentialist fables that revolve around the interactions between animals (birds and dogs) and young men. Nilsen shows a selection of original graphite and ink drawings from his recently completed 600-page comic Big Questions, which is to be published by Drawn and Quarterly in 2011.