Michael McMillan: Series ZZZZZ and Other Pictures

November 7th, 2012 by Dan Nadel

Michael McMillan is an extremely influential veteran of the 1970s comics underground. His first retrospective, which I am honored to have curated, opens on Friday, 5-7 pm at Tomato House (301 Saratoga Ave., Brooklyn), Brooklyn. Both the artist and I will be in attendance.

The exhibit is presented in conjunction with The Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Fest and will coincide with publication of the catalog Series ZZZZZ and Other Stories from PictureBox. Michael will be at PictureBox (Downstairs, 1 and 2) to sign during BCGF at 12:30 pm.

The exhibit centers around his hitherto unseen Zzzzz Series of immaculately painted comic strips,  each a different tone poem about life in a visual memory loop. hey take the form of memories real or imagined, yet precisely realized. Men-as-furniture; comic strips heroes as cuckolding bullies; the special wonders of mountain climbing; environment as confounding opponent; each sequence subverts expectations of plot and character, relying on shapes and “moods” (as the artist refers to them) to dictate his quiet, luminous panels. Also on view will be classic images from his days in the 1970s underground comics scene: exacting, pointillist drawings with a distinctly modernist take on pulp, science fiction, and the new age era.

Born in Pasadena, California in 1933, Michael McMillan received his BS in architecture and industrial design from the University of Southern California in 1955 and worked in architecture and product design while painting on the side. In 1968 McMillan completed an MFA in Sculpture at San Francisco State.  He is the author of 1971’s Terminal Comics #1 and contributed to publications including Young Lust, Arcade, Weirdo, and Lemme Outta Here. He also made his own films, sculpted, and designed posters for the DeYoung Museum. McMillan remains in the Bay Area, pursuing printmaking full time.

Hope to see you there!

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PBox World

This blog is going to take you to school. You will learn about all things PictureBox: old dudes; obscure design; good painting; bad painting; dogs; annoying product endorsements. And so forth. All from me, Dan Nadel, your PictureBox host.

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