SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - Feel the beads of sweat drip from a trembling man shrouded in the shadow of an ominous figure as the text guides the imagination. This is storytelling at a whole new level and now the public can be a part of it at the newest Eptek Art and Culture Centre exhibit in Summerside.
“Behind the Panels: Selected Works by Various Island Comic Book Creators,” was curated by Nikki Gallant and Sandy Carruthers.
In the 1980’s Carruthers worked on ‘The Men in Black’ series of comics produced by Malibu Graphics in California. He illustrated the original two volumes, as well as the Marvel one-shot movie prequel, Men in Black: Initiation.
“Going forward I’m working on a new book with (award-winning) writer Mark Shainblum on the revival of Canadiana, and hoping to bring her out in the public form soon,” shared Carruthers, who has worked on many comics, one is on display at the exhibit.
‘The Ronin and The Lily’ is a personal piece that Carruthers created in 2001.
“The comic represents a personal journey that I was doing. This is the first time that it’s been on display. I was going through a period in my life where I needed to be able to tell a story as a means to express myself.
“There’s one page missing, but in the final panel of this comic the dedication is to my father who passed away and it just finished the story. It’s really appropriate that it’s hanging here on Father’s Day too. I didn’t plan it that way, but when I put the exhibit together and saw it fell on this day it seemed special.”
There are eight different artists from across P.E.I. involved in the exhibit.
“Comic book artists and creators are generally isolated individuals, they work on their own and produce their work, so this is a nice vehicle for people to be able to look at and maybe even be inspired. The more comics the merrier and I feel we have incredible talent on this Island.”
Tyler Landry was among the artists at the official opening of the exhibit on Sunday at 2 p.m.
“This first story, which is in red and yellow tones, is actually an experiment in colour. Through social media I post the stuff I’m working on and a Spanish man picked up this comic and asked if he could publish it, so it’s all created in Spanish,” acknowledged Landry, who runs the Charlottetown Comic Club.
“Being a comic is a second career for me, but it’s the one that I care about the most,” he shared.
“Behind the Panels” will be on display until Oct. 5.
The Eptek Art and Culture Centre, located at 130 Heather Moyse Drive, opens Tuesdays to Fridays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays 12 to 4 p.m.