Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK

The UK's biggest ever show of British comics, featuring examples of original artwork and previously unseen editions.

Delving into the history of the comic, the display begins in the Victorian age when it first emerged as a mass medium, drawing on newly discovered illustrations and rare items form the library's collection.

Meanwhile, contemporary examples are provided by some of the biggest names working in comics - Alan Moore (Watchmen, V for Vendetta), Neil Gaiman (Sandman), Mark Millar (Kick-Ass) and Grant Morrison (Batman: Arkham Asylum).​

At the heart of the exhibition, is an account of how British comics have become a medium for exploring political and social issues, from violence and drugs to class and sexuality.

Watch the British Library's video

Don't miss

A rare and little-known comic book from the library's archives, The Trials of Nasty Tales, is an early example of an underground work by Dave Gibbons (Watchmen).

The comic tells the story of the Nasty Tales series, which was put on trial for obscenity charges in the early 1970s due to its graphic content. It was this incident that confirmed perceptions of the comics industry as a place of subversion and dissent.

Venue details

British Library 96 Euston Road London NW1 2DB 020 7412 7332

Entry details

£4.75 with National Art Pass (standard entry £9.50)

Main building

Mon – Thu, 9.30am – 8pm

Fri, 9.30am –​6pm (Sat until 5pm)

​Sun, 11am-5pm

Treasures Gallery and PACCAR exhibitions

Tue –Thu, 9.30am-8pm, Mon & Fri until 6pm, Sat until 5pm, Sun 11am – 5pm