by Caitlin Richmond
The name might throw you off. Comicpaloozaloozlealoo? Comicpalooza? Comicpaloozaleax? But the name doesn’t really matter, said senior and event organizer Annette Farrell.
“I love that no one can pronounce the name,” Farrell said. “It makes it more awesome.”
Allen Duffy, a senior at Eastern Washington University came up with the name in the early planning stages of the installation.
“I made some stupid noise that sounded like comicpalooza and we went with it,” Duffy said. “We knew it would look cool, and the name is more about looks than functionality.”
This is apparent from the second you step in the room. There are five artists who have art in the show, six counting Farrell, who added a small pen and colored pencil drawing at the last minute.
Duffy has a wall to himself, which he painted blue and peach, with speech bubbles running across it. The speech bubbles frame comics he drew. Across from his wall are the credits of the show, painted by fellow Eastern Washington University senior Andrew Taylor.
The word comicpaloozalealoozeux (you can pronounce it how ever you want, but most artists in the show say “comicpalooza”) is painted across the wall, with the names of the artists below it. Taylor, who is majoring in studio arts as well as graphic design, said he is obsessed with typography, but doesn’t consider himself a comic artist.
“I don’t draw people or landscapes, I draw letters,” Taylor said. “If you want to look for it, there’s a story there, like graffiti art.”
The credits are Taylor’s contribution to the show — he doesn’t have any art mounted on the walls but he is happy with how it turned out, he said.
“Something like this is exactly what I thought of — a jumbled mess of letters,” Taylor said.
Madeline West, alumna Claire Swinford, Hannah Charlton and Courtney Griffith took over the wall facing the entrance. West painted the wall to look like a brick wall and posted framed pictures of S.A.M.- Socially Awkward Mouse. Griffith had an animated movie she made playing, with a frame painted around it, and Charlton called her portion “Crush the Zombie Patriarch”. She painted figures directly on the wall (as well as a zombie cat walking up the corner of the wall) and also posted frame pictures depicting what a feminist could be.
Farrell came up with the idea for “Comicpalooza” with Duffy and Taylor about a month ago. She asked people she knew personally to contribute, because she was already familiar with their styles and because she knew they had art work they could use, instead of having to create new art in a month.
Although they planned the exhibit for a month, neither Taylor nor Duffy had seen the space until the day before the show opened- the day they put everything together.
“It’s pretty impromptu as far as installations go,” Duffy said. “I don’t know what this space will look like when we’re done [putting it together].”
During the opening, visitors were asked to draw things on Post-it notes and post them on the walls. Some people drew self encompassing comics, some did panels on a series of Post-it notes and other used the Post-it notes to comment on what was already painted on the walls.
Sophomore Loren Button, who knew Charlton before the exhibit, said the exhibit showed him how cartoonist can work well under pressure. (Charlton and West stayed up until 5 a.m. on Friday working on their wall.)
“It was creative and masterfully done, especially for the time constraint,” he said.
Unlike exhibits in the Bryan Oliver gallery, this exhibit is downstairs in the Leid Center for Visual Arts, which means that it has to function as a classroom while the exhibit is up. This meant that each artist had to do what they could on their wall, so that the tables could be moved back in for class.
Although some art was mounted on the walls, a large portion of the art was painted directly on the wall, which means when the exhibit is over the art will be painted over.
The exhibit will be up until Friday, Feb. 18.