London’s Haywood Gallery is to tour the Cult Fiction comics exhibition outside the capital, and the first stop will be Walsall’s New Art Gallery. One of the good things about Walsall has been their willingness to show the best of popular culture (notably the Harry Wingfield show in 2001), and also to try themed shows such as Fairy Tales and Fantasy Architecture among the solo exhibitions — and that early spirit even seems to have survived all the problems that arose after the disastrous departure of Peter Jenkinson.

So Cult Fiction opens in Walsall on 4th May 07, and… “explores the reciprocal relationship between comics and art”, through a focus on self-published works that… “communicate difficult emotional themes and sensitive political issues in an accessible style”. The show features comics from, among others, Robert Crumb, Marcel Dzama, Harvey Pekar, and Alan Moore (Lost Girls), so it’s possible that as it tours it may upset some local would-be censors who won’t want young people to see it.

Hayward Touring is also seeking out real-life mini-comics from local comics artists (if aged unded 25), as the show tours the British Isles — more information from:   cultfiction@southbankcentre.co.uk

There’s also an accompanying book being published in May 07.

Harvey Pekar, 'American Splendor' DVD cover