KAPOW - the exhibition

The Art of Making Comics and Films

17 June - 9 September 2023

KAPOW - The Art of Making Comics and Film traces the artistic journey from concept to comic strip and from sketchbook to the silver screen.

The exhibition includes a host of classic and collectible comic books, including the first issues of Spider-Man and Incredible Hulk comics, both created by Stan Lee, the mastermind behind a string of legendary Marvel superheroes.

Kapow also includes works by leading lights of the comic book art world, including Ben Oliver (Judge Dredd, Wolverine), Ian Churchill (X-Men, Deadpool), Jock (2000AD, Batman) and Frank Quietly (All-Star Superman, Judge Dredd).

Iconic characters from British comics feature in the exhibition, with strips including Count Duckula, Danger Mouse, Roy of the Rovers, Bananaman and Desperate Dan.

We have teamed up with Aardman to showcase models, puppets and concept art from the studio's archive, including the original model of Wallace and Gromit's motorcycle and sidecar from A Close Shave, the original Snowmanotron model from Wallace and Gromit's Cracking Contraptions, and the Morph resin puppet from the Epic Adventures of Morph.

Kapow also includes concept art created by Bob Cheshire, who has worked on a string of Hollywood blockbusters, including Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Jurassic World: Dominion.

Kapow aims to challenge perceptions of what we traditionally think 'art' to be and considers whether the likes of Marvel and manga should be embraced in a similar way to Monet and Matisse.

Exhibition Highlights

First issues of Spiderman, Hulk, Fantastic Four, X-Men

Original models from Aardman including Wallace and Gromit

Replica movie props 

Fun Comic Room

Family activities

Original artwork by renowned comic book artists

Exhibition Talks and Workshops

MANGA  Drawing Workshop with artist Chie Kutsuwanda

Saturday 1 July

10.30am – 12 noon
£16 each
Ages 12+ * see note

This beginner's guide to Manga will enable participants to acquire basic manga drawing skills under the guidance of a professional manga artist. Through a series of demonstrations and hands-on exercises, participants will develop their skills while learning about Manga as an art form and discovering its distinctive features.  

This workshop is aimed at people who are starting to approach the art of manga and no previous drawing experience is required.

Basic materials such as paper, pencils, erasers and rulers will be provided, although participants are welcome to bring any additional drawing equipment that they would like to use.
* children under the age of 12 may attend with a parent if they have sufficient drawing skills to take part in the workshop

Draw your own 4-panel MANGA page  

Saturday 1 July 

1.30pm – 3.30pm
£16 each
Ages 12+ *see note
Create your own Manga page under the guidance of a professional Manga artist, Chie Kutsuwanda.

In Japan Yon-koma Manga is one of the very popular formats of Manga and is the basis of story creation. Participants will explore some unique manga techniques and create a Yon-Koma Manga strip.
This workshop requires a degree of experience however people attending the first workshop will have acquired enough knowledge to attend this second workshop.
* children under the age of 12 may attend with a parent if they have sufficient drawing skills to take part in the workshop

About the artist

Kutsuwada Chie was born and brought up in Japan. After graduating from the printmaking department of the Royal College of Art, London, she is now based in Brighton, working as a professional manga artist. Her work Moonlight (2008, collected in The Mammoth Book of Best New Manga 3 by Constable & Robinson) was shortlisted in the Manga Jiman competition organized by the Japanese Embassy in the UK.
One of her latest projects is a series of illustrated columns for Mainichi Weekly (published every two months by one of the major Japanese newspaper companies) about life and culture in UK. Her books are available in most English-speaking countries and Japan, and some are translated into Turkish, French, Italian and Spanish. Besides creating manga comics, she runs manga workshops at schools, libraries, and museums, such as the British Museum, the British Library and Victoria and Albert Museum. She has also have worked on projects for Channel 4 and CNN.


Aardman Model Making Workshops

Tuesday 1 August 11am, 1.30pm and 3pm
Age 6+ Children must be accompanied by an adult


Join Aardman Animations as they show you how to make your very own character. Choose from Gromit, Shaun or Morph.

Aardman Animations are giving you the chance to learn how to make your very own Aardman character at these fun, hands-on clay modelling workshops. Led by one of their expert model makers, you’ll also get the opportunity to ask questions about the tricks of the trade from the Aardman studio.

Workshops are an hour long and aimed at children aged 6 and above. Grown-ups do not need to purchase a ticket unless they want to make a character too!

This exhibition has been supported by the following organisations