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July 15, 2004

{     Buenaventura Press     }    

The prints produced by Buenaventura Press are quite simply astounding. The colors are vibrant and crisp, and the selection of talent available is solid (and only promises to get better). The primary focus, particularly for Buenaventura's gallery shows, is the work of cartoonists, though the Press is not limited to comic art. I've got a copy of _Peckersaurus_ by Johnny Ryan (pictured left). As you can see it features a number of well-known cartoon characters mutated into caricatures and engaged in a all manner of sin. What you can't see on a computer monitor is how well the images appear on the paper. A computer scan can't accurately capture the depth of color in this print. Of course ink is only half of the equation for making a great print. The paper used is carefully selected to present the image. In the case of _Peckersaurus_ a thick cream-colored paper is used (more specific information is available on "the website": for those who understand it better than I). It feels very substantial and durable. Other prints are presented on everything from rice paper to honest-to-goodness newsprint. Buenaventura Press also operates a gallery, and presents special shows of comic art to coincide with comic events. A catalog from a show presented last year is available, and is printed with the same care and attention to detail as the prints. The catalog is filled with drawings and commentary from the featured artists and an authentic piece of trash collected from one of their wastebins. From the introductory essay and the comments from the artists it seems as if the show were an interesting examination of the role of popular comic art in a more traditional artistic space and context. Print prices vary depending on the technique and paper used in their creation and they might seem high but for the amount of care and love that went into their creation. Put one of these on your living room wall and you’re sure to get more than one comment.

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By Benjamin in Art

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