Hemingway in Comics

November 10, 2024 - January 7, 2025
Liberty Hall Academic Center Gallery

About the Exhibition

Ernest Hemingway casts a long shadow in literature, reaching beyond his status as a giant of twentieth-century fiction and Nobel Prize winner—extending even into comic books. Appearing with various icons such as Superman, Mickey Mouse, and Wolverine, Hemingway transcended his reality as a novelist as his persona developed into a pop culture icon.

The exhibition Hemingway in Comics provides a unique and entertaining lens for considering one of America’s most influential authors through themes that explore his origin story as well as his legendary iconic personas, both fact and fiction.

Exhibition curator Robert K. Elder notes that comic book creators and Hemingway share a natural kinship. The comic book page demands an economy of words, much like Hemingway’s less-is-more “iceberg theory,” only in graphic form. In addition, he turned out to be the perfect avatar for comic book artists wanting to tell history-rich stories, as he experienced beautiful places during the most chaotic times: Paris in the 1920s, Spain during the Spanish Civil War, Cuba on the brink of revolution, France during World War II just after liberation.

Hemingway in Comics presents a new, more complicated way to look at Hemingway: a man, an artist, and a character that has taken on a life of its own and allows visitors to consider why Hemingway’s image, in particular, is so enduring.

This exhibition features artists, Cliff Chiang, John McCrea, Steve Rolston, Chris Ware, and more.

Hemingway in Comics is a Program of ExhibitsUSA, a national division of Mid-America Arts Alliance and The National Endowment for the Arts.

About ExhibitsUSA
This exhibition is toured by ExhibitsUSA, the national touring exhibition program of Mid-America Arts Alliance. ExhibitsUSA sends more than 25 exhibitions on tour to over 100 small-and mid-sized communities every year. These exhibitions create access to an array of arts and humanities experiences, nurture the understanding of diverse cultures and art forms, and expand the depth and breadth of cultural life in local communities, rural and urban.

About Mid-America Arts Alliance
Mid-America Arts Alliance (MAAA) strengthens and supports artists, cultural organizations, and communities throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, and beyond.

Selected Works

Luca Pozza, Production art for Laguna Hemingway pages 58 – 59, 2020; Felt tip pen, watercolor, and ecoline on patinated 350-grain ivory cardboard, 13 x 19 inches (image); Courtesy of Robert K. Elder.  
Oak Park
Chris Ware, Oak Park Historical Society poster, 2015; Giclee print on 100% acid-free white Hahnemuhle paper, 26 x 19 inches (image); Courtesy of the artist.
Steve Rolston, Character sketches for Living on 1000$ a Year in Paris, 2013; Pencil and ink on Bristol paper, 11 x 8 1/2 inches (image); Courtesy of Robert K. Elder.