by BK Munn
September 6-28, 2019
Opening reception: September 6 at 7pm (artists in attendance)
109 University Ave. W., Windsor
This show opens today. It’s all about how a teenage zinester in Canada got prosecuted for obscenity back in the 90s and how the same thing happened to his penpal in the States. The weird cross-border connections between Mark Laliberte and Mike Diana. Nowadays Laliberte still makes his own comics and runs a graphic novel publishing company. A recent film about Mike Diana’s trials features many comic book luminaries and civil liberty defenders. From what I’ve seen of online previews, the show features tons of original art, zines, legal documents, press clippings, etc. Super-weird and fascinating and sad chapter in comics/zine history for both countries.
Here’s the write-up:
In 1990, Mark Laliberte was charged in Windsor, Ontario for publishing and creating ‘obscene matter’ in his comic Headtrip, which included a strip that had been published by a young Florida zinester named Mike Diana. Laliberte’s parent’s home was raided by a special division of the Windsor Police due to his involvement with publishing this project. Whereas Laliberte’s case was later dismissed, Mike Diana faced similar obscenity charges for his Boiled Angel zine in 1996. Diana was found guilty on 3 counts of obscenity and became the first artist ever to receive a criminal conviction for obscenity for artwork in the United States.
The two artists will meet for this first time for this exhibition which looks at their individual practices and interaction through underground publishing.