There’re comics—think Marvel and DC or indie players like Dark Horse—and then there’re comix, their underground, DIY brethren that shy away from mainstream convention (superheroes wearing long johns, anyone?) and delve deeply into satire and edgy content. Taking this opportunity to shine a spotlight on a contemporary art form that typically goes over the head of the X-Men and Wonder Woman set, the Riverside Art Museum is serving as the venue for “Strips, Scripts and Scapes: Contemporary Comix in Southern California.” This exhibition will feature a rogues’ gallery of artists and serves as a sampling for the printed, hand-drawn and collage stylings of Sammy Harkham, Jonny Ryan, John Pham, Mark Todd and Megan Whitmarsh. Comix-inspired sculpture and installation art will also be part of the exhibition. With SoCal being such a nexus for the comix scene—testimony provided by the recent 40th annual Comic-Con in San Diego, the ain’t-it-cool-success of Giant Robot (the magazine and the online store) and the appeal of Ooga Booga in L.A.—this tribute to the visionaries and bedroom artists whose ancestral landmarks include Harvey Pekar and Will Eisner should underscore the maverick and off-the-page nature of this art form. And if you’re a real head for this stuff, on Aug. 20, the museum is hosting Zine FFest with artists Todd and Esther Pearl Watson (co-authors of Whatcha Mean, What’s a Zine?). Visitors will learn how to create do-it-yourself artist books, mini-comics and share zines. Ain’t that cool?
“Strips, Scripts and Scapes: Contemporary Comix in Southern California” at the Riverside Art Museum, 3425 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside, (951) 684-7111, www.riversideartmuseum.org. Thru Aug. 22, $5 general admission, $2 students and seniors.