Spain's gala Semana Negra festival of the arts has announced the appearance of this year's special Guest of Honor, writer-artist-entertainer Jim Steranko. Sponsored by the Gijon Museum of Modern Art, the event will showcase the largest exhibition of his work ever to be shown in Europe.
From his ground-breaking Marvel comics to his evocative full-colorpaintings and his conceptual film work, the creator's entire career will be commemorated in STERANKO: ARTE NOIR, a 200-page catalog annotated by pop-culture historian J. David Spurlock and exhibit curator Angel de la Calle. Published in bi-lingual format, the volume promises to be the most significant book ever published about Steranko and includes essays by prominent European art critics, plus commentary by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon.
To highlight the event, Steranko has agreed to return to the theatrical stage--for the first time in 35 years--to recreate one of the escape stunts that brought him early fame as a daredevil magician and influenced many world-class celebrities, including illusionist David Copperfield and comic-book colossus Jack Kirby, whose super escape artist Mister Miracle was inspired by the Steranko performances. Additionally, he will also participate in a discussion of his many media careers, which range from one of the top ten most-influential comic-book artists in the world to vintagerock-and-roll musician to international magazine publisher to cinematic collaborator with Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Francis Ford Coppola.
Originally founded to celebrate Mystery Literature, the festival's title roughly translates to Mystery Week or Festival of Darkness. Extending from July 5-14, the ten-day celebration currently focuses on a wide variety of cultural arts and activities. Italian, French, German, Spanish, American, and Latin-American publications, radio, and TV stations will both cover and participate in the event.
In recent years, the Discovery Channel produced a program on Semana Negra and The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post have also reported on the festival, which will have an attendance of 1,000,000 visitors.