Phillipe Labaune Comic Art Gallery opens in New York with “Good for health, bad for education: a tribute to Otomo”

Tribute to LRNZ’s Otomo, 2015

Longtime comic book collector Philippe Labaune officially established a comic art gallery dedicated to contemporary and vintage European/American comic and graphic novel art in New York City. the Philippe Labaune Gallery is now open to visitors and potential art buyers and currently features the art exhibition Good for health, bad for education: a tribute to Otomo, a celebration of the work of Akira author Katsuhiro Otomo.

Katsuhiro Otomo Kaneda, 2015 Courtesy of Jacques Glénat

Akira’s author contributes a previously illustrated piece for the exhibit, which is featured above, and the rest of the exhibit features a series of illustrated pieces by Europe’s best-known comic and graphic novel artists. which pay homage to the legendary manga which will also be made available to collectors. Speaking to venerable comic book and alternative art anthology magazine Heavy Metal, Labaune detailed the reasoning behind founding and establishing the gallery:

“I grew up in France but came to NYC 30 years ago as an exchange student. After more than 25 years in finance, I decided to open a gallery in Chelsea solely dedicated to comics, mainly European and American. I have been collecting for more than 20 years and I remember when there was only one specialized gallery in Paris, today there are seven.”

“In the US it’s all done online with lots of commission fees, only dead artists get some sort of exposure (with a few exceptions – like Crumb, Lee, Ware, Sienkiewicz and Miller). Basically, the system keeps young American cartoonists in the gutter, whereas in Europe we give them the recognition they rightfully deserve.”

The exhibition will run until May 8, with visitors and potential buyers required to wear masks and observe social distancing rules when visiting, in accordance with local rules.

SOURCES: Anime NYC on Twitter, Heavy Metal Online

Thumbnail: Tribute to Otomo by Victor Santos, 2015

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Daniel K. Denny