Local cartoon exhibition worth 1,000 words

Special Correspondent

Illustrations can be elaborate and meticulously created and say nothing, or they can be stick figures offering some of the sharpest commentary on today. An exhibition of cartoons running until Aug. 23 at the Chester Public Library at 11801 Centre St. in Chester highlights the power and possibilities of drawing.
   The creative and collaborative display of cartoons titled "Cartoons wil an Opinion" features the work of local cartoonists David Bromley and Phillip Bowles and their cast of vibrant caricatures.
   Bromley said the exhibit features 57 framed cartoons that are primarily black and white editorial comics.

       "Of these, about half were published last summer in "The Village News," based on ideas suggested to us by the publisher, Mark Fausz. The other black and white works were created in recent weeks just for the exhibition," he said.
   Bromley said the show is balanced with drawings for all ages. It includes the famous "Everyone Likes Pizza" comic for younger children, "The Quiet Guy" for teenagers and "Clyde Clydebagger" for adults.
   In the Pizza Delivery Guy material, the bright colors appeal to the kids and the adults get the humor.The humor is more sophisticated, Bowles said.
    Bowles created "Mitch, the Pizza Delivery Guy" character in his own likeness from his days as a college kid at Virginia Commonwealth University, hair and all.
   "The pizza character 'Mitch,' I see him being very popular," Bowles said. "I think through him we can create other characters, I think he could really go somewhere."

   "The Quiet Guy" is a teenager character that was suggested to them by an art director friend. "Clyde Clydebagger," a corrupt politician, was not intended to be a recurring figure.
   "Phillip redrew a politician I sketched, and I liked his version so much I suggested we continue to include him in our work. The last name is a play on the 'carpetbagger' type of exploitation that occured after the Civil War," Bromley said.
    The Chester cartooning duo is known together as "Composition House." Bromley explained the meaning behind the name that's slowly becoming more known in Chesterfield.
   "Composition House" is based on the role composition' plays in various art forms, from cartooning to music, and the word 'house' is professional slang for an ad agency or commercial art studio," Bromley said.



   They both came from an artistic background as VCU art majors. Bowles teaches at VCU and Bromley is a former VCU art professor. The two artists met after they graduated and began collaborating as a team.
   "We were influenced by comic books when we were young," Bromley said. "Phillip was published in VCU's Commonwealth Times when he was an undergraduate, and my first published cartoons were after I finished graduate school."
  Bowles and Bromley enjoy the positive feedback they recieve from their work.
   "It's always fun seeing people's reactions to the cartoons, especially the kids," Bowles said.
   The artsy pair encourages everyone to come out and enjoy their artistic creations.
"It's a show with a little bit of something for everybody, so bring the family and share a couple laughs. A laugh will go a long way," Bowles said.
   The exhibit is free admission for all.


Editorial Cartoon by David Bromley, Phillip Bowles______________________________________________________
   A new exhibition being held at the Chester Public Library until Aug.    23 illustrates the full range of cartoons. Silly or poignant, sometimes    both, the cartoons of David Bromley and Phillip Bowles make up the    show "Cartoons with an Opinion." In this previously unpublished     cartoon, the character "Clyde Clydebagger" makes an appearance.
 8   CHESTERFIELD  td        July 23, 2014