April 6, 13, 20 & 27, 2024

A Whistling Kettle
An exhibition of Haiku Comics curated by J.B. and David Lasky

What better way to celebrate National Poetry Month and visual art in central Washington than to partner with Inland Poetry in mounting an international exhibition of haiku comics curated by arguably the best in the field, Seattle’s own J.B. and David Lasky?? There is no better way.

Possibly the first group exhibition of haiku comics ever (certainly first in the US), this exhibition is a result of an online course developed by David Lasky where he melds the craft of both comic book illustration and haiku poetry. This show features a mixture of original art and prints and includes former students of his program, some of whom are from both the North and South of our borders.

So, what exactly are haiku comics? Haiku is a three-line poetic form originating in Japan. Comic strips, taking form in American newspapers, are often just three or four panels long. It turns out that the two forms blend together very well. While the Japanese art of haiga (haiku plus a drawing) is centuries old, the idea of making a haiku comic (turning a haiku poem into a comic strip of more than one panel) is something that originated in only the last 30 or so years.

This showcase of writer-artists features several notable creative: Kevan Atteberry is a children’s book author-illustrator and the designer of Microsoft’s Clippy, the character that everyone loves to hate. Shin Yu Pai is currently Seattle’s Civic Poet. She and Justin Rueff recently released what might be the world’s first book collection of haiku comics, Less Desolate. Monica Plant has had her haiku comics featured online through the Haiku Foundation’s website. Liz Wong is an author and illustrator with four books to her name.  Author and illustrator Ellie Peterson is a 2023 Washington State Book Award Winner. Artist Tina Hoggatt has permanent work on display in the Seattle Mariners’ ballpark, while graphic novelist Megan Kelso has a comics mural, etched in stainless steel, at Climate Pledge Arena. Michael Green is one of the founders of the field of Graphic Medicine, an international network of medical professionals, scholars, and comics artists.

Please join us for the opening this Saturday, April 6, from noon until 4 pm. Curators J.B. and David will present a slideshow and haiku poetry workshop from 2-4pm. Comics and haiku aside, we are excited to introduce the work of Tieton-based artist Amanda Ontiveros in the PUNCH gift shop. And if that isn’t enough to entice you, take note of the upcoming events we have scheduled for subsequent Saturdays this April. We’re going to prove to you that the arts are alive and well in rural central Washington.

A little about and Inland Poetry and the curators of A Whistling Kettle:

Inland Poetry is a small group of writers and visual artists, living and working in Central Washington, willing to donate our time and talent to advocating for the immeasurable value of the arts. We like meeting new folks. We believe in stirring the pot, rocking the boat, making waves­­ – all in a good way.

Seattle artist David Lasky co-authored the graphic novel, Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song, which won comics’ Eisner Award in 2013. He has been a graphic novel instructor to a wide range of ages and skill levels.

J.B. has 6 books of poetry from Ravenna Press, including his latest “Punk Poems Complete,” each with an increasing number of illustrations, charts, and comics. He is currently working on A History of Poetry Comics; see more at punkpoet.net. J.B. lives within walking distance of David and can arguably claim that he has taken more classes from David than any other living human being. Disciples are real.

A Whistling Kettle participating artists:

Kevan Atteberry
Kristina Bartleson
Clint Ceder
Adam Collet
Louise Diedrich
Rebecca Fish Ewan
Tom Galambos
Michael Green
Tina Hoggatt
Fredda Jaffe
Megan Kelso
David Lasky
Zannah Marsh
Barbara Neibart
Shin Yu Pai and Justin Rueff
Ellie Peterson
Fay Picardi
Monica Plant
Wend Rend
Shelley Wallace
Liz Wong

Upcoming Events in the PUNCH Performance Space:

4/06: Poetry slideshow and haiku comic workshop, 2-4pm

4/13: Crone [alternative/ indie/ folk], 2-4pm

4/20: Phil and the Unfulfilled, Look Out Akron [folk/ bluegrass, rock-n-roll], 2-4pm

4/27 [Last Saturday]: Low Hums [psychedelic / garage / rock-n-roll], 6-8pm