(Click on thumbnail for enlargement) Rand Holmes, famous Canadian counter-culture cartoonist and creator of Harold Hedd comics, was laid to rest on Lasqueti Island, B.C., five years ago. Most of his artwork remains undisturbed on the remote island where he spent his last twenty years. His family and friends in the island community now want to share his artistic legacy with the rest of the world during a two-day exhibit on March 17 & 18 at the Lasqueti Community Hall.
Holmes and his wife Martha moved to a homestead in the Inland Passage in 1982 to get away from the rat race and back to the land. Far from his former life as star cartoonist at the Georgia Straight in Vancouver, Holmes continued to produce pen and ink illustrations for comic books and magazines. During his last decade, he began making surreal oil paintings using the old fashioned methods of the great masters. They were slow laborious creations, which took months to complete. He refused to title or describe them, for fear of weakening their visual symbolism. They are now mute testaments to his inner visions.
Some of these and other paintings (still-lifes, landscapes, and scenes of island life) were sold or traded to neighbors as barter for goods or services, but very few have left the island. They will be shown all together for the first time at this Retrospective and Celebration of the Life of Rand Holmes. There will also be on display examples of his comic book pages from Slow Death Funnies, White Lunch Comix, Fog City Comics and Harold Hedd, along with his editorial and political art from the Georgia Straight and Vancouver Star, and collections and foreign editions of his work. It is a national treasure trove of art.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.