Comic books on display at the high court

The Ohio Supreme Court seems an unlikely place to find a collection of comics—unlikelier still that they would be featured prominently in a hallowed hall filled with the laws of the land. But such is the case in the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center’s law library, where a new art exhibit displays everything from Captain America to Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.

Graphic Justice: Law and the Judicial System in Comics and Graphic Novels explores the unexpected intersection of legal concerns and artfully rendered heroes, both actual and imaginary. There’s the trial of Spiderman, She Hulk as a lawyer and Harvey Dent, the Gotham district attorney who turns into a coin-flipping adversary of Batman. Perhaps more surprising are graphic treatments of real subjects, including health care reform, the U.S. Constitution and March, the three-volume tale of U.S. Congressman John Lewis’ civil rights odyssey.

There was actually too much material to include it all, says Michael Bradshaw, who oversees the law library’s exhibit space. In fact, this is the second time in eight years he has featured comics and graphic novels, and not a single item from the first exhibit is being shown again. Bradshaw curates several art collections for the space each year, such as the music-themed exhibit from last fall. He anticipates the current ode to graphic justice will be on display for about a month.

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