“Speed Bump,” a single-panel cartoon with a local connection, is now an exhibit featuring original daily and Sunday cartoons. The exhibit, by Plainwell native Dave Coverly, will be displayed in the Kalamazoo Valley Museum’s first floor gallery from June 21 to September 21, 2014. This exhibition was organized by the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.
Coverly began cartooning seriously in 1986 as an undergraduate student at Eastern Michigan University. In 2009, he won the Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year, the highest honor given by the National Cartoonist Society.
The cartoons featured in the exhibit are explained with Coverly's quick-witted humor. Also on display will be Coverly's illustrations for “Sue MacDonald Had a Book,” written by Ann Arbor resident Jim Tobin.
Through wit and whimsy, Coverly reveals the truths of the human experience, from the workplace to family life, and beyond. He admits there is no overriding theme, no tidy little philosophy that precisely describes what Speed Bump is about. "Basically," he says, "if life were a movie, these would be the outtakes."
These "outtakes" have appeared in more than 400 newspapers and websites, including the Washington Post, Toronto Globe & Mail, Detroit Free Press, Chicago Tribune, Indianapolis Star, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Cincinnati Enquirer, New Orleans Times-Picayune, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Vancouver Sun, Baltimore Sun, and Arizona Republic.
Coverly’s work has been published in hundreds of school textbooks, magazines, newsletters, and a variety of merchandise, including greeting cards and calendars for American Greetings, beer bottle labels for Bell’s Brewery, and CD covers for The Bob & Tom Show. His art has been exhibited in Kilkenny Castle in Ireland and was honored with a retrospective gallery show at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. Original pieces also hang in the offices of numerous luminaries, including Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper.
In 2000, the first “Speed Bump” book, “Speed Bump: A Collection of Cartoon Skidmarks” (Andrews McMeel), was published. More recent books include “Speed Bump: Cartoons for Idea People” (2004, ECW Press), which was named Humor Book of the Year in independent publishing by Foreword Magazine, and “Just One %$#@ Speed Bump After Another” (2005, ECW Press). Coverly’s latest book, “Laughter is the Best Medicine,” was published in March 2014 by Sellers Publishing, Inc.
Coverly works out of an attic studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is married to Chris, and they have two daughters, Alayna and Simone.
Admission to the Museum is free. The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is operated by Kalamazoo Valley Community College and is governed by its Board of Trustees.