Unlike synchronized sound in film, word balloons were seen in cartoons as early as the 18th century. Yet in the early 1900s, comics innovators like Frans Masereel, Milt Gross, and woodcut artist Lynd Ward built silent narratives, image upon image, long before Siegel and Shuster’s muscleman ever hefted a car. Art Spiegelman and Phillip Johnston serve as tour guides through these silent works in Wordless!, tonight only at BAM. Johnston and his jazz sextet play an all-new score as Spiegelman turns his master’s eye toward a slideshow of the King Vidors and F.W. Murnaus of the graphic-novel world.
Sat., Jan. 18, 7:30 p.m., 2014