Remember how proud you were of your Transformers and He-Man lunch boxes back in grade school? Well now you can bring those feelings back in style with a trip down memory lane thanks to Kii Arens of the “La-La Land” Gallery in LA, and Dark Horse Comics.
The concept initially started as a fun project for Kii and a few of his designer friends but it quickly spiralled out. Before he knew it, 25 artists were on board to share their love of lunches in a full scale gallery exhibit. The project was dedicated to Kii’s affinity for the warm colours and escapist ideals embodied by the 70’s. Featured artists include Joe Ledbetter, Shag, and Gary Baseman. Soon to be launched are 100 signed and numbered lunch boxes from each of the artists with seven collectible trading cards, including matching thermoses.
Kii’s gallery is well known for its campy retro decor, complete with plastic green, orange and white furniture and orange coloured flooring, so the lunch boxes were a natural extension of what already exists. Kii is famous for holding his openings on understated holidays such as Groundhog Day or April Fool’s day. The gallery’s opening night was no exception, held on the US election night 2004, with the “Happy War” exhibit, a satirical take on the war in Iraq. Other La La Land Gallery exhibits have included “Art in the Dark” a collection of glow in the dark / blacklight paintings and “You Lightbox My Life,” a collection of alien-themed light boxes.
Dark Horse is of course known as one of the first comic labels to push the graphic novel, making a name for themselves with dark fantasy and horror series such as The Mask, Hellboy, and Aliens vs. Predator.