Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Still in a 9/11 mood. Here's Art Spiegelman's New Yorker cover after Sep. 11:

and here's the current cover, commemorating the anniversary:

ADDED: I just love this cover. It's so poignant and effective. Emphasis through absence. Unlike almost all the magazines coming out at the same time, whose covers had the towers either burning or standing upright, this cover makes you fill in the blank, and you insert your own memory of the towers into the picture. At the same time, you can appreciate its literal presentation: the new skyline. Wonderful.

And here's Art himself:

Art Spiegelman is the creator of Maus, which won a Pulitzer in 1992. Maus is one of those books that made me cry, that absolutely cemented in my mind the potency and power of comics as an art form, as a delivery device, as a way to tell a story. When I was in New York two years ago I visited his childhood home, because there was a small drawn map on the back of Maus. I don't know if anyone else has done this (though there are probably lots), but it's pretty easy if you use the map (it's in Queens). Anyway, I couldn't work up the courage to knock on the door or ring the doorbell, so I just sat there looking at it and fully realizing that Maus is non-fiction (it's about his relationship with his father as well as what his father went through in the Holocaust).

Spiegelman now lives 15 blocks away from the WTC. It was his daughter's first day at school on Sep. 11. You can imagine his fright. Wife Francoise Mouly is the art editor of The New Yorker, for which Art supplies many covers. Together they edit the Little Lit anthology series of comics stories for children (highly recommended). Art hasn't done any major comics since Maus, but he's going to be embarking on one soon, about 9/11 (which you can read about here).

I was also thinking about them, and my visit to his childhood home, that day when the towers fell. I don't know them personally, but still... you can't help but wonder about all the New York celebrities you respect and admire: Woody Allen, Robert De Niro, a lot of great indy comics creators live in Brooklyn alone (Paul Pope, Ed Brubaker, Jessica Abel, Matt Madden, etc.), Conan O'Brien...

Here's an article by Spiegelman about making the cover above.

And here's an article you should really, really read. Please. Do me this favor and read this article. He puts into words what I felt, and does it so much better than I could hope to.

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