Art Spiegelman

WORDLESS! Art Spiegelman and Phillip Johnston on the Birth of the Graphic Novel

On March 13, The Heyman Center for the Humanities at Columbia University will present WORDLESS!, a performance by artist, theorist, and historian Art Spiegelman, and American composer Phillip Johnston. The show combines a score composed and performed by Johnston with images curated and discussed by Spiegelman, who will present a tour of early “graphic novels” by artists like Frans Masereel, Lynd Ward, and Milt Gross. WORDLESS! will also feature new work by Spiegelman made specifically for this project. … Read More

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50 Great Dark Books for the Dark Days of Winter

We’ve reached the time of year when the days seem impossibly short and the nights never ending. Good if you’re a vampire or like to go to sleep early, less exciting for the rest of us. So what is one to do with all this extra darkness? Well, read some dark books, of course. Because there’s nothing better to cut through the literal gloom than to curl up with some intellectual doom. All you need is a tiny light to see your book by. Read on for 50 gloriously dark novels to read during these dark days. After a while, you may even stop wishing for the light to… Read More

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25 Essential Graphic Novels

Long dismissed as a less serious art form, graphic novels have finally started to gain more mainstream credibility over the last 20 years. There are many, many excellent examples out there, but if you’re looking for a place to start, start here! The world of the graphic novel is one that spans a wide range of authors, artists, styles, and subject matter, and this primer covers all the… Read More

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The Greatness of Art Spiegelman’s ‘New Yorker’ Cover Art

Art Spiegelman’s groundbreaking, Pulitzer Prize-winning 1991 masterpiece Maus is the reason why graphic novels like The Watchmen, Persepolis, and Ghost World are talked about today in the same breath as great literary works. But while that book — along with much of the work contained in Drawn and Quarterly’s beautiful and essential new collection, CO-MIX: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics, and Scraps played such a pivotal role in elevating comics to high art, it’s his work drawing covers for The New Yorker over the years that has kept Spiegelman at the forefront of so many major national conversations. … Read More

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An Essential Nonfiction Reading List for High School and Beyond

Recently, we took in a fascinating article entitled “What Should Children Read?” over at the Times‘ Opinionator. In it, Sara Mosle briefly outlines elements of the new Common Core State Standards, contentious national curriculum guidelines which will begin to be implemented in public schools in 2014, and takes a look at some of the arguments over the new standards, suggesting that part of the problem is that high school English curriculums are often lacking in good narrative nonfiction that appeals to teenagers. Inspired by this question of what high school kids should be reading, we’ve put together an essential reading list of narrative nonfiction and memoir, from the canonic to the contemporary, that we think would benefit anyone under (and let’s face it, over) the age of 18. Click through to see our picks, and since every high schooler, past or present, should read way more than ten nonfiction books in their lives, be sure to add your own favorites to our list in the comments. … Read More

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What Your Favorite Comic Says About You

Yesterday, at long last, the paperback edition of The Complete Calvin and Hobbes hit stores. As far as we can tell, there is a certain kind of person who really goes gaga for Calvin and Hobbes — the person who as a kid loved to tromp through the forest all day and come home to read on the couch with a fat hot chocolate at night, who maybe saw things a little differently than those pesky grownups — and that got us to thinking. While being into comics already gets you into the first stage of nerdery, the stories the form brings us range from the serious to the goofball, the superhero to the realist, so there’s no real way to lump comic fans all together. So what does your favorite comic (or graphic novel, just to be inclusive) say about you? Find out after the jump — and let us know if we’ve hit the nail on the head or if you’re plotting our demise in the comments. … Read More

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10 of the Best Literary Memoirs of All Time

This week saw the release of Paul Auster’s second memoir, Winter Journal, wherein he turns his eye from the portrait of fatherhood he explored in The Invention of Solitude to his mother’s life, and her death, and the ever encroaching inevitability of his own death. Inspired by this new and deeply affecting work by one of our greatest contemporary authors, we started thinking about our favorite literary memoirs, from the contemporary to the classic, those that suck us in and leave us gasping for breath as well or better than any novel. Click through to see the books we chose, and if we’ve missed your own favorite, make a case for it in the comments — we can always use another book to read! … Read More

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Famous Artists Pay Homage to Maurice Sendak

For such a determined curmudgeon, Maurice Sendak was one popular guy. Case in point, Dangerous Minds just tipped us off to the fact that over the weekend the Sunday Review section of The New York Times featured a lovely visual tribute to beloved children’s author from a group of artists who included … Read More

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Leaping Tall Buildings: Portraits of Masters of American Comics

You may think you know the men and women behind your favorite superheroes, but of course, there’s yet another man behind Clark Kent — his creator. PowerHouse Books’s beautiful new book Leaping Tall Buildings: The Origins of American Comics celebrates one of the essential American art forms with interviews with and portraits of some of the all-time greats of American comics, from Stan Lee to Art Spiegelman, mixing in some newer — but no less phenomenal — faces as well. Click through to see a few elegant, revealing, and whimsical portraits of some of the true giants of American comics that we excerpted from the book, as well as a few choice quotes from their interviews, and if you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to check out the book’s launch event on April 14 at The powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn. … Read More

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Of Mice and Politics: Celebrating the Work of Art Spiegelman

We’ve been thinking a lot about Art Spiegelman lately, in part because the comic artist’s first major Paris retrospective recently opened at Centre Pompidou, the city’s biggest modern art museum. The exhibition, entitled Art Spiegelman: Co-Mix, spans the artist’s 45-year career and contains over 400 original cartoons, sketches, book and magazine covers, and other Spiegelman ephemera (check out a few early photos of the exhibit at Angoulême, where it originated, here). Though Spiegelman is perhaps best known for Maus, his Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic memoir, he’s also created countless covers for The New Yorker, where he worked for ten years, founded the famous underground comics magazine RAW with his wife Françoise Mouly, and had his hand in hundreds of other projects. We’ve been fans of the cartoonist since we were kids, so we decided to take the opportunity to do our own totally incomplete, biased mini-retrospective of some of the artist’s illustrations and projects. Click through to check out a few images from Spiegelman’s enormous body of work, and if you can’t make it to Paris, have no fear — the exhibition will hit Cologne, Vancouver, and New York in the coming months. … Read More

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