Preview: Jeet Heer – In Love with Art

Over three-and-a-half decades ago, Paris-born artist and designer Françoise Mouly and cartoonist Art Spiegelman began their revolution of the comic book format. Long before Spiegelman published his legendary graphic novel Maus (1991), the husband and wife duo already began legitimizing the comic book as a medium for intellectual and artistic expression with their collaborative magazine Raw, first published in 1980. Raw provided a platform for other pre-eminent comic artists, in many cases – such as those of Ben Katchor’s and Chris Ware’s – publishing them for the first time.

Sung heroes of the underground, Mouly and Spiegelman have left their mark directly in the mainstream as well: Spiegelman has authored and illustrated a children’s book, Open Me … I’m a Dog, and the couple has jointly released a trio of anthologies of children’s comics called Little Lit. More significantly, Spiegelman has created iconic, politically-infused covers for The New Yorker where Mouly has worked as the art editor for the past two decades.

Mouly’s and Spiegelman’s careers have been ripe with professional accolades; Spiegelman has even received a full exhibition, CO-MIX: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics and Scraps. But in cultural journalist and academic Jeet Heer’s new book, In Love with Art: Françoise Mouly’s Adventures in Comics with Art Spiegelman, Heer goes further than a retrospective. With exclusive interviews with both artists as well as other comic artists including Dan Clowes, Barry Blitt, Anita Kunz and Adrian Tomine, In Love with Art is a candid glimpse into the inner-workings of both Mouly’s and Spiegelman‘s worlds, as well as the images for which they are best known.

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Leslie Ken Chu

Leslie Ken Chu