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Friday, June 07, 2013

Art Spiegelman's CO-MIX

Here’s what comes to mind after reading Art Spiegelman’s new book, CO-MIX: he has somehow managed to pack in what would otherwise be four or five (or six or seven?) widely influential careers into one lifetime. From Raw to Maus to The New Yorker, as editor, cartoonist, writer, illustrator, designer (not to mention bubble gum card guru and designer of giant stained glass murals), is there anything that Spiegelman hasn’t done and pulled off so well?

Let’s take a look at just one feature of CO-MIX: it’s a section that covers his mid-1990s book, The Wild Party. The art in the book itself is all very striking, mostly done in a stark scratchboard technique. But to get to the finished art, Spiegelman sometimes produced dozens of drawing studies, like this one:

 As with Maus and all of his other work, Spiegelman had a fairly lengthy process where he studied the composition and very foundation of a work until he reached the end result.

All of this is gorgeous stuff, and he has literally hundreds of pages of these studies in his studio, covering work spanning decades.

Remarkably, almost none of this has been collected in book form in North America until now. CO-MIX presents an important fraction of it, and hopefully it’ll go a long way in shining light on the sometimes overlooked aspects of his life’s accomplishments.

CO-MIX won’t be in stores until mid-September, but those of you in Chicago can come out to see him THIS WEEKEND at Printers Row!! 


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