Maurice Sendak

There have been a couple of fascinating comics tributes to Maurice Sendak bouncing around the internet today. Over at his blog, and reproduced below, Craig Thompson has a nice little tribute to Maurice Sendak, which I think speaks volumes more than words ever could:

I wish I could say that I had seen Sendak's influence in Thompson's work before now, but thinking about it, its there, clear as day. I would like to know specifically what Sendak told Thompson about his art, and I would have liked to know what Thompson took from Sendak, but, given that the two had a personal relationship, this seems a much more honest kind of tribute, in the voice that comes most naturally to Thompson.

There's also this old Art Spiegelman interview that's been banging about, which I think brings into focus why, exactly, Sendak's work is so important. We, culturally, like to believe that childhood is privileged, protected from the big-bad-wolf of the outside world and, in some ways, it is, but it's also got its own terrors, even for those of us who were lucky enough to grow up in safe and healthy environments. The crux of Sendak's work is to  admit that those big-bads exist, and then to do to celebrate their existence as part of what makes us us, and as what provokes the better angels of our nature.

Basically, Maurice Sendak was more honest about childhood than any other theorist (accidental or not) of the subject ever was; that honesty, that caustic, challenging voice, is going to be sorely missed. 

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