Robot 6

Comic creators pay tribute to Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak portrait by Paul Hornschemeier

Following the death of Where The Wild Things Are author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, the comics community has been paying tribute to the influential creator all week. He may not have been a quote-unquote “comics creator” in the traditional sense of how we think of the term, but you could make the argument that he was as influential on the art form as much as anybody has been. (I believe our own Chris Mautner will be making that argument, actually, so watch for it soon).

“As a parent, I read Where The Wild Things Are to my children, but Holly’s favourite Sendak book was Outside Over There, and I must have read it to her hundreds of times, perhaps thousands of times, marvelling at Sendak’s economy of words, his cruelty, his art,” Sandman writer Neil Gaiman wrote on his blog. “What I loved, what I always responded to, was the feeling that Sendak owed nothing to anyone in the books that he made. His only obligation was to the book, to make it true. His lines could be cute, but there was an honesty that transcended the cuteness.”

The Unsinkable Walker Bean creator Aaron Reiner, who spent time with the author in his later years, shared memories on his blog.

“Most of the articles I’ve been reading today seem to be written by people who didn’t know him,” Reiner wrote. “I feel they reduce him into quotes from his books, reduce him into the grumpy old man in the woods. I admit, I barely knew him. I was just getting to know him. But he blessed me with his time, and he did so with so many other young artists these last few years. Allowing me to come over to his house with my family and friends… welcoming them into his home happily, excited to meet them, excited to share his world with them. Sure he was old, and grumpy, but he was also excitable and electrifying. He left this world with new work still on his table, a book to be illustrated, thoughts about self publishing another. An artist should be so lucky… to leave with so much left to say. I feel more inspired by him now as an adult, than I ever did when I was a child reading him, and I know through the fellowship and his recent interviews, that I’m not alone.”

here are a few of the tributes from artists Michael May and I have collected, many of which we posted on Robot 6’s new Tumblr we’ve been playing with. If you’ve seen more, please post the links in our comments section.

Skottie Young:

Dan Hipp:

Mike Maihack:

Evan Shaner:

Dustin Nguyen:

Jessica Hickman:

Craig Thompson:

Katie Cook:

Lucy Knisley:

Other stuff to check out:

–Blown Covers has an art spiegelman-drawn strip about his visit with Sendak
–Tom Spurgeon has a Collected Memory page going
–The Comics Journal has a round-up of tributes from creators

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