Françoise Mouly Archives - Page 2 of 2 - Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources
There’s a horrific beauty to the art of Renée French. With her most recent work, H Day (published by Picturebox and set to ship on October 15), the beauty is built on pain, given that the book’s creation was partially fueled by French’s struggles with migraines. The last graphic novel that both challenged and engaged me in such a manner as H Day did is likely Joshua Cotter‘s Driven by Lemons. I’ve been interviewing French for a number of years, and I never tire of discussing her craft with her. Back when I last interviewed her, we briefly discussed a (then upcoming) project, Towcester Lodge, and I was glad to find out the fate of that project (as well as how H Day grew out of that creative effort). French is one of the special guests at this weekend’s APE 2010. My thanks to French for her time, and to Robot6 6′s own Sean T. Collins as well as Picturebox’s Dan Nadel for helping make the interview happen.
Tim O’Shea: How early in the development of H Day did you realize the bed scenes would play such a pivotal part?
Renée French: I’d been doing line drawings and diagrams of the inside of heads, sort of diagrams of the pain that comes with a migraine, and once I decided to try to draw the stuff I visualize when I’ve got a headache, (the city drawings) the diagrams progressed into the sequence that is in the book (the bed drawings). How confusing is that?
When Francoise Mouly started the Toon Books line two years ago, she set it up as an independent publisher because no one was willing to buy into the notion of comics for preschoolers. When I spoke to her at the American Library Association meeting last June, she recalled talking to the publisher from one major house who loved the books but balked at investing the time and money necessary to create a new category.
So Mouly did it herself, publishing the Toon books as an imprint of RAW Junior, a small publishing company she runs with her husband Art Spiegelman. Until Oct. 1, when Toon Books will become an imprint of Candlewick Press, which is based in Somerville, Massachusetts. This means that both current titles and the backlist will be distributed by Random House, rather than Diamond Book Distributors, and Toon will continue to release four or five new books per year.
Full press release after the jump.
Comics College is a monthly feature where we provide an introductory guide to some of the comics medium’s most important auteurs and offer our best educated suggestions on how to become familiar with their body of work.
Today we’ll be traipsing through the body of work of one of the most significant (if not exactly prolific) American cartoonists of this modern age, Art Spiegelman.
Dan Clowes graces the cover of this week’s new Yorker, as seen above, and in the video below, he and New Yorker Art Editor Francoise Mouly, along with several other contributing artists, talk about how the image came to be. (found via D&Q)
Harry Bliss makes comedy and storytelling work on many levels. How do I know? He crafted comedy out of my dry questions in this email interview. In all seriousness, I credit Bliss’ collaborations with Doreen Cronin (including 2003′s Diary of A Worm and 2005′s Diary of a Spider) as being a key catalyst (by tapping into my son’s sense of humor) in sparking an increased interest in reading for him. So when I found out about Bliss’ new book (for Françoise Mouly’s Toon Books), Luke on the Loose (“Luke looks on at the pigeons in Central Park, while Dad is lost in ‘boring Daddy talk’, and before you know it—LUKE IS ON THE LOOSE! He’s free as a bird, on a hilarious solo flight through New York City”, a story in which he handles both the writing and illustrating roles), I jumped at the chance to email interview him. My thanks to Bliss for his time–and to Ron Longe for his assistance in making this interview possible.
Tim O’Shea: You’ve worked with Françoise Mouly for years at the New Yorker–in terms of Luke on the Loose coming together, did she seek you out to work with the Toon Books imprint–or did you seek the publisher out yourself?
Harry Bliss: Francoise asked me to contribute to Toon Books and she is the publisher, so…
O’Shea: You’ve collaborated with several children authors, including Doreen Cronin, Kate DiCamillo, Alison McGhee and Sharon Creech. Were there any storytelling assets or lessons you took away from these collaborations?
Bliss: I learn many things from all the wonderful authors I’ve had the good fortune to work with over the years, mainly, how to integrate words and pictures. It’s really a dance, trying to pair up the text with the art, not simply illustrating the words, but to move the story forward visually. If something is not enriching the story/characters, then it needs to go. This was especially critical with Luke. The author and I went back and forth constant- wait, I wrote Luke! Sorry.