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Social Science General

In Love with Art

Francoise Mouly's Adventures in Comics with Art Spiegelman

by (author) Jeet Heer

Coach House Books
Initial publish date
Sep 2013
General, Artists, Architects, Photographers, Essays
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2013
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2013
    List Price

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Nominated for a 2014 Saskatchewan Book Award

Françoise Mouly, an editor and publisher of uncommon taste and creativity, and an artist in her own right, has spent nearly four decades transforming comics. With her husband, Art Spiegelman, Mouly founded the landmark magazine RAW, which showcased artists such as Ben Katchor, Chris Ware, Charles Burns and Sue Coe, and, along with Spiegelman's Maus, brought an avant-garde sensibility to the popular art form. As art editor of The New Yorker since 1993, Mouly has remade the face of that venerable magazine with covers that capture the political and social upheavals of the last two decades, from the black-on-black cover after 9/11 to the Obamas' pre-election fist-bump. And now, with TOONâ??Books, Mouly is at the forefront of a new wave of comic-making for children.

Based on exclusive interviews with Mouly, Spiegelman and a pantheon of comics artists – including Dan Clowes, Anita Kunz and Bill Griffith – In Love With Art is both the first book-length portrait of a female pioneer in a male-dominated industry and a rare, behind-the-scenes look at some of today’s most iconic images. Through the prism of an uncommonly successful relationship, the book tells the story of one of the most remarkable artistic transformations of our time.

‘Jeet Heer more thoroughly and widely understands comics history and the perplexing binomial life of the cartoonist better than anyone who's not one. As well-versed in literature as he is in comics, he always gets at the peculiar, poetical texture of his subject not only by what he writes, but how he writes it – clearly, mellifluously, and beautifully. Our humble discipline is singularly lucky to have him telling its story.’ – Chris Ware

About the author

“Jeet Heer is a cultural journalist and academic who divides his time between Toronto and Regina. He has written for many publications including the Globe and Mail,, the Boston Globe, the Walrus, the American Prospect, the Comics Journal, the Virginia Quarterly Review and the Guardian of London. He has co-edited eight books and been a contributing editor to another eight volumes. With Kent Worcester, Jeet co-edited A Comics Studies Reader (University Press of Mississippi), which won the Peter C. Rollins Book Award given annually to the best book in American Studies or Cultural Studies. He's been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship. His articles have been anthologized in both The Best American Comics Criticism (Fantagraphics) and The Best Canadian Essays collection for 2012. With Chris Ware, Jeet continues to edit the Walt and Skeezix series from Drawn and Quarterly, which is now entering its sixth volume.

Jeet Heer's profile page

Editorial Reviews

'Heer's detailed biography fills a glaring omission in histories of graphic narrative. Dozens of illustrations give face to Mouly's accomplishments yet are still not enough. This lively portrait of an editor and publisher par excellence will enlighten researchers, cartooning cognoscenti, and casual fans. Essential for serious art, graphic novels, and women's studies collections.'

Library Journal

'Heer's book does a fine job of establishing the value and influence of Mouly's life's work until now. ... Mouly is not, as some might see her, a great woman behind a great man, however much her work has been inspired: she is, as Heer convincingly argues, an inspiration in her own right.'

– Jewish Book Council

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