TOON Books' very own Publisher and Editorial Director Françoise Mouly is the subject of a new book by Jeet Heer, In Love with Art, featured in the September 9 issue of Maclean's (Excerpt Below)
Yet beyond that orbit, Mouly is largely unknown, an imbalance soon to be remedied by Jeet Heer’s In Love with Art: Françoise Mouly’s Adventures in Comics with Art Spiegelman. Heer, a cultural critic and comic aficionado who describes himself as “intra-coastal,” commuting between Toronto and Regina, set out to write about the couple’s creative union before realizing Mouly was the untold story. He believes she’s been overlooked for two reasons: sexism in a traditionally male-dominated ﬁeld and “wife of” syndrome, with Mouly’s career overshadowed by that of her Pulitzer Prize-winning husband, the author of the famed graphic novel Maus.
Mouly is delighted to finally be a subject, she tells Maclean’s: “I was very well-hidden in plain sight.” Being a woman in the “testosterone-driven” world of cartoons was a mixed blessing, she says: “It was quite lonely, but it also worked for me, because I was an outsider—to the culture, to the language.” Being an “enforced observer of the American political system” has informed her work, she says, noting an early draft of the famed “fist-bump” cover showed Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity peering in a window. Mouly asked they be removed. “It focused blame on them,” she says, “but we were all at that window.” She speaks eloquently about the need for print books and magazines as cultural artifacts—they “fossilize the moment” in a way the web can’t. “They have permanence and authority,” she says; they “hold your fingerprints.” And now, finally, there’s a book that holds hers.
Read the entire article at Maclean's website