This month Françoise Mouly, the mastermind behind TOON Books, is all over the news with in-depth interviews, feature stories, and reviews for the recently released biography by Jeet Heer, "In Love with Art: Françoise Mouly's Adventures in Comics with Art Spiegelman."
Even for those of us who work with her every day, we keep gaining new insights into her life, career, family, interests, and passions. Enjoy!
I am so excited to introduce you to Françoise Mouly today! You might know her work as the art director of The New Yorker, but she’s also the founder and publisher of TOON Books, a collection of comics and graphic novels for early readers. Her vision for kids having access to well-designed comics is innovative and inspiring. It’s magical! And radical! On top of that, she’s a mom doing a fantastic job of infusing her career with the needs of her kids. What an honor to bring her words to you today.
-- Gabrielle Blair, Design Mom
Read the interview >>
FRANÇOISE MOULY is the art editor of The New Yorker, the editorial director of Toon Books (which publishes kids’ books by comic-strip artists), and the co-founder with her husband Art Spiegelman of RAW magazine. I interviewed Mouly on the occasion of the publication of In Love With Art: Françoise Mouly’s Adventures in Comics with Art Spiegelman (Coach House Books) by Jeet Heer, who notes in his preface that he wrote this book to repair a sexist mistake he made in 2004. In an article he wrote about Spiegelman for the National Post,Heer decided to mention Mouly only in passing: “Leaving Mouly aside for a second,” he wrote, “it is easy to see that Spiegelman’s editing is an outgrowth of his intense historical consciousness, his awareness of how comics have evolved and where they need to go.” Heer’s partner challenged him: “Why should Mouly be left aside?” To redress his omission, Heer wrote a whole book about her.
-- Sarah Boxer, Los Angeles Review of Books
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Françoise Mouly is featured for the "Meeting" feature of the first issue of a brand new UK magazine, Riposte.
About Riposte: Riposte is a smart magazine for women. We're a new magazine which offers intelligent content and inspirational women in a beautifully designed format. We profile bold and fascinating women whose achievements speak for themselves. Our interviews are honest rather than being full of media trained responses, as the women we feature candidly discuss their successes, failures, work and passions.
-- Pre-order Your Copy >>
The eminence française or "powerful influence" behind scads of well-known cartoonists is Paris-born and New York-based writer and artist Françoise Mouly (Best American Comics 2012). Mouly is known primarily through her partnership with superfamous husband and cartoonist Art Spiegelman; however, Heer (editor, Arguing Comics: Literary Masters on a Popular Medium) points out that in her innovation, creativity, initiative and advocacy over many decades, she has dramatically influenced comics and comics artists in her own right. Originally trained in architecture, Mouly was drawn to graphic narrative through Spiegelman and pushed him into coediting the comics magazine Raw between 1980 and 1991. Her work in Raw led to her current 20-year tenure as art editor of The New Yorker. In addition, Mouly recently established TOON Books to bring comics for the youngest readers back on the market.
VERDICT: 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.
– Martha Cornog, Library Journal
I met Françoise Mouly once, at the San Diego Comic-Con during its C Street days, when RAW was in full swing. She told me that I was the only reviewer who included her as the co-editor of the magazine. This puffed me up no little, but the main reason was probably less personal enlightenment then that I was coming off a humiliating series of factual errors in print and was being careful about these things. Other than the assumption that her name was on the cover for a reason, I wouldn’t at the time have been 100% clear on what Mouly’s contribution was. The problem is presented on the very title of the attractive little tome under discussion, which intends to redress the balance and yet bows to the utter commercial necessity of tying the product into the more popularly known Art Spiegelman.
-- R. Fiore, The Comics Journal
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Jeet Heer is one of our best writers about comics, and it is to our great benefit that he's also a prolific one. I wanted to talk to him about two of his latest. The first isThe Superhero Reader, which he co-edited with Charles Hatfield and Kent Worcester. That is a collection of essays about that genre designed for use in classrooms, from three very good writers about the art form. The second book is In Love With Art, an enthusiastic biography of the crucially influential editor, art director and publisher Francoise Mouly. Both books are quite good, and I think the Mouly one in particular could be read by anyone with even a passing interest in comics. For anyone with more than a passing interest, it should be read. It'd be a great travel book, for anyone so inclined: it's not massive, but it's dense, and Heer's prose is very pleasurable.
-- Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Journal
Read the Interview with Jeet Heer >>