Last afternoon I had the pleasure of attending a lecture featuring celebrated comic artist Art Spiegelman (of “Maus” fame) in conversation with Bruce Grenville, senior curator of the Vancouver Art Gallery. This event served as a highlight to kick off the retrospective exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery while Spiegelman gave insights to pivotal works and moments of his career.
Very often, cartoonists go through extensive troubles designing each panel meticulously, as if the comic is a Swiss watch, only in the end to cover up trails of their blood, sweat, and tears with a tone of nonchalance as they tell their stories. This is to ensure that the readers are submerged in the storytelling as opposed to being distracted by the mechanics that make the stories work. It was thus a wonderful and rare treat to get a peek beyond the facade of Spiegelman’s carefully designed machines as he explains his thought process and reveals the blueprints to the most important and memorable works of his career.
During the lecture I whipped out my not-so-smart phone and made some finger doodles – for your entertainment 🙂
The vastly knowledgeable and opinionated Spiegelman was also very charming and funny. I admire his ability to draw from literature and fine arts out of his wide range of repertoire. Being able to see the works of a prolific comic artist was a very inspiring experience for a younger artist like myself.
After the lecture Art Spiegelman came back out to sign some books. I giggled like a school girl as the Pulitzer-winning author drew me his iconic character!