icon_uk: Sad Nightwing (Sad Nightwing)
[personal profile] icon_uk posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Given his contribution to the field of the graphic medium, I do feel this is appropriate for Scans_Daily (and the "legality" post will also explain it)

The BBC, and others, report that Maurice Sendak, the American illustrator who gave the world "Where the Wild Things Are" and "In the Night Kitchen" amongst others has died at the age of 83 following complications from a stroke.

Whether it was Max and his Wild Rumpus in Where the Wild Things Are

Or my personal favourite, the strange (almost creepy) vibes to be found In the Night Kitchen (Sort of like Winsor Mackay's dream logic in many respects) his artwork is instantly recognisable, and you never once felt he was talking down to his young audience.

Some of his work was pretty harrowing in it's way and he illustrated the work of other authors without a qualm, he drew llutrsations for "grown up books" as well as for kids, and some of the kids work was a lot more intense than the ostensibly adult stuff. He had few illusions about the world, which makes what he did draw seem even odder when you think about it.

Here is Art "Maus" Spiegelman's pictorial version of a meeting they had nearly 20 years ago, which illustrates this better than I could hope to. (and I'm indebted to Tumblr for showing me these pages).

Thank you for making my childhood that little bit stranger Mr Sendak, and I'm hoping that wherever you are, there's the mother of all Wild Rumpus' for you to enjoy!

Date: 2012-05-08 10:55 pm (UTC)
hazmat: (Turkey Vulture)
From: [personal profile] hazmat
I remember reading this in Metamaus, and I enjoyed reading it again, here. Thanks for sharing. :)

Date: 2012-05-08 11:06 pm (UTC)
crabby_lioness: (Default)
From: [personal profile] crabby_lioness
Let's not forget the Little Bear series he did. My children just voted that one their current favorite of his works.

(Granted, 1/3 of the voters can't read yet....)

Date: 2012-05-08 11:07 pm (UTC)
salinea: (Default)
From: [personal profile] salinea
thanks for posting this.

Date: 2012-05-09 09:33 am (UTC)
salinea: (Default)
From: [personal profile] salinea
you're welcome.

we have so many tags it's easy to lose tracks of which ones we do have.

Date: 2012-05-08 11:09 pm (UTC)
fungo_squiggly: (Default)
From: [personal profile] fungo_squiggly
The loss of Maurice Sendak is a terrible one indeed. The man's stories were iconic. I still have my childhood copy of Where the Wild Things Are.

I think it's awesome that, even in his final years, he kept up his creative spirit and his incredibly quirky attitude.

Date: 2012-05-08 11:11 pm (UTC)
michael_ellis_day: (Default)
From: [personal profile] michael_ellis_day
That piece first appeared in the New Yorker. I've been wishing all day I still had my copy and could dig it out to reread, so thank you for putting it here! I've never forgotten his description of childhood as quoted above. (Has anyone, after having read it?)

This and the glorious Colbert interview may be the only portrait of Sendak anyone needs besides his work itself.


Date: 2012-05-09 11:50 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] whitesycamore
Peter Pan is a really creepy story, particularly considering the circumstances of JM Barrie's life.

I agree that Wendy is the actual hero of the book too, and I'm sure that's intentional. However, I quite like the way that Peter is used in the story--he's essentially supposed to be a seductive but sinister presence, isn't he? I always got the impression that in some sense he was supposed to be the personification of death.

I don't think the 'Pan' part of his name is coincidental either, since Pan is the god of the wild woods, the kind you can have an epic game of hide-and-seek in, or alternatively get lost and eaten by bears in. He also partly inspired the Christian concept of the Devil.

Date: 2012-05-09 12:22 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] whitesycamore
...I was just about to make the point that not changing implies not really living. Huh. I'm not a huge Discworld fan (always found that most of them start out good but then get a bit dense), but I appreciate Pratchett's humour and wisdom. And non-sentimental appreciation of cats.

Thinking about it more, I might modify my position a bit and say that Peter's not the personification of death so much as childhood risk-taking, which unfortunately can be very dangerous. I like the fact that Peter's bravado is often terrifying to Wendy, because she is already at an age where she is aware of death, and Peter is not.

If I'm thinking of Peter Pan as an allegory waaaaay more literal than Barrie probably intended it, I'd say it's no coincidence that the children get to Neverland by climbing out of the window, since a lot of children probably died playing games around high windows, in the era before safety locks and the concept of child-proofing. After all, what about the Lost Boys? They're the children overlooked by negligent nursemaids, who climb out of their prams and go missing in parks.

I think it's probably that element that interested Maurice Sendak. Nothing he wrote was ever so grim, but Mickey narrowly escaping from being baked in the oven, and then falling into the milk bottle both seem to be playing with 'soft' danger, and possibly metaphorical death.


Date: 2012-05-09 09:57 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] donnblake
There's even grimmer bits around the edge of Peter Pan- even leaving aside his massacre of the pirates near the end, there's the fact that he has a tendency to "thin out" the Lost Boys when they start growing up. Plus Tinkerbell and her continued efforts to kill Wendy.

Date: 2012-05-10 07:48 pm (UTC)
kenwyn89: Luke Skywalker (Default)
From: [personal profile] kenwyn89
Not to mention the little bit creepy convos Hook has with Wendy, from what I can recall.

Date: 2012-05-10 07:46 pm (UTC)
kenwyn89: Luke Skywalker (Default)
From: [personal profile] kenwyn89
The Great God Pan also famously disappeared, which plays on the children disappearing.

Date: 2012-05-08 11:28 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] maseiken
Sad to hear the news. Loved to read the comic.

Date: 2012-05-09 01:36 am (UTC)
silverzeo: (Default)
From: [personal profile] silverzeo
The dude has an long lasting legacy...

Date: 2012-05-09 02:19 am (UTC)
cleome45: (michael1)
From: [personal profile] cleome45
<3 <3 <3

All of Sendak's phases had their own distinct personalities. My favorite book of his was Higgledy Piggledy Pop. Jennie the Dog seemed like much more of a go-getter than most human female heroines in most fairytales that I was familiar with. :D

Date: 2012-05-09 11:34 am (UTC)
greenmask: (Default)
From: [personal profile] greenmask
He probably wouldn't mind though, would he? From what I know of his public personality. It almost seems respectful to think about it that way.

Date: 2012-05-09 05:43 pm (UTC)
cleome45: (lightning1)
From: [personal profile] cleome45
HPP is definitely worth a read, if your library has it. I'd say it's about halfway stylistically between the traditional, almost Victorian-engraving style of the Little Bear illustrations and the later period (that I think of as being full-blown as of Wild Things. (And content-wise, yeah, it was a female character Risking All and mostly coming out a winner, though the ending is bittersweet. Jennie has to leave her beloved master to become the "person" she wants to be. A lot of supposed "adult" pop entertainment aimed at women and girls should have had half the maturity of Sendak's fairy tale.)

Date: 2012-05-09 09:27 am (UTC)
q99: (Default)
From: [personal profile] q99
Oh, I didn't realize he did In the Night Kitchen too!

I loved both those books as a kid ^^

And I love that little comic there.

Date: 2012-05-09 11:01 am (UTC)
kraesil: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kraesil
I don't know his works as well as you guys do, considering where I live, but I morn his passing all the same.

Date: 2012-05-09 12:02 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] whitesycamore
In the Night Kitchen is my favourite of his books too.

I liked how he wasn't afraid to write books that were simple but dealt with complex emotions, including forbidden, destructive ones. He didn't indulge or encourage those feelings, but he acknowledged that they were there.

One of the details I love the most is in Outside Over There. While Ida is furious with anger and sadness you can see the view of the open window behind her--and her father's ship going down in a tempest. It's clear that this isn't supposed to be a literal view of 'reality.'

And the weird thing is, when I was reading that to a very small girl it didn't even confuse her. She seemed to be able to grasp the non-literal narrative of the story intuitively. I think it's that ability of Maurice Sendak to connect to something dreamlike and primal that really marked his genius.

Date: 2012-05-09 12:29 pm (UTC)
thistleburr: A cat in a birdcage is observed by a bird outside of the cage. (paradigm shift)
From: [personal profile] thistleburr
He was a man who understood that one of the functions of art is to help people make sense of the bad things in their lives, and that children have bad things to make sense of too. He understood that art must contain truth, regardless of the age of the audience. He'll be missed.

Date: 2012-05-09 05:43 pm (UTC)
superfangirl1: (Default)
From: [personal profile] superfangirl1
R.I.P :(

Date: 2012-05-10 03:35 am (UTC)
deleonjh: (Default)
From: [personal profile] deleonjh
Vidal Sassoon's also dead.

I felt like I should mention that somewhere.


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