cover image Co-Mix: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics, and Scraps

Co-Mix: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics, and Scraps

Art Spiegelman. Drawn & Quarterly, $39.95 (136p) ISBN 978-1-77046-114-7

A companion piece to a retrospective exhibition, this book collects some of Spiegelman's best work spanning nearly six decades along with biographical information and critical essays. The editors trace his career from commercial work for Playboy to his underground, experimental work, including the Raw anthology where he first serialized Maus. The images included provide insight into Spiegelman's meticulous process in creating Maus, of which he remarked "in the time that other artists can draw forty pages, I can draw one page forty times." The book also features many of Spiegelman's controversial 1990's New Yorker covers and autobiographical comics, including one depicting a visit with Maurice Sendak. In 2004, Spiegelman published In the Shadow of No Towers, his comic response to 9/11in the style of "collage where incongruous images could be juxtaposed" alongside his personal narrative of the event. The retrospective also includes Spiegelman's designs for book and album covers, a peek into the artist's sketchbook, and his foray into stone lithography. Film critic J. Hoberman celebrates Spiegelman's duality, noting that the artist "works in the gap between art and commerce, the exalted and the debased...often without a net" and art historian Robert Storr provides detailed analysis of Maus, exploring its themes, narrative, and artistic techniques. Ultimately, this well-rounded retrospective of an renowned artist's eclectic career is an illuminating read and makes for an exciting cultural artifact. (Sept.)