While reading my email the other day, I came across a newsletter from TOON books, an imprint of Candlewick Press, that publishes easy to read graphic novels for younger readers. The first article was entitled: “Keep our schools safe: Let’s talk about kids and guns.” I was a little surprised to see this, as the usual articles tend to be more tame, focusing on upcoming titles and related matter. But apparently the recent horror at the Sandy Hook Elementary School prompted the publisher and editorial director of TOON books, Francoise Mouly, to discuss the topic with her staff during a recent discussion. The article explains that Mouly’s husband, the famed graphic artist Art Spiegelman, had recently posted a New Yorker cover titled “Kids with Guns” that he had designed in 1993, along with his hope that Newtown be remembered as a turning point towards a safer future for our children. Spiegelman’s 1993 cover is then compared to the first New Yorker cover of 2013, titled Threshold and designed by Chris Ware, remarking that Ware’s cover “… is more understated than Art’s shocking image, and yet it still gets to the heart of our fear”. Ware had designed it as a follow -up to his Sept. 2012 “Back to school” cover. You can see the two covers here.
I found the article very thought provoking; it includes a link to a blog where Mouly gives her own thoughts as well. She is a fascinating figure herself, with quite a list of accomplishments. She is art editor of the New Yorker, a published author, and according to Wikipedia, she was awarded France’s highest award: the Légion d’honneur, in 2011. If anyone is interested, you can read a bit more about her.