Fitting that the passing of an artist should inspire so much art. Here are a few tributes to Maurice Sendak that I’ve enjoyed. (I’ve assembled links to prose tributes at the bottom of my reminiscence of Maurice; The Comics Journal has its own page of mostly prose tributes, too.)
This is easily my favorite, and the one that I think Sendak himself would most have enjoyed. Pat Bagley dos a great job in representing Sendak’s un-sentimental approach to death. Sendak often spoke of his own mortality, and accepted the inevitable with a dark sense of humor.
Hanna Freiderichs (a.k.a. AgarthanGuide)
Under her Deviant Art pseudonym ArgathanGuide, Hanna Friederichs has created Avengers in a Sendakian parade. You can find it on her Deviant Art page and Tumblr. The image calls to mind Sendak’s many parades — in Ruth Krauss’s A Hole Is to Dig (1952), and his own Where the Wild Things Are (1963). The above image derives from a less well-known source: his 1961 mural for Larry and Nina Chertoff that now resides in the Rosenbach Museum.
The photo of Sendak’s mural, above, comes from The History Blog‘s great story about it, which I recommend.
Update, 13 May, 9:30 am: Thanks to Roger Sutton’s post, added Hanna Friederichs’ full name.
Harry Bliss‘s graveside portrait of Babar, Madeline, Curious George, and the Man with the Yellow Hat evokes how everyone in the children’s literature community has felt — artists, scholars, writers, librarians, teachers, editors, agents, all of us. Losing Maurice Sendak has felt like a death in the family. As Kenneth Kidd put it, “Could be the select company I keep, but my Facebook newsfeed is a virtual wake.”
Most artists invoke Where the Wild Things Are (presumably because it’s Sendak’s most recognizable work), but Debbie Milbrath references a more thematically appropriate work: Outside Over There (1981), in which Sendak filters the kidnapping (and accidental murder of) the Lindbergh baby through Mozart’s Magic Flute, and ends up with a work that offers glimmers of hope through its darkness.
Andy Marlette imagines wild things paying tribute to Maurice Sendak. There were many such cartoons — I’ve only included a few here.
Jeff Koterba makes Sendak into Max, apt since — as Sendak has admitted — Max is a version of Maurice himself. I suspect Sendak intended an allusion to Wilhelm Busch’s Max und Moritz (1865).
Nate Beeler imagines roaring terrible roars and gnashing terrible teeth — a first response to Maurice Sendak’s passing. The first stage of grief.
Mark Streeter‘s comic says what Chris Eliopoulos’s implies — but Eliopoulos assumes a knowing reader, and Streeter does not. Strange though it may seem to those of us in children’s literature, there are people who do not know Maurice Sendak’s work.
Stuart Carlson‘s tribute seems an apt one to end on. First, mourn. Next, hang your teddy bear, threaten the dog, shout at your mother, and board a boat (… to where the wild things are).
More on Sendak from Nine Kinds of Pie (this blog):
- The Most Wild Thing of All: Maurice Sendak, 1928-2012. 9 May 2012. Remembering Maurice (including an extract from an interview I did with him in 2001). At the bottom of the page, I’ve assembled links to many other Sendak tributes, obituaries, and so on.
- Eat, drink, and be merry. 8 Oct. 2011. My review of Bumble-Ardy.
- In or Out?: Crockett Johnson, Ruth Krauss, Sexuality, Biography. 17 Feb. 2011. I never talked about Sendak’s sexuality with him, and whether it was something Ruth and Dave knew about. Now that he’s out, should I mention it in the bio? I wrote this post to try to figure that out.
- Children’s Literature + Music = Great Album Covers. 11 Mar. 2012. A gallery of album covers by artists who also create children’s books, including Sendak, Lane Smith, many others.