Friday, November 28, 2008

Comic Book Guy

I was fortunate enough to see Art Spiegelman speak at the ICA on Monday as part of Comica. His amazing holocaust memoir Maus: A Survivor's Tale very deservedly won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992 and remains the only 'graphic novel' to do so. Spiegelman is uncertain about that term. He believes it may suggest the novel is a 'better' form that comics can only aspire to, when they should be considered an art form in their own right. (I agree). Aided by some cool high-res projections he told stories and gave insight into work from throughout his long and illustrious career.

Now, I don't usually go on about star spotting in London, partially because I don't care and partially because I don't know who most stars are anyway. But I make an exception in this case, because of the sheer geeky excitement I experienced upon noticing that sitting in front of us was none other than Matt Groening! He wasn't there as part of Comica, or indeed in London for anything in particular, it seems - he was just there as a fan. No doubt Spiegelman is one of his heroes. In fact, I wasn't sure it was him at all - I spotted him, and then gradually convinced myself it wasn't him. Lingering doubt and Google led me to this the next day, proving it was indeed the man himself. He's cracked a bit of a smile there, but frankly was rather surly looking most of the time, and I'm sure he would be the first to be amused to see how much he's grown to look like Comic Book Guy. I wouldn't expect anything less from the creator of the awesomely gloomy and fatalistic Life In Hell.

2 comments:

joelmead said...

That was my blog. I did a doubletake myself but it was cool as I got to speak to Groening very briefly.

Paul said...

And a nice blog it is too. Thanks for providing me with the photo evidence! Much appreciated. Nice to see your blog is indexed by Google pretty damn fast, as well.