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by Jeet Heer
Within the graphic arts world, Francoise Mouly is venerated. “Françoise has been one of the most influential people in comics for 30 years,” says Peggy Burns, associate publisher at Montreal’s Drawn & Quarterly, a publishing house inspired by Raw. Mouly is a role model, Burns says: “She’s very generous, very committed to her artists.” Toronto illustrator and author Frank Viva, who is currently finishing his ninth New Yorker cover, praises Mouly as singularly articulate and knowledgeable: “She knows more about comics, illustration and art than anyone I know.” Yet beyond that orbit, Mouly is largely unknown, an imbalance soon to be remedied by Jeet Heer’s In Love with Art: Françoise Mouly’s Adventures in Comics with Art Spiegelman.
Heer, a cultural critic and comic aficionado who describes himself as “intra-coastal,” commuting between Toronto and Regina, set out to write about the couple’s creative union before realizing Mouly was the untold story. He believes she’s been overlooked for two reasons: sexism in a traditionally male-dominated ?eld and “wife of” syndrome, with Mouly’s career overshadowed by that of her Pulitzer Prize-winning husband, the author of the famed graphic novel Maus.
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