Back from the Swamp

You already know the saddest, most important news of the week: the great Maurice Sendak died yesterday morning. As a still relatively new parent myself, I've read one or more of his books almost every day for the last year or so. There is something about having a child in your lap, and seeing how she reacts to the book as it is read (and how more intense that reaction is than to other books), that really makes your appreciation for his accomplishments grow. There are few artists of any kind as influential and intensely loved as Sendak.

We will have much more to say about him in the following days, but in the meantime, Margalit Fox's obituary of Sendak in the New York Times is very good, as is the Fresh Air interview with Sendak from last December (which made my wife cry even back at the time). Blown Covers re-published a comic collaboration between Art Spiegelman and Sendak that is very much worth reading. The Guardian has a slideshow of his life in pictures. And Jeet Heer reminded me of an excellent critical look at Sendak that he found a few years ago from Hilton Kramer, of all people. There is much, much more, and we will have further coverage of Sendak's life and influence up on the site very soon.

On the site today, we present the first installment of John Hilgart's very thorough multi-part interview with Starstruck creators Elaine Lee and Michael Kaluta, about the very strange and unique history of that project. (You may, or at least should, know Hilgart from 4CP.)

Joe McCulloch escaped Louisiana to bring us his column on This Week in Comics!, a little late but no less essential.

And Sean T. Collins reviews Arne Bellstorf's Beatles book, Baby's in Black.