"Pretentious is pretty much Art Spiegelman's M.O."
The legendary magazine alters its DNA for the Internet era
The first really talked-about New Yorker cover came nearly 70 years after the magazine’s founding. In 1992, when Tina Brown took over as just the fourth editor in its history, she broke a long-standing editorial taboo by adding three brand-name visual artists to the staff: cartoonist Art Spiegelman, illustrator Edward Sorel, and photographer Richard Avedon.
“A quest for ersatz verisimilitude might have pulled me further away from essential actuality as I tried to reconstruct it,” muses the author of a seminal work of literature about the Holocaust. In a lengthy interview that has just been published, he reveals that his source material included thousands of hours of interviews; a shelf of books in Polish, Yiddish, and Ukrainian; detailed maps of the death camps; and even manuals of shoe repair.
In the Shadow of No Towers By Art Spiegelman (Pantheon, 42 pp., $19.95) Click here to buy this book The destruction of the World Trade Center is the most exhaustively imaged disaster in human history. Never before had photography and calamity mated so fervently, breeding an excess of angles from which to view our vulnerability and fear. The odd synchronicity by which many of the planet's finest war photographers happened to be in Manhattan that day has been widely noted.