By now, I'm sure you've already heard the news about Maurice Sendak, but I couldn't let this particular man's passing go by without comment. Most of the time, I'm not one for this kind of tribute thing, since there are plenty of other people out there who will probably be doing the very same thing, and having followed Mr. Sendak for many years, I would imagine him finding it ridiculous in the extreme. However, this man's stories and illustrations have truly had a profound affect on my life. The earliest drawings I can remember creating, in fact, were attempted copies of Sendak's lions and gators from my favorite tiny little collection of books, which included Pierre: A Cautionary Tale and Alligators All Around. I have always admired him for remaining true to his art and refusing to apologize for his choices.
Just a few months ago, Sendak made an appearance on The Colbert Report, helping Stephen look at what it takes to write a good children's book. It's hilarious. Because I think Mr. Sendak would roll his eyes at a whole lot of flowery mishegas about his life and his passing, and he might appreciate us remembering, instead, things about him that made us happy, I am posting the second half of that interview. You can find both segments on Stephen Colbert's website. Thanks for the inspiration, Mr. Sendak, and for all the many ways your work has made me happy.