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Wednesday, June 27, 2012 

Maurice Sendak's vulgar fantasy

The late so-called children's author Maurice Sendak, who also worked in comic strips and books like Mutt and Jeff, gave an interview to The Comics Journal (via Big Journalism) shortly before his death, and I can't believe they would publish something like this:
SENDAK THE ANARCHIST

SENDAK: Bush was president, I thought, “Be brave. Tie a bomb to your shirt. Insist on going to the White House. And I wanna have a big hug with the vice president, definitely. And his wife, and the president, and his wife, and anybody else that can fit into the love hug.”

GROTH: A group hug.

SENDAK: And then we’ll blow ourselves up, and I’d be a hero. [Groth laughs.] To hell with the kiddie books. He killed Bush. He killed the vice president. Oh my God.

GROTH: I would have been willing to forgo this interview. [Sendak laughs.]

SENDAK: You would have forgotten about it. It would have been a very brave and wonderful thing. But I didn’t do it; I didn’t do it.
He did sound awfully crazy years ago, and this only enforces my low opinion of him, making me even more discouraged to bother about any Mutt and Jeff comics he worked on. The worst part is that the interviewer himself actually laughed along with that offensive blather he spewed out. Well, in that case, TCJ is clearly not a good source of info for comics-related journalism if they don't know how to mind their own manners when they conduct an interview like that.

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That definitely puts a taint on my childhood... to think, he was one of my favorite authors when I was in kindergarten and first grade... now after learning this, I'm definitely not going to waste my money on anything he wrote.

...it's times like this that I wish there was a way to detect sarcasm on the Internet, would help remove the ambiguity from interviews like this.

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