THE NEW YORKER magazine’s art editor is helping to launch a political newspaper in direct response to the election of Donald Trump.
Françoise Mouly, who has been the magazine’s art director since 1993, and daughter Nadja Spiegelman will edit Resist!, a comics tabloid that calls upon artists to communicate through illustration how they feel about a Trump presidency. The newspaper, which the editors say has already received hundreds of submissions, is scheduled to publish by Jan. 20, timed to the presidential inauguration and the Women’s March on Washington the next day.
“For me, it is a wake-up call from complacency,” Mouly says of Trump’s political ascendance. And so she characterizes the artistic response as a recommitment to progressive change after “the shock” of Election Day.
“I haven’t lost hope — I just have to be more forceful in my affirmation of it,” says Mouly, who for years edited the influential indie comics publication RAW with her husband, Pulitzer-winning cartoonist Art Spiegelman.
“My generation has always taken it for granted that women have voices, have value beyond their superficial beauty, and deserve to be respected and listened to,” Nadja Spiegelman tells The Post’s Comic Riffs. “Trump’s attitude toward women — and the fact that [his attitude has] been condoned by such a large part of America — is nauseating and dizzying to me.
“It doesn’t even feel like a step backward,” adds Spiegelman, noting that she was looking forward to the election of the nation’s first female president. “I’ve never known a world that could possibly condone this.”
The idea for the project began with New York bookstore owner Gabe Fowler, who will publish Resist! as part of his comics periodical Smoke Signal.
“This presidential election was a real slap in the face, and I immediately began grasping for any response which could properly channel my rage and disbelief,” says Fowler, whose Smoke Signal has received an Eisner Award nomination for best anthology. “A lot of women in my life are particularly hurting from the insult of Trump’s election, and it seemed appropriate to give over an issue of my publication Smoke Signal to women artists.”
“My first choice for guest-editor was my hero and inspiration, Françoise Mouly. Françoise singlehandedly changed the landscape of comics and illustration — much in the way Patti Smith changed the boys’ club of punk rock in the ’70s,” says Fowler of Mouly’s influence since launching RAW four decades ago. He notes that the project’s title, named by Mouly’s husband, reflects the special issue’s theme: “resistance by women.”
The editors say they have received more than 500 submissions for the 40-page tabloid. Contributors so far include such noted cartoonists as Roz Chast and Carol Lay. (Submissions can be made at www.resistsubmission.com.)
“With this project, I knew that there must be people who felt as crushed as we were, and that they needed to not just say it but shout it, and make it into a physical object,” says Mouly, who previously teamed with her daughter on the Blown Covers blog. “That howl of protest needed to be gathered, preserved, and therefore vindicated — the first step toward building a future where we can feel more included.”