The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

Graphic courtesy of Liv Ream; movie flyer from IMDB
In defense of Skinamarink
By Liv Ream, Arts and Entertainment Editor • October 1, 2023
Alternative Spring Break 2023 volunteers in Washington, D.C. Courtesy of Natalie Mowad.
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By Taylor Lorence, Correspondent • October 1, 2023
The Northern Cheyenne tribe and community walking the ancient Portage Path from Portage Path CLC to the John Brown Home during a previous years First Peoples Day event. Photo courtesy of Portage Path Collaborative.
UA Holds events in celebration of North American First People’s Day   
By Shananne Lewis, Online Editor • September 28, 2023
White swan on water during daytime photo - Free Uk Image on Unsplash
The Swan's Rapture: a poem
By Emily Price, editor in chief • September 27, 2023
Desperately Seeking an Amazon Fighter, sculpture by Kimberly Chapman
"Easy Prey" art exhibit on display at Myers School of Art
By Taylor Lorence, Reporter, Secretary • September 21, 2023
“On the left, there’s me at work! I received the New Student Orientation “Gold Standard” award alongside 
and at the same time as my friend Gillian.”
Courtesy of Connor VanMaele
Fall 2023 Print Edition: Going the Distance
By Connor VanMaele, Correspondent • September 19, 2023
L to R: Steve Horner, Heather Barhorst, Haley Kuczynski, Shawna Blankenship, Brynley Harris, Jessie Redwine at the Pop-Up Pantry. Image Courtesy of ZipAssist.
ZipAssist Holds Community Resource Fair Tuesday, September 19 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the SU 2nd Floor
By Shananne Lewis, Correspondent • September 18, 2023
Film critic Liv Ream and friend pose for photo (Image via Liv Ream)
My Barbie experience
By Liv Ream, Film Critic • September 17, 2023

The New Yorker's art director Francoise Mouly visits Akron

Written by: Maggie Duff

A more unique type of artist than the usual lecturer visited EJ Thomas’ Stage Door last Wednesday.

Although her name may not be familiar due to the behind-the-scenes nature of her work, Francoise Mouly, the art director of the New Yorker since 1993, has been one of the biggest influences on the contemporary world of illustration, cartooning and how the media visually portrays news stories and American life.

Her job, which she describes as the “best job in the world,” consists of meeting with and commissioning artists for illustrations, looking at all of the material that artists send in (ideas, sketches and finished drawings) and ultimately deciding which illustrations will run in the magazine.

Mouly grew up in Paris, where her father wanted her to become a plastic surgeon. She moved to New York City and studied architecture instead, which is where she met Art Spiegelman, an artist whom she would later marry.

Mouly began to become more involved in the world of fine art, cartooning and printmaking. She worked at RAW magazine for a number of years, determined to create a “complex printed object,” according to Mouly, and through this, she met a number of fine artists.

In 1993, Mouly became the editor of The New Yorker, a popular American magazine compiled of reports, essays, fiction, satire and, of course, cartoons.

From the famous covers to the inside material, Mouly has been the woman behind some of the most prominent illustrations that Americans have seen.

When Mouly began to study the old New Yorker covers, she found a “treasure trove of visual narratives,” she said, and a glimpse at what sophisticates were laughing about in the past. Thus, she works to choose images that will continue this visual narrative, and will continue to raise questions about contemporary issues.

For example, on June 13, 1994, Mouly ran a cover of two men in front of a wedding cake: an image that was perceived as very shocking for the time. Historians later said that this cover showed that gay marriage could be possible.

One of her most challenging covers was the 9/11 issue. Mouly was torn: she didn’t believe that any drawn image could adequately express the moment when the towers fell, but she felt that using a photo would show defeat (The New Yorker is famous for never including photography.)

Finally, they came up with the perfect cover: an almost all-black page, with the towers faintly showing in a darker black. Mouly continues to show how very little can say quite a lot.

Mouly’s lecture undoubtedly left many Akron students and faculty in awe of the true power of illustration.

“Mouly had a fresh perspective, and I enjoyed seeing the covers,” said sophomore graphic design student Lauren McAndres. “I liked that she brought the artists she featured in RAW magazine, and had them do covers for the New Yorker.”

Mouly also gave a conversation-based lecture this last Thursday morning with students at the Myer’s School of Art.

During this group discussion, much was said on the value of the printed image. Artists are worried that with the advent of computers as one of our main ways to consume images, the physically printed image will soon be obsolete.

Yet, people such as Francoise Mouly are working to keep this alive by making tangible, exciting, printed works.

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