The Best American
Françoise Mouly has worked as the art editor for The New Yorker since 1993 and is the publisher and editorial director of TOON Books, an imprint of Candlewick Press. In 1980, Mouly founded the pioneering comics anthology RAW with her husband, Art Spiegelman. Born in Paris, she studied architecture at the Beaux Arts and moved to New York in 1974. She has been named chevalier in the order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, and in 2011, she was awarded France’s highest honor, the Légion d’Honneur.
Jessica Abel (Chicago, 1969) started making comics in college, at the University of Chicago. Her early efforts appeared in the student anthology Breakdown. After college, in 1992, she won the infamous "Stinky Date" contest in Peter Bagge's Hate comics, and, since she had arranged to meet the artist at the Chicago Comics Convention, she decided to put together a sampler of her comics to show him and his publisher, Fantagraphics. She printed 50 copies of Artbabe #1, but Fantagraphics editor Gary Groth, who claims not to remember this encounter, didn't take the bait. Four issues (and four years) later, she won a Xeric grant, put out the first full-sized and professionally printed issue of Artbabe, and thus finally appeared on Groth's radar. She began a new volume of Artbabe with Fantagraphics in 1997.
Abel won the 1997 "Best New Talent" Harvey and Lulu awards and she completed Artbabe Volume 2 in early 1999. She took time off from fictional comics in 1999 to complete a 32-page comic for This American Life, a Public Radio International program, written in collaboration with host Ira Glass, and then 2000 saw the publication of Mirror, Window, a collection of the second volume of Artbabe. Soundtrack, a compilation of early comics work, was published by Fantagraphics in 2001. La Perdida, a graphic novel thriller set in Mexico City, was originally serialized by Fantagraphics, during which time it won the 2002 "Best New Series" Harvey Award and was featured in the first Best American Comics anthology from Houghton-Mifflin. La Perdida was published as a complete book by Pantheon in 2006 and has been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, and Czech. Abel's most recent books are a vampire romantic comedy called Life Sucks published by First Second Books, and, in collaboration with her husband, Matt Madden, a comics textbook called Drawing Words & Writing Pictures, also published by First Second Books in spring 2008. Currently, she is writing for the Drawing Words & Writing Pictures educational blog ( dw-wp.com ). Abel's upcoming projects include a second volume of her textbook and a script for a graphic novel about roller derby on Mars. She is also co-series editor (with Madden) of The Best American Comics, and teaches at the School of Visual Arts. She lives with Madden and their two children in Brooklyn.
Matt Madden started self-publishing minicomics while living in Ann Arbor MI in the early 90s. In 1996 Madden began writing reviews for The Comics Journal and other publications—more recently he reviewed comics and graphic novels for Bookforum. His first graphic novel, Black Candy, was published by Black Eye Books in 1998; his second, Odds Off, was published by Highwater Books in 2001. He also translates from French and Spanish. His translation from the French of Aristophane's The Zabîme Sisters (First Second) was published in the fall of 2010.
In 2002 he was named foreign correspondent of the French avant-garde comics group, OuBaPo (the Workshop for Potential Comics). His book 99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style (Penguin), a comics adaptation of Raymond Queneau's Exercises in Style, which has numerous foreign editions including Japan, France, Italy, and Spain, further cemented his position as a leading figure in experimental comics.
Madden lives in Brooklyn NY with his wife, Jessica Abel, and their two children. He teaches comics at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and he has collaborated with his wife on a comics textbook, Drawing Words & Writing Pictures, published by First Second, and they are currently at work on a second volume. The couple are also co-series editors of The Best American Comics from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. You'll find recent news and comics at www.mattmadden.com .