This one hurts.
You know your day isn’t going to be good when you wake up to the news that the person who heavily influenced your childhood has passed on. That’s how my day began this morning when I pop up my Twitter feed and read that the great Maurice Sendak has left this world.
Sendak died at the age of 83 due to complications from a recent stroke. You can read the details here.
Sendak was one of those authors and illustrators that grabbed you with his work. He’s done children’s books In the Night Kitchen, Outside Over There and The Nutshell Library. But, is best, and most famous work was Where the Wild Things Are. As a kid, this book was as precious to me as much as every Godzilla movie and Voltron episode that filled my young head. Sendak’s illustrations were almost hypnotic. Simple, yet elegant. The cross hatching shading and the unique look to the Wild Things kept your mind working (even if the story was slightly simple).
Where the Wild Things Were was famously made into a film back in 2009 by Spike Jonze. It was the closest interpretation to get Sendak’s vision in movement. If you can, I would recommend tracking down Tell Em Anything You Want, a documentary that Spike Jonze made about Sendak while he was working on the Wild Things film. A damn fine portrait of the man that’s quite revealing.
As I sit here, looking at my McFarlane Wild Thing figures across my shelf and my stuffed Max doll sitting in the corner, I can’t but to think that somewhere, Mr. Sendak is on a ship sailing over an ocean on his way to his own private island full of monsters for him to rule.