The FPP For Damned Intellectuals!
September 7, 2009 8:36 AM   Subscribe

"[One] day around 1983, I saw an oversize magazine sticking out of the back of the bin with the word 'RAW' barely visible at the top. Hoping it was pornography, I pulled it out. Much to my disappointment, it wasn't, but I'd also never seen anything like it." - Chris Ware
An oral history of the seminal RAW Magazine: Part One, Life Before RAW | Part Two, Life After RAW

Featuring interviews with publisher Françoise Mouly, editor Art Spiegelman, and various contributors, as well as design sketches, neato colour separations, scripts & pencils, the infamous RAW rejection letter, and much, much more!
posted by Alvy Ampersand (13 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
What a great find. Thanks so much for this.
posted by mediareport at 8:49 AM on September 7, 2009

Wow. Awesome.
posted by phaedon at 8:56 AM on September 7, 2009

The rejection letter reminds me of how Heinlein answered his fan mail
posted by DreamerFi at 9:41 AM on September 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

Thanks. Great 'zine. Nice trip down Memory Speedway (upgraded from Lane).
posted by kozad at 10:05 AM on September 7, 2009

Oooooh. Bookmarked for later. Thanks.
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:57 AM on September 7, 2009

I remember it and thought it was some anarcho-east village trust fundie rag. But I did discover Sue Coe in it's pages and it was worth it just for that.
posted by Skygazer at 11:16 AM on September 7, 2009

Oh and Spiegleman, (and Mouly, who I think also appeared in Maus). of course! It's coming back now...
posted by Skygazer at 11:20 AM on September 7, 2009

I grew up on Marvel comics. As I came into my teens in the mid-80's, I really felt the narrative limitations of the superhero genre. I just didn't enjoy Hero X vs. Mudman anymore.

It was at that time that I discovered Raw. As Koyaanisqatsi and Stranger Than Paradise did for me with film, Raw blew away my perceptions about comics.

Raw has also been a gateway into other artists such as Ware, Woodring, Tomine. The entire Fantagraphics, Drawn and Quarterly domain. I am fortunate enough to own all of the Raw issues 1-8 as well as a great many other Raw publications. The original issues are quite expensive, but the reprints can be had for a reasonable price.

Raw, Volume II, Issue 1 at (used)

Raw, Volume II is just a smaller format reprint of the original eight issues. Well worth having.
posted by Brosef K at 11:34 AM on September 7, 2009

This is great. I think I have a copy or two of RAW somewhere. It really was - is - unlike anything else.
posted by WPW at 11:39 AM on September 7, 2009

Wait. It was Read Yourself Raw from Pantheon that was the reprint. Volume II is original.
posted by Brosef K at 11:49 AM on September 7, 2009

Raw, Volume II is just a smaller format reprint of the original eight issues.

That's not right. Volume II featured new comics, not reprints of the comics in Volume I.
posted by mediareport at 1:54 PM on September 7, 2009

I have three issues, signed by Art Spiegelman. I'm not usually one to be impressed by possessions, but I am very glad to own these particular publications, and tend to show them off.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:35 PM on September 7, 2009

I had the Pantheon reprint volume, and the Jimbo book, and I think maybe one of the later digest-sized issues.

I'm really not sure if they taught me anything. I'd already had my ideas of comics expanded beyond the superhero stuff long ago, when my parents got me a collection of Little Nemo and, soon afterwards, The Smithsonian Book Of Newspaper Comics; seeing those huge canvases dealing in such varied subjects taught me that there was a lot more to comics than "gag-a-day" and "dudes punching".

But they were interesting. Very interesting.

And I probably would not be in the middle of doing a bizarre fantasy epic that casually drops references to French New Wave films if not for the work Spiegelman and Mouly did to convince Americans that Comics Can Be For Adults, Damn It.
posted by egypturnash at 5:16 PM on September 7, 2009

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