In Tribute to Maurice Sendak

Image and words by David Finley

Where the Wild Things Are, An illustration in tribute to Maurice Sendak's, Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are

 I learned today that Maurice Sendak author and artist for books like, Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen, and Seven Little Monsters  passed away this morning. Although I never met Mr. Sendak, the news left me with a lot of strange feelings. It's odd to mourn for someone whom you've never met. There is a sadness that lingers, but it feels almost selfish because it's really all about how his death affects me. I mourn because his work inspired me as a child and now he's gone and it's up to the next generation.

 But, after a bit of scanning around the internet, I realize that so many others feel the same. And, although my feelings about this might be a bit centered within myself, it really shows the power and emotional impact true art can have. Maurice Sendak wasn't afraid to put dark imagery or tackle controversial topics. Despite working primarily in children's literature, a field often dominated by the bright and cheery, Sendak communicated with his audience honestly, even when that honesty wasn't pretty.

 His passing is a reminder to keep telling the truth as an artist. I hope the work I make as an artist and writer from this point forward will honor what he labored so hard to build.

 Maurice Sendak, you will be missed. We love you and thank you for all the wonderful stories and art you gave us. We thank you for being honest with us through your work, and thank you for helping us grow into stronger artists and writers by your example.

 I leave you today with this video of Mr. Sendak himself. I think it personifies what I love about the artist behind the work.

Thanks for reading Scofflaws!


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