Tuesday, December 06, 2022

The Comics Journal: Diane Noomin's Memorial Service at the School of Visual Arts

John Kelly reports on the Diane Noomin memorial celebration at the School of Visual Arts last month:

The life of pioneering cartoonist Diane Noomin (1947-2022) was celebrated by her friends, family and fans at a memorial service held November 10, 2022, at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, where she taught comics to hundreds of young artists. Speakers at the event included her husband, the cartoonist Bill Griffith, cartoonists Phoebe Gloeckner and Jennifer Camper, comics historians Bill Kartalopoulos and Hillary Chute, Columbia University's Curator for Comics and Cartoons Karen Green, and cartoonist Art Spiegelman, who introduced Noomin and Griffith in the early 1970s.

"I wasn't even aware that I was being a matchmaker until the last time I was at Bill's house with Diane... and she brought it up," Spiegelman said of his pairing of the couple, so many years ago. "All I really remembered is, 'we'll have a couple of people for dinner, you know'... Bill had been living with us a little bit before that for several months... Bill had been reeling from a relationship that hadn't worked out and he was with us a lot, convalescing from it. And then you know, it was like... 'Oh, well, maybe [Diane and Bill] will get along,' you know. But I but it wasn't as conscious as all that... but it does seem that maybe I did arrange this... and I'm glad I did. But as Bill has reported to me... when asked, what she thought of Bill—Bill asked [Diane] that—she said, 'well, you were kind of snooty.'" The crowd laughed. "And it wasn't until a little later," Spiegelman continued, "that that they actually made the connection that led to a really lifelong, very solid and and moving relationship between them."

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