Vancouver Day 4:

Shu Mai and Spiegelman

April 23rd, 2013 § 0 comments

Rain, rain (Why do you think Vancouver is so brilliantly green and floral?) is pouring down and HG and BSK have chosen the perfect moist morning activity: Dim sum at Szechuan Chonquing Restaurant on Commercial Drive. Sharing the feast is Pablo R., the duo’s brilliant young architect friend. No carts here. You order from a menu and everything is deliciously fresh. Dan Dan noodles (a house specialty of noodles in a fiery peanut/sesame sauce) with crisp bits of pork. Har Gow (thin skinned steamed dumplings filled with big, juicy prawns). Shu Mai (super sized pork and shrimp dumplings). Steamed pork buns. Sea scallop rice rolls. Chinese broccoli (abundant garlic). Attentive, courteous service, much hot tea and a ludicrously small bill. Perfect. Food was followed by the Art Spiegelman “CO-MIX” exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery. “A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics and Scraps,” confirms Spiegelman as a major artist, creative, humane and subtly (and not no subtly) subversive. Maus: A Survivor’s Tale,” of course, is a modern classic which helped to establish cartooning as a viable method of treating serious material in narrative form. Equally impressive is Spiegelman’s graphic work. His explosive New Yorker Magazine cover (celebrating Valentine’s Day) of a Hassidic Jew and an African-American woman locked in a passionate kiss, is funny, sardonic and politically illuminating. Part of the exhibit is a film documentary of Spiegelman’s life. It is heartening to see that he is an unassuming New Yorker, happily married to Fran├žoise Mouly, the fine French artist, publisher and New Yorker Art Director.

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