It’s nothing new, but the art world, particularly the literary world (including comics), is an ageist game. Especially with the explosion of hypermedia, and the reliance on interactivity to maintain one’s literary profile. There’s this idea (often an accurate one) that we should be excited by a writer’s first or second (sometimes third) book, but, after that, it’s like, “Oh, it’s just another one by John Barth or Don DeLillo or [even] George Saunders.” I think it’s worth taking a moment to note older writers who are doing NEW things, publishing either their best work, or works as good as any they’ve published.
A couple of comics artists come to mind. Gary Panter’s most recent work is as medium-changing as anything going on today, as exciting as the work of kids like Dash Shaw. Art Spiegelman also refuses to ever do the same thing twice, re-learning how to draw for each new book. As far as prose, Stephen Dixon has yet to miss a beat. His work is so consistent and unrelenting that I can’t say he’s doing the best work of his career, but work as good as any in his career.
What else you got – writers who are 55-plus but either entering or still in their literary primes? (Let’s come up with a long list.)