Art Spiegelman

The Event

Art Spiegelman


Sunday 5 June 1994

CLH.Oe.1103.comicsThe use of a “comic” strip to describe the horrors of the Holocaust seems incongruous to say the least. Yet this is precisely what writer and cartoonist Art Spiegelman has done in his two Maus books. Spiegelman (1948), the son of Polish-Jewish death-camp survivors, grew up in New Yorkand published the first of his many cartoons as early as 1962.

Maus centers on the Spiegelman fanily’s fate at the hand of the Nazi’s, as told by Spiegelman’s father, Vladek. The Nazi’s are depicted as cats and the persecuted Jews as mice. Based on Vladek Spiegelman’s tape-recorded memories, this narrative is presented in a form that Spiegelman prefers to spell “c-o-m-i-x” to signifiy both that it consists of a comix of words and pictures and that what is portrayed is not necessarily funny. Although the tension between the me4dium and the content has offended some readers, most critics have applauded the stark poignancy of this Pulitzer prize-winning work.

Maus I was published in 1986. It was followed five years later by the second and concluding volume. The Dutch translation of Maus I appeared in 1987. This year part II of Maus was published in Dutch translation by Oog & Blik (Maus II. En hier begon mijn ellende pas). The publisher is also working on a book with hitherto unpublished Maus related cartoons entitled Maus Tracks. An exhibition describing the artistic process that led to Maus is currently being shownat the Joods Historisch Museum (March 18 until August 14).

Art Spiegelman will be interviewed jointly by Johannes van Dam, Joost Swarte, and Louis Tas.

source text: 1994 newscard American Literature Today


The Speaker:

Art Spiegelman (born Itzhak Avraham ben Zeev on 15 February 1948) is an American cartoonist, editor and comics advocate based in New York City, best known for his graphic novel Maus (1986, 1991). His work as co-editor on the comics magazines Arcade and Raw has been influential, and he spent a decade as contributing artist for The New Yorker starting in 1992, where he made several high-profile and sometimes controversial covers. He is married to artist, designer and editor Françoise Mouly.

source text:


The Maus Legacy 25 years on

Georgetown University Fact-File on Maus

BBC 2011 Interview with Spiegelman


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