Brain Pickings

MetaMaus: Inside the Making of the Comic that Made History

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Why comics? Why mice? Why the Holocaust?

Twenty-five years ago, beloved comic artist and editor Art Spiegelman published Maus: A Survivor’s Tale — his cult-classic comic book about the Holocaust based on the biography of Spiegelman’s father, which went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1992 and paved the way for comics as a medium for nonfiction.

Today, Spiegelman releases the highly anticipated MetaMaus: A Look Inside a Modern Classic, Maus — a fascinating look at the thinking, tinkering, and creative process behind the making of the iconic comic.

The book seems to loom over me like my father once did, and journalists and students still want answers to the same few questions: Why comics? Why mice? Why the Holocaust?”

The book comes with a digitized reference copy of The Complete Maus in the form of a bonus DVD, linked to a deep archive of audio interviews with his survivor father, historical documents, and a wealth of Spiegelman’s private notebooks and sketches. (A fine addition to our favorite voyeuristic peeks inside the sketchbooks of great creators.)

MetaMaus offers a rare glimpse inside the mind of a genius storyteller, using Spiegelman’s celebrated visual eloquence to illuminate the deeper psychological and sociocultural elements that underpin his thoughtful, provocative, masterful classic.

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