MetaMaus by Art Spiegelman

by Art Spiegelman
Pantheon, 2011

An exceptional companion to the famous graphic novel Maus, far superior to anything published in relation to Alan Moore’s Watchmen when the film came out. Cartoonists will find it interesting for the insight it gives into the research and preparation required to produce a graphic novel where it’s very important that the historical detail is represented as accurately as possible. It includes a slightly awkwardly-placed DVD which contains a digital reference copy of Maus and lots of other goodies.

Although Spiegelman published the first Maus-related material in 1972, it’s dominated his life and output since then, even twenty years after the complete volume was published (for which he received a special Pulitzer). It even seeped into the hopelessly indulgent and padded-out In the Shadow of No Towers in 2004. MetaMaus is full of strips by Spiegelman where (in his familiar pose, glum and defeated, at his drawing board wearing a mouse mask) he agonizes about the legacy of Maus – at first I thought this was rare new material, but no! It’s from 15 years ago, ten years ago, 23 years ago… Spiegelman has become the curator of his own museum, and this book is the catalogue.

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