1948- American avant-garde Graphic Artist

Born in Stockholm, raised in Queens. His mother committed suicide in 1968.

He has, by all accounts, an encyclopedic knowledge of classic comics. He became fascinated by the underground comics of the sixties and moved to the Bay area for a time to join the scene. There he met Robert Crumb and Bill Griffith. The association with Bill brought a publication called Arcade into the world which lasted 2 years. Apparently very demanding, it was enough to cause him to swear off publishing for good.

He moved back to New York, there he met his future wife, Françoise Mouly. She convinced him to return to publishing and together they founded RAW Magazine, a review of avant-garde comics. RAW was originally a large format publication, like Life magazine. As such it was a real treat to the eye. If you own a copy of the original, it's quite valuable and rare now, there were only 4500 printed. Originally intended as a one shot publication, it was so successful that a second issue was planned. After that, there was more pressure to keep going. In 1986 Penguin approached them and the decision was made to move the whole thing to the much smaller graphic novel format that it is today.

His reputation was confined to a small circle until he published his comic-book novels, Maus: A Survivor's Tale 1986 and Maus II: And Here My Troubles Began 1991. The first Maus book was rejected by 13 publishers before finally accepted. It draws on his father's accounts of his experiences during the Holocaust, he defied expectations by drawing the Jews as mice and the Nazis as cats, and somehow his simple drawings enhanced the pathos.

During the 80's, he became a creative consultant, designer, and writer for Topps Chewing Gum, Inc. He and Mark Newgarden were responsible for a Candy/toy product called Garbage Pail Kids/Wacky Packages.

In 1992 he won a Pulitzer Prize for Maus. He has also received a Guggenheim Fellowship and been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

He discovered a poem from the 1920's jazz-age which he decided to illustrate and republish, it was called The Wild Party by Joseph Moncure March. It was released in 1995.

In 1997, he published a children's book called "Open me...I'm a Dog".

Along with Keiji Nakazawa he published a very controversial graphic novel called Barefoot Gen which had as it's setting, Hiroshima in the aftermath of the Atomic Bomb.

Up until 2003 he was a staff artist for The New Yorker and has done a number of great covers for them. He resigned from the New Yorker due to their unwillingness to publish any editorial content critical of the war. He is also consultant and art director for Details, and the New York Press.

Some Titles published by Spiegelman:

He lists, as one of the major influences on his work, Harvey Kurtzman, the creator of MAD magazine.

Falls under the categories of Books that will induce a mindfuck and Books you loan out to expand friends' minds.


Sources: http://arts.ucsc.edu/derek/Art.html http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Zone/9923/ispieg2.html http://www.georgetown.edu/bassr/218/projects/oliver/MausbyAO.htm http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/9930/rall.php Last Updated 05.14.04

Spiegelman has also done a string of excellent covers for The New Yorker magazine in recent years. One of them, following a well-publicized incident of NYPD brutality (I don't recall which incident) depicted a smiling NYPD officer firing his revolver at civilians in a sort of Coney Island shooting arcade; an Easter cover depicted the Easter Bunny crucified by the Internal Revenue Service.

Spiegelman doesn't get by on wit and "relevance" alone; he has serious talent and formidable technique. Technique?! Isn't that out of fashion? Not entirely.

On the subject of people who've bothered to learn their craft, The New Yorker has also taken to running art by Los Brothers Hernandez of Love and Rockets fame: From Forced Exposure to the Algonquin, in three easy steps. Go figure. They do good work, don't they?

Interviewer: What's it like to be called the new Kafka?
spiegelman: I hadn't heard that one, I'm glad.
Interviewer: It's written in at least two different reviews.
spiegelman: I missed both. (Laughs)

art spiegelman (he prefers his name written in all lower-case) was born 1948 in Stockholm, Sweden. His parents were Polish Jew survivors Vladek and Anja from the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz.

They immigrated to the United States in the early 1950ies, and art enrolled at Harpur College (State University of New York at Binghamton) in 1965.

However, art had a nervous breakdown and dropped out in 1968, and later the same year his mother commited suicide. He wrote a comic because he felt he needed it, entitled "Prisoner on the Hell Planet". He did not plan to publish it, but it eventually appeared in Short Order Comix in 1973 and in Maus in 1986. It tells us of art's struggles with guilt over his self-perceived failure and his mother's suicide.

In the 1970ies, spiegelman started Arcade Magazine with Bill Griffith, a collection of underground comix. In spite of promising himself he would never create another magazine when the pair stopped, he created RAW Magazine with his future wife Francoise Mouly in 1980.

"I didn't know what postmodernism was until I read an essay by Todd Gitlin in the New York Times Book Review in which he cited MAUS as a primary example of it."
-art spiegelman

spiegelman is perhaps best known for his comix (another spelling-preference of art), especially Maus, the modern fable about the Holocaust. art was awarded a Pulitzer for Maus in 1992, a thing that, according to himself, was a surpise.

art is not currently working on any major projects, but expects to start doing more work soon. Among his earlier creations are the Garbage Pail Kids and several The New Yorker covers.

art spiegelman married Francoise Mouly, his co-worker and publisher, in 1997.


Quotes are taken from the following interviews:
http://www.bookwire.com/bbr/interviews/art-spiegelman.html
http://arts.ucsc.edu/derek/Art.html

See also other Comics creators.

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