The Art of Spiegelman

In 1991, one of the key figures in American underground comics, Art Spiegelman published his graphic novel Maus. Groundbreaking in both style and form, the emotionally raw Maus imagined a conversation between the alienated Spiegelman and his traumatized father Vladek, a Holocaust survivor. The stark black-and-white panels which portray the Jews as mice and the Germans as cats drew critical raves and massive sales. Eventually Maus won Art Spiegelman a coveted Pulitzer, the first ever for a graphic novel. Yet the international success of Maus plunged the uneasy cult hero into despair. The artist virtually disappeared for the following decade. Clara Kuperberg and Joëlle Oosterlinck’s doc traces Spiegelman’s journey from his childhood obsession with all things comic (“I studied Mad the way some kids studied the Talmud.”) to his resurgence with the outrageous covers he created for the New Yorker. A highly entertaining look at the visionary who took underground comics into the mainstream yet still requires a touch of “disquiet but not disaster” to craft his singular art.
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