Art Spiegelman finds art in disorder, even catastrophe. He can't help it. Calls it his muse. The Holocaust. September 11, 2001. Death in the family. Things some would wish to forget and bury, cartoonist Spiegelman wants you, needs you, to remember. The famed author of the Pulitzer-Prize winning graphic novel "Maus" and numerous New Yorker covers explains all with a candour that is darkly hilarious. He also talks about the first ever retrospective of his life's work at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
'Maus' cartoonist Art Spiegelman on finding art in disorder
When Art Spiegelman started looking for a home for his ground-breaking graphic novel Maus
, most publishers just didn't get it. Rejection letters came pouring in. They said things like, "the idea behind it is brilliant, but it never quite gets on track" ... or "my passing has to do with the nervousness of something so new and possibly off-putting."
To be fair, Maus
is an illustrated narrative, a comic book really, about Spiegelman's father and his experiences as a Polish Jew during the Holocaust. It mixed historical accounts with personal stories. And it did it all using cartoons. The Germans were cats, the Jews were mice. In the end, Maus
was published in 1992 and promptly won the Pulitzer Prize. It is now considered one of the most important graphic novels ever made. Over the years, Art Spiegelman has written other graphic novels, illustrated countless covers for The New Yorker magazine, as well as the satirical collector card series, Garbage Pail Kids
The first-ever retrospective of Art Spiegelman's 40-year career opens today at the Vancouver Art Gallery. And Art Spiegelman was with us from Vancouver.
This segment was produced by The Current's
Lara O'Brien.Other segments from today's show: