Art Spiegelman: MAUS
Art Spiegelman is one of the most recognized and celebrated comic book authors in the media, partly thanks to the Pulitzer Prize he won for Mausen in 1992. And for his covers of the New Yorker, in particular the one of the two black towers on a black background that followed the tragedy of September 11, 2001. Grand defender and promoter of the comic strip medium, Art Spiegelman has taken possession of the comic strip to tell his time, to talk about ambitious subjects with a relevant use of text and images. The cartoonist published the plates of this story for more than 10 years in the RAW magazine (which he publishes with his wife Françoise Mouly. An important magazine for auteur comics in the USA that has published contemporary American authors and artists from all over the world).
Maus staged the memories of Vladek Spiegelman, the author’s father, in Poland in the death camps with a double temporal device: a game of back and forth between the present where the illustrator listens to his father’s story and asks himself questions about his relationship with him, and the 1930s and 1940s with a story in the form of an immersive fiction drawn from Vladek’s memories. He thus addresses the persecutions of Jews in Poland, the Shoah, liberation, but also immigrants to the United States, the family, filiation.
The subject is supported by a graphic research that intervenes in the narrative, the first part presents an animal universe: Nazis are represented in cats and Jews in mice (mouse = Maus in German) A particularly striking staging because the drawing allows the author to slide from anthropomorphism to masks. The symbolic beasts give way to the animal humans who hide under a mask. A post-modern work that is full of references and games between text and image, making the work specific to the medium and untransposable in another field.
Beaucoup artists, journalists, academics have examined this exceptional work and the author himself, who confesses to be haunted by this work of a lifetime, has published a book 20 years later: Meta-Maus which tells the story of the project, extracts from notebooks and interviews, transcriptions of discussions, sketches and sound and visual extracts.
If you were to read only one of these 10 titles, start with this one, your vision of the comic book will be forever changed.
Only comic book author to win a Pulitzer Prize. He has won numerous Eisner and Harvey awards for all his works and has been a member of the Eisner Awards’ “Hall of Fame” since 1999. In France, he won two awards for Best Foreign Album in 1988 and 1993. He is also Grand Prix of the city of Angoulême in 2011.
MAUS de Art Spiegelman
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