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Behind the Maus

Considered by many critics and fans to be one of the most significant (as in, socially relevant) anthropomorphic works of the 20th Century, Art Spiegelman’s Maus: A Survivor’s Tale brought us the story of a Jewish family struggling to stay alive and together in the horror of Nazi Germany during World War II. And it did so through the medium of funny animal comics — but oh, were funny animals ever so not funny… In the years since the publication of Maus (and after numerous awards), Art Spiegelman has been hounded by questions: Why the Holocaust? Why mice? And why a comic book?  Now, he attempts to take those questions head-on in his new hardcover book, Metamaus: A Look Inside A Modern Classic, Maus, which is available now from Pantheon Books. The book and accompanying DVD not only include an on-screen version of The Complete Maus, but also interviews with the creator’s father, memories of his mother (both his parents were held prisoner in concentration camps) by folks who knew her, scholarly essays on Maus, loads of background sketches, and much more.

image c. 2011 Art Spiegelman