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MetaMaus: A Look Inside a Modern Classic, Maus (Maus Meta)

4.27  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,371 Ratings  ·  159 Reviews

Visually and emotionally rich, MetaMaus is as groundbreaking as the masterpiece whose creation it reveals.

In the pages of MetaMaus, Art Spiegelman re-enters the Pulitzer prize–winning Maus, the modern classic that has altered how we see literature, comics, and the Holocaust ever since it was first published twenty-five years ago.

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Hardcover, 300 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Pantheon (first published 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Paul Bryant
May 23, 2013 Paul Bryant rated it it was amazing

Maus I : My Father Bleeds History (1986) and Maus II : And Here My Troubles Began (1991) took Art Spiegelman 13 years to create and he had thought during the time that he would have to get the damned thing self-published. Who would want to bother with yet another Holocaust survivor tale – haven’t we had a million of those - and this one as a graphic novel – yes, a comic book, that’s right – with this jarring characterisation of Jews as mice, for God’s sake, and Germans as cats, and Poles as pigs
Apr 08, 2014 Jo rated it it was amazing
“The advantage to using the stuff of real life is that one really is left with people who are far more interesting than what one could ever make up.”

OK, when I first started reading about this book and people were saying that this book was
I have to admit I was sceptical.
Graphic Novel Fun Fact: Maus was the first graphic novel I ever read and anyone knows me and my reading tastes will know that I will defend the graphic novel to the death.
So, needless to say, it made an impression on me.

Feb 19, 2012 Joant rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
I have a (new?) intense admiration for those among us who study and know a thing deeply. Perhaps because librarianship tends to reward broad knowledge, rather than deep, or perhaps because I am at heart lazy, I don't think I know any one thing deeply. This book presents deep understanding of the creation of Maus, which I read before Goodreads could record my reviews. I recognized Maus as important, but my appreciation for it grew as I came to understand the graphic novel form (for which I owe so ...more
Nov 22, 2011 Sesana rated it really liked it
MetaMaus is based off a series of interviews Hillary Chute conducted with Art Spiegelman over the course of several years. The book is set up in a Q&A format that mirrors the process Spiegelman used to interview his own father for the information in Maus. Intentionally, I'm sure. It's meant to be Spiegelman's definitive word on the intentions and creation of Maus.

The book is divided into three large sections, reflecting what Spiegelman says are the three questions that he's asked most often
Ned Rifle
Jan 01, 2013 Ned Rifle rated it liked it
Got this out of the library so as to have a light and inconsequential read for the holiday season. It fulfilled that role admirably but it also made me want to read Maus again, which I didn't expect. Spiegelman is good company and often very amusing, but he also takes his work seriously - in this book one often leads to the other. A good example is the case of the German edition of the book. Spiegelman was very particular that all countries would reproduce the cover art exactly, which was a bit ...more
Oct 19, 2011 Jonathan rated it really liked it
This was an excellent companion piece to Maus. Most of the book consisted of a series of interviews of Art Spiegelman. In them he talks about the creative process of bringing Maus to life. He describes the struggles of trying to convert his father's story into a comic book that people would take seriously. He also talks about the many influences of books and comics on the shaping of Maus. Along with the interviews, the pages are full of his sketchbook pages, concept drawings, and rough drafts of ...more
Nov 09, 2011 Mickie rated it really liked it
Sometimes I feel like a good graphic novel is a lot like pornography--I don't know how to define it, but I know it when I see it. I am not an artist, but I feel a bit closer to artists when I read GNs since their art is laid out a bit differently than in a painting or other more traditional medium and when you layer in narrative and word play, I feel like I am seeing a 3D rendering of how the artist works through thoughts on a subject visually. I love that. With good language and good art-a grap ...more
Markku Kesti
Aug 20, 2012 Markku Kesti rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Matti Karjalainen
Shelves: sarjakuva, tieto, elaimet
Mitä tästä voi sanoa. Hollywood -elokuvien Näin tehtiin -dokumentit ovat kenties vastenmielisintä mukadokumentarismia mitä maa päällään kantaa. Meta Maus on jotain muuta. Jos luet sarjakuvia vain viihtyäksesi tai jos mestariteosten taustat tahi tekijän intentiot eivät sinua kiinnosta, älä edes aloita tätä kirjaa. Jos sen sijaan kaipaat tietoa Spiegelmanin valinnoista kkuten miksi hän piirsi puolalaiset sioiksi tai mihin viittaa Auschwitzin kuolemanparakeista nousevan savun sekoittuminen Artin sa ...more
Patrick McCoy
I was first introduced to the magnificent Maus books when I was doing my student teaching at Shorewood High School in 1994-1995. The faculty had selected it to use as a text in an English course there. I was fascinated by the story and the painstaking attention to detail that Art Spiegelman had infused in his masterpiece. It was such a strange text that included the meta-narrative of Spiegelman's relationship with his mother and father, an interlude, "Prisoner of Hell Planet" that noted and inve ...more
Oct 01, 2014 cameron rated it it was amazing
What can I really say about this book on the evolution of the great two part Holocaust classic, MAUS. If you haven't read it than read it first before you read this. This book is completely written from long interviews with Art Spiegelman about his family, the history of his parents surviving the Holocaust, the effect on him, the effect MAUS has had on his life and his children's life and, for me, most amazing, the actual, specific evolution of the drawings.
He sees MAUS, for which he won a Puli
Mar 24, 2014 Donna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic
The Complete Maus (Maus I & II) is such an overwhelming story that I'm glad I found MetaMaus which explains much of the background material for Spiegelman's book. You will find here a complete transcript of Art's interview of Vladek, a family tree for Vladek's and Anja's families, sketches to show how the comic page was developed, and much of the "theory of comics" -- or at least Spiegelman's theory. Spiegelman explains how he drew a panel when he wasn't sure Vladek was telling the truth or ...more
Mar 07, 2012 Victor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
When I first heard about Maus, I think the novelty of the 'gimmick' (you know, that comic book about the holocaust where the Jews are mice and the Nazis are cats) both drew me to it and made me skeptical of the whole thing at the same time (I was already pretty into comics / graphic novels / whateveryouwanttocallthem at the time). In hindsight my skepticism, by virtue of lowering my expectations, set me up to be absolutely floored by that book as the story unfolded. I've been a devotee of Mr. Sp ...more
Michael Bohli
Jan 12, 2016 Michael Bohli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2016
Erstaunlich, aber das Buch über die Hintergründe des weltbekannten Graphic Novel "Maus" ist genau so intensiv und mitreissend wie der Comic. In langen Gesprächen gibt Art Spiegelman preis, wie er mit seiner Familiengeschichte umging, wie er den Comic erstellte und was er sich alles dazu überlegt hat.
Mit vielen Blicken hinter die Kulissen, Zeitdokumenten und Archivaufzeichnungen ist "MetaMaus" ein Ausnahmeprodukt, ein Making-Of erster Klasse und extrem aufwühlend. Für alle Leser des Comics ist de
Feb 20, 2015 Claudia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: no-ficción, 2015
Tan recomendable como Maus. Y al leer este libro, te vienen ganas de releerlo de nuevo. Y de descubrir a autores que menciona Spiegelman.
Sus reflexiones sobre el cómic son geniales, y hacen avanzar una futura lectura de Little Nemo in Slumberland.

Próximamente, en el blog, inauguraré un apartado de citas con este libro.

EDITO 20/2/2015: el DVD no es un DVD, es un CD-ROM. Dos cosas:
1) no hay traducido NADA del CD-ROM al español. Todo en inglés. Si lo editas en español, lo coherente es traducirlo t
EB Fitzsimons
Feb 03, 2016 EB Fitzsimons rated it really liked it
Shelves: craft, graphic-novels
A really in depth look at Maus. Chute was an excellent choice as in interviewer. It was so interesting hearing Spiegelman reflect on his work after some distance with wonder, joy, and bitterness. It was a great perspective and fascinating to see his influences, and what he tried to do with art and writing together, the symbolism, the history, and his reaction to the impact his work has had.
Dec 08, 2011 Anne rated it it was amazing
Maus I and Maus 2 are among the most powerful books I've read, and so I was interested to find out the story behind the story. MetaMaus takes the form of a book-length Q&A (like everything else of Spiegelman's put together over several years) covering most of the questions he has gotten about the books since they were published. I had always assumed that Spiegelman took some poetic license to make the Maus narrative work in comic form. What struck me most forcefully was the lengths Spiegelma ...more
Jan 26, 2015 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, deadtree, 2015
If you love Maus, you will love love love this book. It's an extended Q&A with Spiegelman where he gets into lovely detail about things like what it was like to work on Maus for 13 years, what it was like to live with Vladek, his father, what the impact of the work has been on his wife and kids, and all sorts of wondrous stuff about his process. Brilliant, truly.
Matthew McCroskey
Sep 14, 2013 Matthew McCroskey rated it it was amazing
MetaMaus is a "behind the scenes" look at Art Spiegelman's most famous graphic novel series Maus. Spiegelman answers questions regarding, "Why the Holocaust and why use mice?" with lots of graphic embellishment in the form of early drafts and unused artwork. The book is a nice addition to the Maus experience, and alone I'd give it three to four stars.

That being said, the real treat is the companion DVD which contains not only an electronic version of Maus but interview clips of Vladek Spiegelman
May 12, 2012 Blanche rated it really liked it
This was a great book about writing the best graphic biography I have ever read (also the only one, by the way). Of particular interest to me was Spiegelman's coming to a definition of how he sees himself as a Jew. His perceptions by non jews as being Jewish and perceptions by religious jews as being a non Jew. Something I have grappled with throughout my life as a secular Jew. For those interested in comic illustration it is also filled with a lot of information about the technical issues invol ...more
Apr 14, 2015 Marsha rated it really liked it
I gave both Maus I and Maus II five stars: I loved the way Art Spiegelman used the medium of comics to tell such a horrific story of his parents' survival of the Holocaust and how it affected his family. This book, MetaMaus, answers the how, why, what, where, when and other questions regarding these two books and Mr. Spiegelman's writing journey.

I am usually not a very deep nor observant reader; MetaMaus opened my eyes to some fascinating things I missed while reading the Maus books regarding h
Jan 08, 2015 Posi rated it it was amazing

MetaMaus: A Look Inside a Modern Classic, Maus, is definitely one of the best books I have ever read. A definite must read for everyone who has read Maus.

"Maus", by Art Spiegelman, is a non-fiction comic book centred around Spiegelman's his relationship with his father, a polish jew during World War II. It jumps from the past to the present as Spiegelman tries to record his father's experience during the holocaust. "Metamaus" is basically a long interview to which Spiegelman gives obviously wel
Siskoid Albert
You know how I like to "flip" (i.e. read, play, watch and listen to everything) before putting whatever media back on the shelf and giving my opinion, but I'm going to declare MetaMaus UNFLIPPABLE. I don't mean that in a bad way though. It's just that there's SO MUCH information about Art Spiegelman's seminal comics work Maus in this luscious, full-color, abundantly illustrated hardcover that it seems too much to get through unless I was doing a Master's or Doctor's thesis on it. The core of the ...more
Rachel Jackson
Mar 21, 2014 Rachel Jackson rated it liked it
MetaMaus is a book packed full of insight and backstory into a graphic novel that is often heralded as an innovative art form for changing the way people view comic book stories. And sure, the original Maus stories were groundbreaking and devastating to read through, especially now that so many memoirs and personal accounts have been told. But I didn't feel a personal reflection from the book's author, Art Spiegelman, was necessary to add meaning to the already present poignancy of the book. At ...more
Dec 21, 2012 Kim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Maus was my first graphic novel, and I've been fascinated with it ever since. Metamaus is a compendium of all things Maus, including an indepth interview with Spigelman, drafts and early versions of the story, his drawings, and a DVD with even more. Really an amazing example of a multimedia "book" in itself--and very detailed about the creation and execution of the work of art that is the Complete Maus.
Feb 15, 2012 Jane rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, essays
Incredible insights into Spiegelman's process of writing Maus. It was very humbling to read about the detailed research, deliberation over so many decisions, his grasp of the craft of really using the page, and struggles to have the book properly understood in the market. Read The Complete Maus first, then this, then Maus again.
Apr 26, 2015 Suzydumeur rated it it was amazing
Un incontournable ! Bien sûr Maus se suffit à lui-même en tant qu'oeuvre individuelle et à part, c'est d'ailleurs pourquoi je n'ai pas voulu lire la retranscription des entretiens entre Art Spiegelman et son père, quelque part j'ai voulu garder en tête cette vision "pure" du fils envers l'histoire de ses parents et de ses racines ; néanmoins je vous encourage vivement à découvrir MetaMaus. Ce livre nous en apprend beaucoup sur la conception du livre mais aussi sur l'après Maus : beaucoup de chos ...more
This companion to Spiegelman’s Pulitzer-winning Maus contains one long interview with the author addressing the questions he commonly receives about his work – Why the Holocaust? Why mice? Why comics? – and explores the impact the novel has had on those around Spiegelman in a series of smaller, shorter interviews. It also includes an archive of the audio interviews Spiegelman conducted with his father, historical documents he used to supplement the information from his father, and images of his ...more
Spiegelman is a very articulate and talented guy. He totally deserves his elevated post Maus iconic status (whether he likes it or not). This is the book that takes you so much deeper into the spectacular Maus. I'm hugely into 'behind the scenes' stuff, I love learning about the contexts in which works are made. And I loved all that technical stuff about how he made the actual comics, you never get to see that! Spiegelman is a better artist with more to say than Scott McCloud will ever be (not t ...more
Ryan Nadel
Oct 19, 2014 Ryan Nadel rated it it was amazing
I produced the DVD that accompanies this book. As a lifelong fan of Maus and admirer of Art Spiegelman, it was an amazing experience. The DVD carries with it the weight of forever preserving the reality of this work and the experiences of the people. As the generation that is responsible for transmitting the history of the Holocaust to the next generation that will never meet a survivor it is essential that the artifacts of these tellings are preserved and retold so that the history does not jus ...more
Jayme Herschkopf
Apr 19, 2014 Jayme Herschkopf rated it really liked it
I read this book after visiting the Art Spiegelman retrospective at New York's Jewish Museum, and it was a fabulous way to delve deeper into some of the themes of that exhibit. I've been a Maus fan for years, so I can only speak from that perspective, but this book was an incredible gift. It illuminates some of the auto/biographical holes in Maus, and adds additional insights on all sorts of aspects of Spielgelman's research and writing process. When reading Maus, you know you are looking at the ...more
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Art Spiegelman (born Itzhak Avraham ben Zeev) is New-York-based comics artist, editor, and advocate for the medium of comics, best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning comic memoir, Maus.
More about Art Spiegelman...

Other Books in the Series

Maus (2 books)
  • Maus, I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (Maus, #1)
  • Maus II : And Here My Troubles Began (Maus, #2)

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“In reality, childhood is deep and rich. It's vital, mysterious, and profound. I remember my OWN childhood vividly; I knew terrible things, but I knew I mustn't let the adults *know* I knew... it would scare them.” 13 likes
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