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

4.27 of 5 stars 4.27  ·  rating details  ·  999 ratings  ·  127 reviews
***NATIONAL JEWISH BOOK AWARD WINNER***

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.

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

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Jo
“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.

The b...more
Paul

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...more
Joant
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
Sesana
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...more
Ned Rifle
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
Jonathan
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
Mickie
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 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Matti Karjalainen
Shelves: elaimet, sarjakuva, tieto
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
Donna
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
Victor
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
Anne
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
Matthew McCroskey
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...more
Blanche
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
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
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
Kim
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.
Jane
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.
Emma
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
Jayme Herschkopf
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
Michael Scott
Dec 30, 2013 Michael Scott rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who has read Maus.
MetaMaus is exactly what its title says: a book about another book, which turned out to become a classic (Pulitzer 1992) after a decade-long (and more) gestation. Why who would ever want to read a book about a book about ...? And ... how can a meta thing be more than just ridiculously pompous, see perhaps the What's the Meta? article in the NYTimes, Dec 2005? Well, just like for The Complete Maus, it turns out Art Spiegelman, with the help of associate editor Hillary Chute, can deliver. This is...more
Frank
Wonderful.
Flora
Forgive me for the cliche but this is a book that is TARDIS-like in its dimensions - it is much, much bigger on the inside.

The main text takes the form of an interview, split into three sections - Why the Holocaust?, Why Mice? and Why Comics? These are fascinating enough on their own as Art Speigelman is such good company - intelligent, witty, thoughtful and intensely self-aware. He is also very knowledgable about his medium - I now feel much more aware of how the form of comics can be used to...more
T.I.M. James
It's taken a while to finish this book, but then it's not my 'main' read, rather something that I have been reading bit by bit, in tea breaks etc.

It's not a story, at least not a fictional one, rather a serious study of the background to one of the most important graphic novels ever created: Art Speigelman's MAUS.

Here we get to see so much ranging from the creative process from the gestation of the idea through to the actual starting of the work, to the though process behind the story, panel co...more
Knute Snortum
MetaMaus is a book about a book -- it could be called "The Making of Maus." This might make it seem dull or a "fans only" book, but it actually is a very interesting companion to the Maus graphic novels. Do read Maus part one and two first, but then read MetaMaus too.

Maus is the story of Art Spiegelman's father, a Nazi camp survivor. The book chronicles not only the father's experiences but Art's difficulties in making the book itself. In this way, Maus is already "meta". But MetaMaus takes anot...more
Sam
I'm a huge fan of Art Spiegelman's Maus books so I expected to love this. I wanted very much to like it but it just seemed like so much of this book was filler (like the interviews with his children) and the publishers marketed it as a moneymaker that would glide by on the success of the previous Maus books. All the different explanations and artistic freedom in interpretation are kind of lost when everything is explained so clearly and exhaustively.
(Just as a side note, I was a little disturbe...more
Nancy
At first glance, this book basically serves as an in-depth FAQ to Maus. Once you open the book, you're immediately brought into Art Spiegelman's mind and thought process. He describes in rich detail how he is haunted by his most well-known book, Maus and explains why he chose comics as his medium to present his father's story.

Spiegelman discusses the amount of thought he put into the animal metaphor of the Holocaust to drive his point home. For example, he chose to represent Polish people as pi...more
James
Maus is an affecting and beautiful book. MetaMaus is a author's deconstruction of a work that has eclipsed everything he could ever achieve, and become monumental in the field of literature, history, and memoir.

There is more included in Metamaus than you could possibly read. The meat of the book is an interview with Art Spiegelman, that covers all incarnations of Maus, and is generously accompanied with works-in-progress, related and referenced comic strips, and a few other brief attendant inter...more
Michelle
I actually haven't read this cover-to-cover (I just skimmed the transcript of the interview with Vladek at the end), nor have I checked out the CD that comes with the book yet (though I plan to), but the bulk of this book, which is an interview between Hillary Chute and Art Spiegelman was *fantastic*. If you're a hardcore fan of Maus and are interested in Spiegelman's work in general, this is indispensable. Spiegelman is an incredibly intelligent and articulate man and reading about the creative...more
Stuart
If you found the Maus volumes of Art Spiegelman fascinating, you'll likely glean at least a few interesting facts from this book, which is really a Q&A that includes related visuals. The Q&A actually isn't that interesting. Neither the interviewer nor Spiegelman are all that probing or insightful verbally. It's the background visuals here that are worth a look and can be fascinating. From those visuals, you get a clear idea of how Spiegelman went from historical images to those he made f...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...
Maus, I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History (Maus, #1) Maus, II: And Here My Troubles Began (Maus, #2) The Complete Maus (Maus, #1-2) In the Shadow of No Towers Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*!

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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.” 7 likes
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