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MetaMaus: A Look Inside a Modern Classic, Maus

(Maus #Meta)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  2,234 ratings  ·  231 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.

Does he probe the questions that Maus most
Hardcover, 300 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Pantheon
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Average rating 4.31  · 
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Paul Bryant

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
Elyse  Walters
Mar 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Vol 2.... Pulitzer prize winning book.

Art Spieglman takes us deep inside in concentration camps....and really shows us how life was day to day.

This book is so hard to put down once you begin...
It's so frickin sad --- ( we take the in horrors on probably the deepest of deepest levels, from a book about the Holocaust)

The graphic depictions are the most brilliant creation of all ... everything about these
illustrations works ---( their artistic design and purpose are flawless).
Oct 19, 2011 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.

Dec 08, 2011 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
Sep 28, 2011 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 abou
Eve Kay
May 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Spiegelman just earned an extra star as I was waiting for my tablet to start and GR to load. I can't really tell you why but I guess it's important to point out straight off that there was one star lacking on my way to my review.
Nothing to do with Spiegelman himself though. Or Vladek whom I love for some g*d damn reason. I guess I have a soft gooey spot for the ones who're just such a*holes. And have survived the holocaust. Silly me, eh?
Spiegelman had done a whole load of research for the Mice (
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 09, 2011 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
Ned Rifle
Dec 31, 2012 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
Feb 26, 2012 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
Nov 02, 2011 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
Aug 09, 2014 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
Extremely insightful thoughts by Art Spiegelman about the creation of Maus. He discusses all aspects of the book: Why Mice? How to accurately portray Vladek's story? Why comics? What was the impact on Art? On Art's family?

Although there were many moving moments from the book, there was one that really made me stop and think. It showed two family trees. The first family tree showed all of Art's extended family on his mother's side before WWII. The second family tree had taken out every relative w
Jedi JC Daquis
Jun 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
True to its promise written in the backcover which is " groundbreaking as the masterpiece whose creation it reveals", MetaMaus seals the deal as the ultimate companion to Art Spiegelman's Maus. It reverberates what its predecessor is exploding with: raw truth, tenderness and entertainment altogether with a dip of emotional wounds and pinches of humour in every page.
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Maus readers in academia
(Note: this review covers only the contents of the book. I have yet to go through the companion DVD.)

There's a page in The Complete Maus, where Art is at his drawing table, and journalists are all around him, looking for a quick soundbite. Three of the questions he's asked are, "Why [did you make a comic about] the Holocaust?" "Why [did you draw Jewish people as] mice?" and "Why [did you tell your father's story through] comics?" MetaMaus seeks to answer all three questions, and offers an avalan
Pietro Maximoff
Oct 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I can't recommend this highly enough for anyone who was ever touched by Maus. every little possible detail about the Speigelman family is here in this book. it's worth checking this out if nothing more than for the sketches and photographs included within. Speigelman is as good with words as he is with illustrations. if you happen to get the CDR disc, take the time to look through all the sketches and the recordings. ...more
Rhiannon Minster
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed getting to read about Spiegelman's writing process ...more
Oct 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
the Pulitzer-winning cartoonist talks fame, switching styles and why he doesn’t want to draw Trump
by Sam Leith @The Guardian.

Main image: Startlingly protean ... clockwise from top left: Valentine’s Day cover for the New Yorker, 1993, Nude Self-Portrait, 1999, Raw, Self-Portrait with Maus Mask, sketchbook study for Four Mice, 1991, Lead Pipe Sunday, 1990. Illustration: Art Spiegelman
Sat 17 Oct 2020

Early in the second volume of Maus – the graphic novel about the Holocaust that made Art Spiegelman
Apr 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Review to come
Michael Sorbello
Sep 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Maus is the tragic yet inspirational tale of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish man who miraculously managed to survive the horrors of Hitler’s reign, the cruelty of the Nazis and the literal hellhole known Auschwitz, the most brutal and remorseless concentration camp which was single-handedly responsible for the deaths of over a million people. All of this was done through many unimaginable strides of luck, perseverance and quick wits.

Maus masterfully balances two parallel stories. The first story, wh
Dec 01, 2011 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 Spiegelman to ...more
Mar 24, 2014 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 didn ...more
Matthew McCroskey
Jul 01, 2013 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
Apr 20, 2012 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
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
Here's what I loved about this book: The CD where I could hear Vladek's voice and look at pictures, then the end of the book where all the Audio is transcribed and I can read Vladek's story. This book was just WAAAAY too in depth for the average reader. If I was a comic artist and Spiegelman was my hero, I think this book would be invaluable. However, I do not need to know the intricate details of Spiegelman's thought process and this and that. I read most of the interview, but not all, it was a ...more
Nov 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'm always excited to get to see an artist's process, and Spiegelman's comprehensive look at the creation of his classic book Maus doesn't disappoint, supplementing plenty of insightful text with a host of drawings, sketches, notes and other preparatory and supplemental work. As if that weren't enough there's a DVD with even more material, which I probably won't look at for a long time because it feels overwhelming to have access to that much material. ...more
Dec 21, 2012 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. ...more
Jan 28, 2012 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. ...more
Jan 17, 2015 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. ...more
EB Fitzsimons
Feb 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels, craft
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.
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See similar books…
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

Other books in the series

Maus (2 books)
  • Maus: Un survivant raconte, tome 1: Mon père saigne l'histoire (Maus, #1)
  • Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began (Maus, #2)

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Metamaus, Art Spiegelman”
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