More than a quarter-century since its inital publication, Maus, Art Spiegelman's Pulitzer-winning graphic novel history of his father's Holocaust experience, is still counted as one of the seminal documents in the history of comics, of memoir, and of Holocaust stories.
MetaMaus: A Look Inside a Modern Classic, Maus, just released, is an in-depth look at the art, the psychology, the history and the politics of Maus. It consists primarily of a long interview with Speigelman, in which he describes the artistic influences he took to his task, the artistic challenges he met, the familial frustrations he dealt with in interviewing his father, the political, social and professional fallout from Maus's success, and many other subjects.
Spiegelman is well-spoken and insightful, and is one of those rare creators who can talk coherently about his own work and process. His recollections and analysis are complemented by interviews with his wife and children, as well as a transcript of some of his original interviews with his father. MetaMaus is thoroughly illustrated with excerpts from Spiegelman's sketchbook, from the original source materials he used when creating his book, and news clippings and other ephemera from the books' storied history.
The book is accompanied by a DVD with about 4GB of video and audio, including the interview that makes up the book, the original interviews with Speigelman's father, and several videos and images of the source material. The DVD nominally requires a Mac or PC to view, and the media files are hidden on the disk, which makes it hard to move the MP3s of the audio to your portable player. I solved this by creating a disk image of the DVD, which made all the files visible again. I'm looking forward to listening to the interviews on the move.
Mark blogged the book's trailer last month, and it gives a good sense of how gripping and smart the book and DVD are.