Twenty-five years ago Art Spiegelman brought the graphic novel to the general public and radicalized the type of stories the medium could tell.
In his Pulitzer Prize winning Maus, he tells the story of both Holocaust survivors and second generation survivors that then survived them, all in a world where Jews were mice, Germans were cats and Poles were pigs.
For the 25th anniversary, Spiegelman is releasing MetaMaus, a collection of interviews, scrapbooks and even a DVD about the original work’s creation.
…The success of “Maus” — the first of its two volumes appeared in 1986 — was far from preordained. The book was turned down by many publishers, and Mr. Spiegelman prints his rejection letters here, from nearly all of America’s major publishing houses, including Alfred A. Knopf and Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
The idea of a comic book about the Holocaust was inconceivable to most. The idea made people snort. One editor wrote: “You can imagine the response I’ve gotten from the sales department.” “Maus” was finally published by Pantheon Books, which gave its author only a small advance.
And if you haven’t read Maus, we recommend stopping just about everything you might be doing and go and give it a read.