Tags: Art Spiegelman, Barack Obama, Breakdowns, Fantagraphics, holocaust, Jack and the Box, Maus, Pantheon, Raw, The New Yorker, Toon Books
In much the same way that that old stock faux-intellectual question of “what is art” played a major role in earlier installments of our conversation with Art Spiegelman, much of this fifth and final part of our interview delves into the concept of unintentional fictionalization.
It’s a key concept, to be sure, given the artist’s role at the forefront of the autobiography of movement in independent comics, a role best personified by books like Maus and In the Shadow of No Towers, and to a degree, in certain selections from his newly revamped anthology of early work, Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*!.
Spiegelman argues, I think accurately, there’s essentially no such thing as complete non-fiction, especially in the incredibly subjective world of autobiography, a concept he illustrates using a powerful example from Maus.
In this final part, we also discuss what made Spiegelman leave The New Yorker, the birth of Raw, why he isn’t an “artist’s artist,” and what role, if any, he played in that now infamous Obama cover.