Breakdowns

Breakdowns

Summary

The creator of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus explores the comics form...and how it formed him!

This book opens with Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*!, creating vignettes of the people, events, and comics that shaped Art Spiegelman. It traces the artist's evolution from a MAD-comics obsessed boy in Rego Park, Queens, to a neurotic adult examining the effect of his parents' memories of Auschwitz on his own son.

The second part presents a facsimile of Breakdowns, the long-sought after collection of the artist's comics of the 1970s, the book that triggers these memories. Breakdowns established the mode of formally sophisticated comics that transformed the medium, and includes the prototype of Maus, cubist experiments, an essay on humor, and the definitive genre-twisting pulp story "Ace Hole-Midget Detective."

Pulling all this together is an illustrated essay that looks back at the sixties as the artist pushes sixty, and explains the obsessions that brought these works into being. Poignant, funny, complex, and innovative, Breakdowns alters the terms of what can be accomplished in a memoir.

About the author

Art Spiegelman

Art Spiegelman has been a staff artist and contributing editor at the New Yorker, as well as the cofounder/coeditor of RAW, the acclaimed magazine of avant-garde comics and graphics. In addition to Maus - which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and twice nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award - he is the author of Breakdowns and In the Shadow of No Towers. In January 2011, Art Spiegelman was awarded Le Grand Prix at the Angoulême International Comics Festival. From 2012 through 2014 a museum retrospective of his work, called Co-Mix, travelled to the Pompidou Center in Paris, the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Germany, the Jewish Museum in New York, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Ontario. His most recent book is Si Lewen's Parade: An Artist's Oddyssey (2016). He lives in New York City with his wife, Françoise Mouly, and a cat named Voodoo.
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