Q&A With Art Spiegelman, Creator of ‘Maus’ – Tablet Magazine
The influential artist talks about his Jewish Museum retrospective, ‘Mad’magazine, and how the Shoah trumps art all of the time
“The Holocaust trumps art every time,” Art Spiegelman repeated more than once at the press opening for his traveling mid-career retrospective, which originated in Paris and finally landed at Manhattan’s Jewish Museum this month. Spiegelman, whose name can be translated as “art mirrors man,” is the owner of a stunningly fertile graphic imagination that over the past 40 years has produced dozens of formally innovative and often searingly self-reflective strips in various magazines, including Arcade and RAW, which he co-founded and edited with his wife, French artist and editor Francoise Mouly. In his day job at the Topps trading card company, he created and edited the Garbage Pail Kid series before moving on to a more upscale day job at The New Yorker, where he tweaked that magazine’s DNA with iconic cover images, including a Hasid and a black woman kissing on Valentine’s Day in Crown Heights and the famous post-Sept. 11 “black cover,” which, when you held it at an angle to the light, showed the outlines of the vanished Twin Towers.