Pages 129- 159
Risk- Taking Researcher,
Art Spiegelman was born on February 15, 1948, in Stockholm, Sweden, to Vladek and Anja Spiegelman. Three years after his birth, his family immigrated to the United States, to the Rego Park area, in Queens, New York. His father, Vladek, was a wealthy textile in Poland. Before World War II, he worked in the garment trade and later in the diamond business.
Both of his parents survived in the Jewish ghettos and imprisonment in the Nazi Concentration camp in Auschwitz, Poland. His mother, Anja, suffered from depression, and committed suicide in 1968 after barely surviving Auschwitz, and then coming to America. Spiegelman was the youngest child to Vladek and Anja; he had a brother named Richieu. Richieu had been poisoned by an aunt who also killed two of Art’s cousins and herself just before the Nazi’s came to take them away.
Spiegelman became one of the first major artists of “adult” comics since the first graphic novel-comic called “Barefoot Gen” was written about Hiroshima and the atomic bomb. Spiegelman, who felt that Barefoot Gen was one of the most memorable works he had ever read, won America’s premier award for literature for Maus I & II, the Pulitzer Prize, in 1992.
In about 1978, Spiegelman felt that he had come to a turning point in his cartooning work, and he decided to further develop his three-page comic strip, Maus. He turned the three-page comic strip into a 295 page book which consumed 13 years work. For his research, Spiegelman had moved back to New York City, where he talked with his father about his Holocaust experiences.