Art Spiegelman, who was born in Itzhak Avraham ben Zeev on February 15, 1948 is the writer and illustrater of the graphic novel, Maus which was published in 1980-91. Being both an biography and an autobiography, the book Maus consists of themes such as memory, guilt, racism, and ect. Narrating the experiences of the author’s father, Vladek, during the Holocaust, the book won the Pulitzer Prize Special Citations and Awards and the American Book Awards.
Drawing cartoon animals instead of humans, Spiengelman had the intention of creating an melodramatic pulp illustration mode. So, he decided to draw Nazis as cats, ethnic Poles as pigs, and Jews as mice.
But why mice...?
"A filmmaker I had become close friends with, Ken Jacobs, was teaching an introduction to cinema class. On this particular day, Ken showed a bunch of old racist animated cartoons from the silent and early sound era.
I then realized that this cat-mouse metaphor of oppression could actually apply to my more immediate experience with animal faces in which the denouement would have the protagonist getting crushed to death by a giant mousetrap that snaps shut on his body." ~ Spiengelman (The New York Review of Books, 2011)
(The New York Review of Books, 2011)