Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
From The Times November 21, 2008 Exclusive interview with Art Spiegelman Tom Gatti talks to the Pulizer-winning creator of Maus
DESPITE THE LACK of whiskers, upright ears and fleshy tail, the real-life Art Spiegelman looks remarkably like his self-portraits in Maus - the groundbreaking comic-book memoir of his father's experiences in Auschwitz, in which Jews are mice and Nazis cats.
The waistcoat, the permanent cigarette, the thick, expressive eyebrows - they're all present and correct, as Spiegelman scuttles around his Manhattan studio (in a not entirely un-mouselike way) attempting simultaneously to have his picture taken, field phone calls, and tell me about his new book, Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*!.
Ashtrays overflow with pencil-shavings, back issues of Tales of the Incredible and Humbug line the shelves, and early newspaper “funnies” cover the walls. It's the lair of a man who has devoted his life's work to comics: reading, analysing, editing and making.