Art Spiegelman: Behind the Mouse Mask

Wearing a three-piece suit and looking more elder statesman than the artist he is, Art Spiegelman addressed an audience of about 100 at the high-toned Soho House on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood late in the afternoon of Oct. 9. The occasion was the taping of a conversation with book scholar Michael Silverblatt, host of the KCRW public radio program “Bookworm,” who on this occasion was recording for a new online-only program, “UpClose,” which KCRW will edit and then post on the Web on Oct. 19.

This conversation was, according to a media release, to be one of only three such public interviews Spiegelman plans to submit to on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his Pulitzer Prize-winning series, “Maus I” and “Maus II.” And in honor of this anniversary, Spiegelman has just published “MetaMaus,” subtitled “A Look Inside a Modern Classic, Maus,” a new book and DVD that includes exhaustive material explaining the making of the autobiographical books about his relationship with his Holocaust-survivor father and the telling of his father’s story, where Jews are drawn as mice, Poles as pigs, Nazis as cats and Americans as dogs. (Journal Book Editor Jonathan Kirsch’s review of “MetaMaus” can be found