Art Spiegelman, the artist and writer of the Maus books, is the son of a Holocaust survivor Vladek and is trying to understand his father through interviewing him and depicting Vladek's experiences during the Holocaust. Many words describe Artie as a character. He is cautious because of his father's temper, determined to find out everything about his mother who survived the war only to commit suicide, and driven to illustrate his parents' experiences during the Holocaust. Artie's guilt that he has had a better life than his parents and the brother he never knew plays a role in his relationship with his father and stepmother. Artie is also committed to teaching his daughter Nadja about her Jewish family history, painful as it is.