Maus Questions and Answers
by Art Spiegelman

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Why did Spiegelman choose to make his story Maus a comic book? 

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First and foremost, Art Spiegelman is an illustrator and cartoonist. In his early career, he worked in bubble gum cards, such as the Garbage Pale Kids. Maus is written as a graphic novel because that is Spielgelman’s medium. Additionally, it was the right medium for the story he was intent on telling—his account of his father’s Holocaust memories told in black and white, with the Jews drawn as mice and the Nazis as cats. Writing a novel or a screenplay with anthropomorphic characters likely would not have had the same effect as clearly seeing it drawn on the page.

It would have been difficult for an author from a different medium to write Maus, as difficult as it would have been for Spiegelman to write Maus in a different medium. His artistic style—simple, stark lines with an almost rudimentary talent for illustrating characters and scenes—also helps evoke the old-world sentiment of the story, and makes it feel as if it is an elderly man’s recollections to his son.

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