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Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*!


Breakdowns, presents the seminal works that changed how comics are made and appreciated today. Innovative, serious, funny, and many decades ahead of its time, the book is presented here in its entirety.

ISBN: 9780375423956
SKU: BREAKDOWNS Category: Tags: , , , , , Product ID: 27441


The creator of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus explores the comics form…and how it formed him!

This book opens with Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*!, creating vignettes of the people, events, and comics that shaped Art Spiegelman. It traces the artist’s evolution from a MAD-comics obsessed boy in Rego Park, Queens, to a neurotic adult examining the effect of his parents’ memories of Auschwitz on his own son.

The second part presents a facsimile of Breakdowns, the long-sought after collection of the artist’s comics of the 1970s, the book that triggers these memories. Breakdowns established the mode of formally sophisticated comics that transformed the medium, and includes the prototype of Maus, cubist experiments, an essay on humor, and the definitive genre-twisting pulp story “Ace Hole-Midget Detective.”

Pulling all this together is an illustrated essay that looks back at the sixties as the artist pushes sixty, and explains the obsessions that brought these works into being. Poignant, funny, complex, and innovative, Breakdowns alters the terms of what can be accomplished in a memoir.

72 pages, black and white with some color pages hardcover with color covers

Pantheon, 2008

Additional information

Weight 36 oz
Dimensions 10 × 7 × 0.5 in

Art Spiegelman