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Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*! (Pantheon Graphic Novels) Hardcover – October 7, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
Art Spiegelman is an amazing artist. He is also a tortured artist, ravaged by guilt, and yet, through his work (some of which is self therapy), his genius shines through. As is very clear in 'Breakdowns', this book celebrates the major themes and movements in his life. The suicide of his mother in 1968, the Auschwitz stories his father told, his exposure to Robert Crumb and the underground movement can all be found and traced through the art/text. Primarily a book designed to reprint 'Breakdowns', his 1978 poorly received collection, it is the addition of the pre-and post breakdown material that provides more solid glimpses into his psyche.
If you were to sit Mr Spiegelman down and ask him the question, what is art to him, this book would be your answer. If you were to ask him to plot the major influences in his life, the answer is this book. Ask him about his career as artist for Topps, and he just might not say anything, but everyone remembers those marvelous stickers. As him where Maus came from, he would direct you to the section of Breakdown after the Introduction, and then discuss his father and Uncle. If you were to ask him to lend you $50, the answer would probably be no.... However, as a piece of autobiographical illustrato, it is remarkable for its' passion and poignancy.
Considered a failure in 1978, 'Breakdown' led him to Maus. Today, this book is perfectly timed and a good companion piece to his Pulitzer prize winning tome, and should be considered a successful (if not odd), glimpse into the 'art' of Art.Read more ›
Spiegelman is widely acknowledged in the comic or graphic field as being at the forefront of the underground 'comix' movement and for being a cartoonist who continues to be consistently creative and committed to the medium, and his worldwide distinction within the field of comics is certainly deserved. Breakdowns features several of Spiegelman's early experimentation with the comic medium including collage,manipulation of time, and autobiographical focus. This last topic though very pervasive and popular currently in comics was at the time Spiegelman was exploring it considered underground territory that few creators delved into with those that did, such as Harvey Pekar,Robert Crumb, and Eddie Campbell, continued resisting for (eventual) recognition of the topic as a valid comic subject worthy of wider publication.
On the importance of presenting or rendering time in the sequential medium, Spiegelman has specifically related the work in Breakdowns as representing similar pacing as that of the panels within In the Shadow of No Towers ([...Read more ›
I do have to offer that the over-sized hardcover presentation is top-notch - the work couldn't possibly be presented in a more beautiful fashion.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Looking at the unique layouts, vibrant colors, and unique storytelling that are in this book makes me realize just how phenomenal Spiegelman is.Published 12 months ago by Mark
"Breakdowns" is a very unique book. First off, it stands over a foot tall. The "Maus" author delivers a colorful, somewhat bizzaar account of the artist as a young... Read morePublished on June 23, 2014 by Robert Morey