Spiegelman, (Avarham) Art(1948– ) cartoonist; born in Stockholm, Sweden. Brought to the U.S.A. as a three-year-old, he studied cartooning in high school, and while a student at Harpur College (N.Y.) (1965–68), he began creating novelty cards for Tip Top Chewing Gum; in later years he continued to work for them as a creative consultant. In the 1960s and 1970s he contributed a series of comics to underground periodicals, under pseudonyms such as Al Flooglebuckle. Beginning in 1979 he taught a class in comics at the School of Visual Arts in New York City; in 1980, with his wife, he founded Raw, a yearly review of avant-garde comics. His reputation was confined to a small circle until he published his comic-book novels, Maus: A Survivor's Tale (1986) and Maus II: And Here My Troubles Began (1991); drawing on his father's accounts of his experiences during the Holocaust, he defied expectations by drawing the Jews as mice and the Nazis as cats, and somehow his simple drawings enhanced the pathos. In 1992 he won a Pulitzer Prize Special Award for his Maus books, the same year he became a contributing editor at the New Yorker.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.