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

Art Spiegelman

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

Breakdowns - A Portrait of the Artist as Young %@&*! - was Art Spiegelman's first book, and has been described by the author as 'a comix-format memoir about becoming a comix memoirist' (it contains, for instance, a fascinating section on the genesis of Maus). It chronicles with heartbreaking detail Spiegelman's own nervous breakdown, his experiments with psychedelic drugs, his mother's suicide and his incarceration in a mental hospital. It also includes vivid portraits of his artist friends, mentors, girlfriends and more generally the birth of underground comix in the 1960s. No one with an interest in the American counterculture, the development of graphic art, or indeed Spiegelman himself, should miss this. 4.2 out of 5 based on 4 reviews
Breakdowns: Portrait of the Artist as a Young %@&*!

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre Comics & Graphic Novels
Format Hardback
Pages 72
RRP £20.00
Date of Publication November 2008
ISBN 978-0670916825
Publisher Viking
 

Breakdowns - A Portrait of the Artist as Young %@&*! - was Art Spiegelman's first book, and has been described by the author as 'a comix-format memoir about becoming a comix memoirist' (it contains, for instance, a fascinating section on the genesis of Maus). It chronicles with heartbreaking detail Spiegelman's own nervous breakdown, his experiments with psychedelic drugs, his mother's suicide and his incarceration in a mental hospital. It also includes vivid portraits of his artist friends, mentors, girlfriends and more generally the birth of underground comix in the 1960s. No one with an interest in the American counterculture, the development of graphic art, or indeed Spiegelman himself, should miss this.

Reviews

The Independent

Paul Gravett

Those Jewish mice and Nazi cats, a cutaway diagram and father's distinctive voiceover, are all here in embryo. Many other early efforts in Breakdowns reveal Spiegelman's penchant for density, experimentation, theorising and quotation... Ahead of their time, these knowing exercises flew over the heads of most of his peers. Today they can be seen as anticipating the current cutting-edge.

29/01/2009

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The Independent on Sunday

Dominic Wells

Here you'll find Spiegelman's earliest fumblings with comic art: his admiration for the doyen of self-analysing, LSD-fuelled comics, Robert Crumb; his attempts to make money drawing for skin magazines (this book is labelled "adults only"), despite finding it impossible not to subvert the genre; and his growing conviction that comics could be as innovative structurally and as daring thematically as anything in cinema. But the real sucker punch is, as ever, his family relationship...

16/11/2008

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The Observer

Martin Rowson

It isn't Spiegelman's fault that time has sanitised his vision or that most of his successors and imitators are the comix equivalent of Razorlight. Still, we should be grateful to be given the opportunity to revisit his back catalogue and be taken on a trip down some very dark blind alleys. You'll find it just as refreshing as messing up your head with The Piper at the Gates of Dawn after too many gloomy nights with Dark Side of the Moon

30/11/2008

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The Los Angeles Times

David L Ulin

With the reissue of 'Breakdowns,' Art Spiegelman digests more of life.

12/10/2008

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