On the Scene: Art Spiegelman in conversation, Cologne, Germany

“How does it feel to be here, surrounded by cats?” The moderator’s already off to an auspicious start, given his (what I believe to have been, given my complete lack of German comprehension) promise not to discuss “why mice, why the holocaust.” It’s the proverbial gorilla in a room full of cats, of course, and while Spiegelman has visited the country a number of times in the past 25 years or so, it seems an odd choice not to discuss it the day before the opening of a retrospective on the cartoonist’s work. And here we are, like clockwork, dipping our toes in the water, the moderator asking how it feels sitting in this room, being, you know, the guy who got famous by writing a comic book about the Holocaust.