Signed on the title page by Paul Auster, Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli, with original pen-and-ink drawings on the title-page. A fine copy of the 2004 edition of this widely acclaimed graphic novel. Although in his introduction, Art Spiegelman balks at that phrase, preferring the more colorful “Neon Lit” instead. He explains how he hoped to liberate his Maus books from the “graphic novel” ghetto of the bookstores by having other prominent authors either adopt his form of expression or adapt their own work. Auster was initially skeptical, pointing out that several attempts to make film adaptations of City of Glass failed. But Karasik was a former student of Spiegelman and together with Mazzuchelli–and Auster’s encouraging oversight–they produced what Spiegelman calls “a breakthrough work” that stands as “a strange doppelanger of the original book.” A fitting description for a novel so rich in themes of doubling and confused identities. In the photocopy of Karasik’s and Mazzuchelli’s shared drafts, we get a fascinating glimpse into their creative and collaborative process. “Many of the telling moments in the story rely on nuances of expression or body language,” David says in a covering note to Paul enclosing his second draft. We see how they both achieved a more “reader-friendly” version by breaking through the conventions of their own form, using “Open (borderless) panels in the book.” The haunting, noir images brilliantly capture the characters and the mood of the novel. A fascinating look inside the creative art of adaptation.
AUSTER, Paul. City of Glass. Adapted by Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli. Introduction by Art Spiegelman. New York: Picador, 2004. 8o, illustrated wrappers. With: Original Karasik/Mazzucchelli sketch and unique, one-of-a-kind printed booklet created by David Mazzucchelli containing never before reproduced sketches exchanged between Paul Karasik and David Mazzucchelli, showing their and Auster’s comments on the various drafts in creating the comics version of “City of Glass,” cited by Comics Journal as one of the “Best Comics of the 20th Century.” This is the only copy of this unique booklet, created expressly for PEN’s First Editions: Second Thoughts auction. 78 pages. Both book and pamphlet housed in a custom made slipcase illustrated by Mazzucchelli.