This was also the very first piece toward the graphic novel that fourteen years later would become the Pulitzer Prize–winning Maus. In the time intervening, Spiegelman, more than any other single artist or writer, would transform the world of comic books. He turned a child’s diversion into serious literature and in the process invented a new genre—the American graphic novel. Though it could be argued that Will Eisner fathered the form, Spiegelman created its idiom, its pace, its visual style, and most importantly, he recognized its subject—the self. More than anyone else, Spiegelman brought comix from the underground to the mainstream.