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.