Interesting. I've seen him praise Maus specifically, but I didn't know he felt that way about him now. Do you have the article handy?
But I wonder how recent that article is: I wonder if Little Lit is his target, or In the Shadow of No Towers, or Portrait of the Artist, some of which is already available if you know where to look.
It was a fairly recent quote from a scifi magazine called Death Ray. From this month I think. I haven't been able to find a site for it, however. Well there is one, but it doesn't really go into detail and doesn't seem up to date. Basically the magazine did a long interview with him, and in it he sounded off about his thoughts on the current comic industry, and some of the artists/writers. He went off on Frank Miller, being pretty dismissive of him as a writer. With Spiegelman, he comments were in regards to In The Shadow of No Towers, saying it was pathetic, to the point where it made him reevaluate his opinion of Maus, and of Spiegelman. He basically thinks his best work was probably in the 70's. I think he takes issue with some of these older comic book writers feeling they are repeating themselves and not trying to change the medium.
It's a reading of Maus that I can understand to a point (especially since Pekar was writing his responses before Maus II was published, and so what he was familiar ended with the WWII Spiegelmans arriving at Auschwitz and the 1980s Art accusing his father of murder). But it's also a reading that I think has little understanding of the dynamics between first- and second-generation survivors. Speaking as someone whose father was in a WWII concentration camp (but in Indonesia), I found Maus an insightful and self-aware portrait of the profound ambivalence that children feel for their survivor parents. People emerge from concentration camps profoundly traumatized, and it correspondingly affects their future lives, including their relationships with their children. For Spiegelman to pretend that he didn't both admire and resent his father, or, at a milder level, that he didn't find his father inexpressibly exasperating at times, wouldn't be true to the relationship as I understand it.
You're probably right. Still, there were times when I saw Spiegelman as a bit of a brat. He spends a portion of the story complaining that his father criticized him, and told him "he couldn't do anything as well as he could". I can't help but think, however, that that is true of most father son relationships. It certainly didn't seem as if his dad was a monster, or a terrible guy. Maybe I need to read it again. It's been a while.