Thursday, July 29, 2004


I finally got around to reading Art Spiegelman's Maus. There have been a few billion reviews of it already so I won't go into detail. What surprised me is Spiegelman's story-telling. Imagine sitting down to write/draw the true account of your parents' ordeals through Auschwitz and the Holocaust (while depicting Jews as mice, Germans as cats, Poles as pigs, and so on), and spending as much time on your father's penny-pinching as the gas chambers. In the story, Spiegelman (or his characterization of himself) worries how to honestly depict his father other than a stereotypical Jewish miser. Although I'm sure a number of readers were angered, it gives the book a deep and unforgettable quality.

I didn't pick this book up for years, thinking "Hitler as a cat" was absurd (and not absurd in the good way). I couldn't have been more wrong. If you haven't read Maus, it's probably the best (and most respected) way to introduce yourself to modern comics.

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