Where to begin with this graphic novel? I enjoyed the read and find Spiegelman’s way of communicating very interesting. There are a variety of relationship dynamics, almost too many to keep up with and not get confused. Actually I did get confused from time to time. Many different emotions were tapped actually catching me off-guard with a lump in my throat on a couple of occasions. I chuckled a few times at Art’s attitude toward Vladek and his head-strong and stubborn ways. This seems typical of many parent/child relationships. I did find myself irritated within every chapter at the suffering and the way human lives were nothing more than disposable. Disgusting.
As far as the graphic, at times I paid little attention to the pictures only to depend on them at other times to make sense of what I was reading. I personally believe there is more than one angle as to why Spiegelman used the comic book format to convey his message. One possibly being it most likely attracts those that may not otherwise pick-up a book on this particular subject matter. Another is it conveys the relationship between the Germans and Jews in a crystal clear manner as we all know the relationship between cat and mouse is not a healthy one…especially for the mouse.
I found the deepest chapter to be “Auschwitz (Time Flies)” out of chapter two of book two. In this chapter we get a deeper look at Art’s raw emotions. He makes himself vulnerable through revealing his own personal struggles with his book, his father, and the Holocaust.
I can’t help but wonder how different this book would have been had Vladek not burned Anja’s diaries.