And here my troubles began…

Art Spiegelman’s Maus is probably the best graphic novel I’ve ever read. Growing up my Dad would take my brother and I to the library and we would pick out a collection to bring home. Sometimes I’d bring home collections of Calvin and Hobbes or Garfield. I remember crawling into my Dad’s lap while he would read Superman and Batman comics, but never before had we brought home a “comic” like this.

I can appreciate this book for what it is. It’s craft-fully put together that offers humor within a very serious setting. I enjoy that Spiegelman uses his father broken english through out his entire book, but what I enjoyed most was that he drew different animals for the different races.

In a comic there aren’t many descriptive words so we have to use the pictures to decipher the details. I hadn’t realized that while reading Maus I was skipping the pictures and reading the conversation; making my own images in my head. Once I noticed I was doing so, I went back and read not only the conversations but the images. This brought a different perspective to light, but also made it harder to read. I can really appreciate something that can make me really read twice and have to stop and think about.

One of my favorite books is Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, this book is over 1000 small pages with smaller words. A very descriptive book, it has taken me a little over 4 years to read and reread and actually get the entire meaning/concept. I bring this up because maybe if it had been more of a graphic narrative, it wouldn’t have taken me so long. 😉

Maus00

http://hoodedutilitarian.com/2012/09/gluey-tart-takes-on-maus/

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3 thoughts on “And here my troubles began…

  1. I agree with you here. Maus was the the first graphic narrative I have ever read and I enjoyed it very much. The two things that stuck out to me were the broken english and the characters as animals. Those two aspects of the story made it really unique and enjoyable. another aspect of it I enjoyed was that Vladek was telling the story to Art. it gave you a chance every once-in-a-while to step out of the horror and violence of the holocust. I thought the story moved pretty quickly and kept you guessing a good amount. It was an enjoyable story I thought.

  2. Maus is a great graphic novel. As an avid manga/comic reader, while not one of my faves, it’s still a good read. Artspiegelman did a wonderful job and it’s great that it was translated to many languages. It was bit hard to take it seriously a few times when Vladek spoke broken English, but it was a nice move to keep it in, as it brought more realism to Vladek’s past, I wonder how did Art feel when he had to fight the urge to correct it. I would too if I had to draw my own comic. In the English literacy, everything as to be perfect in order for the reader to enjoy reading it. If not, the reader would a have problem reading it. In a graphic novel, the point of writing words perfectly would not work. It’s the pictures that are used in the graphic novel. Art knew very well how some effects from using a photo editor can do to a picture.

  3. I like what you wrote here, but I do not like it when people call a graphic novel a comic. They are similar, but it is important to recognize the differences which I am sure you have. I thought I was being weird when I found parts the book humorous, so I am glad I am not the only one. I liked how it seemed to kind of break up the sadness of the story. I think that if he had left this out (assuming that it was intentional and the humor is actually there) the novel would be extremely depressing. As far as skipping images the first time around, it seems to be fairly common among people reading graphic narratives for the first time. Because of that, you most likely got more out of it the second time around than I did. You actually noticed that you were missing things where as I assume I am getting everything. There are plenty of other great graphic novels out there, and Maus is a great one to start with.

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