Holocaust+comics?

I have never read a comic on my own will… not once.
In grade school, during history class we had to dissect political cartoons/comics. It was all people degrading and offending each other. One time I had a project where I had to make my own comic strip…it was a pain in the butt to do. I’ve always had a stereotype that comics…are not serious. They exist to express sarcasm, fantasy, or to offend.

Through Art Spiegelman’s Maus I changed my view on comics/graphic narratives.
In the beginning, it was hard to read. I’ve never read comics, so I wasn’t even sure what order I was supposed to read the boxes! I caught myself not looking a the images, and just zooming through the text. It was so frustrating! But as I got the hang of it, it became such a fun experience. Looking at actual sketches of the hideouts, concentration camps, and maps of journeys, gave me a deeper understanding of the Holocaust.

The pictures, and the conversations between Art and his father, make the book so much more real. It’s not just another Holocaust book school is making us read, that goes on for pages and pages. Those books are not as relatable. To someone who does not enjoy reading, those thick Holocaust books are just another textbook. But Maus, is so easy to read, and I can see, not just imagine, what happend.

I think Art is genius for coming up with the idea to make such a serious topic into a graphic narrative/comic. There must have been a lot of controversy when he first invented his idea. He probably even fought with his own thoughts. “What if people don’t take my story seriously?” “What if people look down upon me for making such a emotional story into a comic?” However, Art was able to overcome society and his thoughts, and introduce a “serious comic” to the world of literature.

I admire Art… I’m really thankful that he wrote this graphic narrative, and I really enjoyed it. Best “school forced” book I’ve ever read 🙂

Taken & Decorated  by Celli Ra

Taken & Decorated by Celli Ra

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One thought on “Holocaust+comics?

  1. Haha, i definitley agree with your blog post. I NEVER read comics or have expressed any interest in doing so because… well… it’s just not my forte. However, Maus completely changed my perception of what comic books were capable of. It’s not only a serious book, but it is structered like a comic book which i really enjoyed about it. I read through it very fast and i could actually read the text while also understanding the images. Both the image and text collaborated which really engaged me into the story. I found myself at times not wanting to put the book down, which is something very unheard of when it comes to school books. I’ll also have to agree with you when you said that “Art is genius”. He combined two very different genres, the serious/autobiography books with the style of a comic book, and made something so original. It amazes me how great the book was and how much i enjoyed it. I guess we can both say… thanks Artie!

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