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 🙂