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    Reviews - Maus: A Survivor's Tale - HC vol. 01

View this issue

Great historical and personal comic - guhroobie1
This black and white comic has dark, bold lines to emphasize the dark event of World War II. There is no regularity to the size and number of panels, but Spiegelman uses large panels (i.e. filling up a third to half the page) to show settings and backgrounds. The large panels are visually representing the magnitude of a significant event such as rounding up Jews in the town square. Scene-to-scene, subject-to-subject, and action-to-action transitions are used throughout this graphic novel. The uses of cats as Germans, mice as Jews, and pigs as Poles were very interesting. Of course, there is always the cat-and-mouse metaphor that’s apparent but I think there is a deeper meaning behind using animals. There was something very animalistic or brutish about the concentration camps and gas chambers during WWII. Jews were treated as insignificant vermin, but to portray them as mice shows that Jews were living, breathing, and therefore, significant creatures. With detailed backgrounds, hand-written text as well as human-like facial expressions on the mice, Spiegelman created a world parallel to that of humans in a story that recounts the complicated history between his father and himself in the present and the even more difficult part of his father’s past. Maus I is a great and quick read; not only is it educational, but it is more importantly personal.




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