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    Reviews - Maus: A Survivor's Tale - HC Box Set

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Tale of a Mouse (no pun intended) - fleetparadox
Spiegelman has managed to depict the horrific events of Nazi occupation, Jewish concentration camps, and the Holocaust all under the guise of animal representation. The softening effect and emotional appeal of using Mice to represent the Jews and Cats to represent the German Nazis can be analyzed in several different ways. The classic metaphors of animal power relations, the fantastical retelling of his fatherís tale (no pun intended), and the sympathetic emotional plea of a creature that cannot defend itself. The simple, stylized black & white illustrations are powerful in a direct and compelling manner. Scenes that show piles of bodies (under a writing easel) are especially powerful and moving. Art Spiegelman has managed to create a classic that may not be as artistically realistic as a photograph, but carries just as much weight in teaching about the horrors of past history.

incredible! - mtuan
This is a novel that incorporates a painful historical event with the artistry of a graphic novel. There have been several events in our history that are difficult to read about. Art Spiegelman takes a risk and incorporates art and this painful event in our history in order to intrigue readers to look at this event through a different medium. Although this novel is in the form of a graphic novel, it by no means undermines how important and crucial this event of our past is. This is not only a story of a survivor's tale through the Holocaust; it is also the story of a son and a father, and their relationship. As you see the story unwind, you can see how the Holocaust has affected both of the main characters. The artwork is very descriptive with many hidden details done all in black and white. The Nazis drawn as cats are mostly are sinisterly draw hidden in shadows. The Jews are drawn as cats. I was at first skeptical to as how Spiegelman would pull this off. It seems ridiculous on the surface, but it's an incredibly effective device. For example, there's a scene where Vladek catches a streetcar into the city, wearing a pig-mask so he blends in with the collaborating Poles. Drawing humans as animals somehow made the story of the Holocaust more accessible for people but still managed have the full emotional impact. Spiegelman has drawn the characters and panels in a way that it has become almost secondary to the story, the drawing simply complements or intensifies the story, but never do you forget the incredible artistic ability of Spiegelman. The details that go into each panel, he doesn't miss a thing. The entire book was a joy to read and incredibly moving.

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