Graphic Novel Review: Shira Feinberg

After searching for a graphic novel, I stumbled upon “Maus 2” by Art Spiegelman. The story begins with Art going over to his father’s place and complaining about how his friends don’t want to hangout and then Art’s father mentions how you don’t know if they are real friend until they are locked up with almost no food water and need to sleep in one area, which is mentioned in “Understanding Comics” chapter 6 “Living in Line” as it shows problems that come with age and how Art may have a smaller issue of his friends not wanting to meet up but Art’s father who doesn’t have a lot of friends tells his son how it is not a big issue. This is a gate was into the novel about Art hearing his father’s over viewing experience in the Holocaust. It constantly jumps back and forth from the present and the past. The story, therefore, takes place in New York city (where they currently live) and Poland (where Art’s father was before and during the Holocaust). The story outlines how Art’s father became a soldier then becomes a prisoner, just to find out that once he is released that his hometown has been captured by Germany. Luckily, he was able to sneak into his hometown, just to be captured again during the Holocaust. Overall, the story discusses Art’s fathers’ story about before the Holocaust and during the Holocaust, along with a bit of their life in New York, many years after the Holocaust.

To help convey the difference in ethnicity, Art made Jewish people to be mice and German people to be cats. This helped show how Jewish people were considered to be less than the German people as cats eat mice, or in terms of the Holocaust, they put them in camps. Furthermore, every time he shows the Jewish people (during the Holocaust), he shows them working hard, in pain, and in prison clothes.

Maus 2 by Art Spiegelman

As I mentioned in my first blog post about this novel, Art Spiegelman uses several concepts to help with the story, some of them are aspect to aspect, scene to scene, and subject to subject. A very important concept in this book is scene to scene, as Art constantly jumps from the past to the present and back. This is scene in the image as Art’s father is being yelled at for being Jewish and to be arrested and then later, we go back to the present where Art’s father talks to him. Furthermore, we observe that Art does not use color in his graphic novel, at all. This helps the reader put more focus on the words and graphics, such that Art’s message is understood more and in greater depth. He also uses different patterns to help create depth perception and different things, such as the cat’s dress, the different suits, the door, the walls, and more. Furthermore, we notice that the people, or animals, have simple faces, compared to the background, thus put emphasis on the characters and what they are saying.

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