Graphic Novel Review: Dean Janikowski

The graphic novel I chose to read for this class was “Maus” by Art Spiegelman, the story goes over the life of Spiegelman’s father growing up in Poland during the Holocaust. This is a story based on real life so the entirety of the book itself is definitely more serious than any other comic I have read. The entire book is in black and white which I think gives a good feel to the story and leads to a more serious tone. The drawing style by Spiegelman is supported by words, but also his movement he was able to create in the pictures added a lot to the story, especially during times where it was more intense and there was a lot of action.  As a whole, the story follows Vladek (Spiegelman’s father) as he goes through the experiences of being a Jewish man in World War II. The fun spin on this story is that all of the characters are drawn as animals, the Nazis are represented as cats and those who are Jewish are represented as mice, giving a weird spin on the whole Cat chases Mouse idea. There are countless different examples of iconography within this story, from Scott McCloud’s chapter about “Living in Line” and the different ways feelings can be provoked from drawing styles, this book, as one could imagine, shows many different emotions throughout the entirety of the story. From moments of intensity, grief, and even joy, Spiegelman brings out all of these emotions through his drawing styles and brings it directly back to the reader. I can say that while reading this book there were moments where I was sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting to read what happens next, thanks to Spiegelman’s talent for telling this story. I believe all of his tactics used in this book were placed specifically and tactically to bring out the most from the reader. It is a book I will definitely recommend to others. 

“Maus” by Art Spiegleman
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