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Maus - Ratheesh KrishnaVadhyar's Journal
March 4th, 2015
09:57 am


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Read Maus, graphic novel by Art Spiegelman which was the first (and the only one so far?) graphic novel to win a Pulitzer Prize (1992). Maus is based on a series of interviews Spiegelman had with his father, Vladek, who was a Holocaust Survivor. The narrative is having two threads, with one thread following the life of aging Vladek as miserly person (he would keep a gas burner on for entire day since the gas is free as part of the rentals, but matchboxes he has to purchase) who has paranoia about keeping things in order, among many other things. The other thread tells the story of the 1940s through the words of Vladek. Spiegelman uses animal faces to represent different people - So, Jews are drawn as rats, Poles as pigs, Nazis as cats, Americans as dogs, and so on.

I felt that Maus is a masterpiece. It redefines the media of graphic novels, and it is no wonder that it is regarded as a landmark in the history of "serious" picture story books. The story is touching, and the black and white sketches are brilliant.

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