Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!
Today we look at art spiegelman’s Maus: A Survivor’s Tale….
As I mentioned last year, I always feel a bit odd referring to Maus as “cool,” but a commenter made a point that was good enough to convince me to feature it, which is that we’re not celebrating the plot, but rather how well spiegelman tells it, and I think that’s fair enough. So once I featured it as a moment, I really had to feature it as a cool comic, as it is one of the best comics out there period.
The thing about Maus is that it is not only a masterful piece of biographical comics (and it really IS an extremely well-told biography comic – if ALL you got from Maus was the biography aspects, it would still be a masterpiece), but it is also about the interplay between a son and his father.
See what I mean from these sample pages, including these pages which tell the story of his father’s life BEFORE the war…
and then during the very short armed conflict between Germany and Poland…
and when the noose was tightening back in Poland for the Jews there…
The book continues in this vein throughout the first book, as things get a lot worse for Vladek Spiegelman, but he manages to stay alive through pretty much any means necessary.
So that’s Book 1. But Book 2 is written and released AFTER Book 1 became a sensation, so now suddenly you have a whole new wrinkle thrown into the mix…guilt over profiting off of a story about the holocaust, self-doubt about the whole “drawing people as animals” angle, pretty much tons of self-doubt PERIOD….
So you have a brilliant biographical comic, you have a realistic and touching interplay between a father and son who perhaps never had a perfect relationship and then you have an insightful look at how it feels to put all of this together into an artistic work. Maus truly is one of the deepest comic works ever.