29 March 2012
The comic “Prisoner on Hell Planet: A Case History,” it tells a story about a prisoner whose mother killed herself when he was out of jail and 20 years old. His father discovers his mother on the bathroom floor dead. The prisoner was spending the weekend at his girlfriend’s house. He didn’t get home at the time he was expected to. He states that if he was back on time then he would’ve been the one to discover his mother’s body. He saw the crowd of people in front of his house and immediately got a bad thought. But his cousin said that his mother was sick and took him to the doctor. The doctor then told him straight forward and in a blunt manner the news of his mother killing herself. The prisoner then felt that it he should begin to cry and so he did with his cousin comforting him. The prisoner then found his father and comforted him. The funeral arrangements were made and they had an extremely hard time dealing with the situation. The atmosphere of the funeral room was too much for the prisoner to handle and he left the room. He went to hallway, where he was found and somebody was talking to him about crying. (I’m sorry I couldn’t fully read this part because it wouldn’t allow it to download) The next panel puts the prisoner in his room with a couple standing over him and blaming him for the death of his mother. The prisoner feels guilty about his mother’s death and blames himself for it. He has a flash back to the last time that he saw her. She was standing by the door and he was lying in bed. She asked him if he still loves her. He turns over on the bed away from her as she kneels bedside by him and answers “sure, ma.” She gets up and walks out of the room. The next panel shows the prisoner behind the bars and says that his mother committed the perfect crime and didn’t just kill herself, but him as well.
The comic is now back in the kitchen with Artie and his step mother Mala. He states that he is shocked that his father even read the comic because in past experiences his father doesn’t even look at the comics that he creates. His father then comes into the kitchen and asks Artie to come to the bank with him. Artie states that Mala told him that he read the comic about his mother. Vladek doesn’t deny reading the comic and admits that the comic brought back a lot of memories of his late wife, Anja. Mala then interrupts the confession from Vladek of always thinking about Anja and walks away when Vladek tries to say that he has a picture of Mala on his desk. Vladek then states that he found the comic when he was looking for some objects that Artie requested. He then requests that they leave for the bank. They then begin to walk and Vladek states that he must walk to keep the circulation going in his legs but he must walk slowly for his heart. On this walk Artie asks his father questions about when him and his mother were in the holocaust. Artie has a notebook with him and writes/draws the things that his father tells him. He tells him about how he lived in a small house but didn’t complain about it because there were some people that lived in the streets. They would walk to work and were guarded by other Jewish people that worked for the Germans. When Vladek was walking back from work he was greeted by a friend and told to go home quickly. He got home and his father was there. He was talking about how the “ghetto” was only going to get worse and that the people there were just going to get deported. His father could bribe the guards or he could get some papers for the children. If the children got some papers then they would probably be transferred to a safer place. There is an adult that is present in the room that agrees that the children should be sent away but Vladek disagrees and says that the children should stay with them because he has faith that they will be safe. Vladek must’ve finally agreed to send the children away because the parents are standing at a fence and are watching the children as they walk away until they can’t see them anymore. Vladek states that one day in the spring the Germans came back and rounded up 1,000 Jewish people mostly children. The children cried and screamed but the Germans didn’t have mercy on them but slammed them against the wall to make them be quiet. Vladek didn’t witness this incident with his own eyes but heard about it. He later learned that the village that they sent their children to live in was being cleaned out. That was when Anja’s sister stated that she wasn’t going to go to the gas chambers nor were the children. She had poison and ended her and the children’s lives. Her companion was sent to the gas chambers where he was later killed. Vladek then draws two pictures displaying the two bunkers that he has been in. The second was discovered by an informer who sold them out to the Germans. They were taken to a room and there were vans that would come on certain days of the week. The vans would come and people would be taken away to the gas chambers. Vladek knew someone on the inside who worked for the Germans and could possibly save them. He bribed him with jewery that he had. The cousin who worked for the Germans saved everyone but Anja’s parents who were later taken to the gas chambers and killed. Vladek was given a job to fix the soles of the German boots. He had to bury people and one of the people he came upon was the person who sold them out when they were in their second bunker. The informer had been shot and killed. The story goes back to when Vladek and Artie are walking to the bank. Vladek experiences a heart attack and Artie gives his father medicine. Vladek then goes with the story and talks about when someone had made cake and everybody was buying a slice, including him and for his wife. The cake had some laundry soap in it and everybody who bought cake had become sick. Vladek is then introduced to a bunker that disguised by the shoes and they are forced to go in there because the Germans are rounding up the last of the Jews in the village. They hide out in the bunker and when the coast is clear they dress in different clothes and walk out with the Polish workers as they walk to work. Anja and Vladek didn’t have anywhere to go unlike their friends who stayed with other friends. Vladek and Anja just walked and later came to the U.S.
Artie and his father finally arrive at the bank. Well they are at the bank Vladek asks the bank worker for a key to his security box, so he can give it to Artie if anything should happen to Vladek. Vladek then displays what he has in his security box and tells the story behind them. He shows a diamond ring that Anja wanted Artie to give to his girlfriend. Vladek then complains about how Mala wants him to give her all the money and about how many times she has made him change his will. He then asks “why, Artie I ever remarried?” Artie simply answers, “easy pop, let’s go home.”
This story was very interesting and definitely caught my attention because it is another way to tell what happened in the holocaust. But there is broken English written or is that an accent of some sort? Was this story true? It definitely sounds true and I don’t think anybody has a reason to make up such a story, especially when it is related to such a sensitive subject. I believe that this story relates to the Diary of Anne Frank. In the story of Anne Frank, she writes about her everyday experiences and the events leading up to her and her family hiding in the attic. The story continues all the way up to her death. And in this comic it tells what happened when Vladek was in the bunker and everything that he experienced. He also tells about the events of the death of his son and the way that they hid just to survive. This genre is geared to a mature audience or possibly an audience that is being introduced to the holocaust. It could be used as another way to explain what happened.
28 March 2012
These questions aren't far from reality for some, in fact during the years of 1941-1945 there was a Jewish genocide that killed millions. Art Speigelman’s Maus: A Survivors Tale tells the story of a mouse's struggle to keep him and his family alive. Artie is the son of Vladek and Anja, his parents survived the Holocaust.
In the story Anja commits suicide and Artie makes a comic of how he felt during the time. His father Vladek finds the comic and is distraught. Artie goes to see his father and finds out that his father read the comic and that he want to talks. As the two go on their walk to the bank, Vladek begins to talk about the Holocaust and the hardships that he had to go through. The Jewish were relocated to the ghettos of Srodula and German soldiers were sent to watch over them. The German soldiers would walk the Jews to and from work. The Jews with no money, and those that were very old and very young were taken to Auschwitz. Meanwhile plenty of Jews were dying including Vladek's family members, Vladek, Anja, and friends hid in a bunker. The Jews were soon discovered in their bunker after they took pity on a man who swore he wasn't on the German's side. Anja's dad who was a millionaire died, during those hard times even money couldn't solve everything. Vladek recalls a time that he almost got killed for just walking in the street, luckily his papers showed that he came from a family with good connections, otherwise he would have died. The Germans were determined to finish clearing out the ghettos and as they were coming for Vladek and his friends they made one last attempt to hide, they hid in a shoe bunker away from the German soldiers. The guard house light had been off for two days, they decided to make a break for it, the group split up and went their own ways.The comic ends with them at the bank and Vladek telling his son that as soon as he dies he wants him to come take all of his money so his wife can't.
This work relates to "The Myth of Superman by Umberto Eco. In Eco's essay he discusses how Superman may have came from Jewish creators, but he is a hero that evokes eternal themes from the Bible. Eco also mentions that Superman's creators made him both literary and mythical. Although Vladek isn't a superhero, he could be considered a literary hero. He was able to keep Anja and himself alive during several difficult "battles", the whole Holocaust was one long fight. He risked the chance of death when he had to find food and still tried to provide for his family. His fate was unpredictable unlike a mythical hero, we didn't know if he was going to Auschwitz or if he would stay in the ghetto. Vladek could also be considered a hero due to the night the man comes wandering into his bunker "looking for food", they should have killed him to guaranteed their safety. Instead he decided to keep him alive, he wants the best for humanity.
The story, Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman, starts out with a brief event that happened in Artie’s childhood. He was sad because his friends left him, and his father basically says they are not his friends. The next scene,Artie gets a call from his step mother, Mala. She complains that his father climbed on the roof to fix the drain in the middle of the night. She wants him to come over and help his father. He says he was up late, and will call later. Artie eventually calls his father back, and says he cant go.
About a week later, Artie goes to his fathers. His father sends him upstairs to his step mother. Mala says that Artie’s father found a comics strip Artie had made, and it really upset him. The two go on a walk, where Artie’s father tells him the story the Holocaust. He goes into great detail about what happened to all the members of their family. He described several hideouts that they created to stay safe from the Nazis. He told Artie about the few jewels he was able to keep safe, by hiding them in a fireplace. While he tells the story, they walk to a place where Artie’s father has a safety deposit box. He give Artie a key, and says if anything happens to him, to hurry up and get everything out of the box. Mala was only wanting his money, and wanted him to change his will. His father shows Artie what is inside the box, including a ring he had given Artie’s mother when they came to America.
The one thing I can relate to this comic is the fact you can make a comic into anything. Like what McCloud says in his book, Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, that comics can be written about anything, for anyone and be made into anything. Here we have a comic, about the Holocaust, where all the characters are mice, and cats that look live like humans. One of the oddest, yet effective, comics that I have read.I like the idea of making the stories into comics, because it can reach out to a greater audience, of book readers and comic lovers.
27 March 2012
26 March 2012
Oka props go to the Jewish creaters of the all American Superhero Icon Superman from Up, Up, and Oy Vey by Simcha Weinstein. Thanks to them Bruce Wayne was able to go from the rich white boy to his alter ego of the "BATMAN," becaue they were the ones that gave Superman his double identity thus giving other superheroes their alter identities.
Yeah Superman had super powers that allowed him to do many things that Batman couldn't but according to Umberto Eco in "The Myth of Superman" that a superhero is just a human with abilities that make them above the average human. So in the end they are both SUPERHEROES thanks to Eco and the Jewish creaters of Superman.