19 October 2009


This reading is about Artie and his father, Vladek. As they both walk to the bank Vladek began to tell Artie his story about his experience of being a Jew in the 1940’s. In 1943, an order was issued for the Jews in Sosnowiec to move to a village called Srodula, the ghetto. In the ghetto, Vladek and the other Jews were marched to work and marched back after work, then locked in after being counted. Vladek shares his story about him and a few others intrusting their children with a man called Persis, so that they could maybe be spared. His son Richieu was one of the children that went with Persis to Za wiercie. The Germans decided to finish the ghetto they were in, so Tosha decided to poison herself and the children because she didn’t want herself or the children to die in the gas chambers. Vladek and Anja didn’t find out until much later what happened to their son in Zawiercie. Vladek also draws out different bunkers for Artie so he can see the bunkers made that enabled him to survive and hide from the Gestapo. Vladek was caught and then escaped with the help of his friend because he still had valuables to pay for help. After staying in hiding Vladek and Anja finally are able to sneak out without being caught and head towards Sosnoweic. Vladek and Artie arrive to the bank and are getting an extra key for Artie. Vladek shows Artie a few of his things from his deposit box and some of them are valuables that he had since his time hiding in the bunkers. They were valuables that he retrieved after the war ended. The last part of the reading was about Vladek breaking down about missing his first wife Anja and regretting remarrying Mala.

I really liked this comic. I think I read the sequel of this reading. I liked that Art Spiegelman used mice to represent the Jews. I think it softened the harsher parts of the comic. One of the parts I thought were really harsh to read about was the part when the Gestapo men took the small children and smashed them against the wall. I think it is easier to imagine this happening to animals rather than humans. I also think this is a children’s book and I think they would understand the terminology of cats preying on mice and be able to relate it to the Gestapo preying on the Jews. Something I was thinking…Maybe Art Spiegelman used animals to represent the Germans and Jews because it is easier to imagine animals treating each other like how the Gestapo treated the Jews, rather than human beings treating each other that way. It’s hard to imagine people treating other people like how the Gestapo treated the Jews. It almost seems unreal and something that would be made up for horror stories. Maybe Jews running around hiding and how they were treated also made the Jews relatable to animals. I don’t know, these are just some of my thoughts. I would like to know why Art Spiegelman used mice and cats to tell his story…

Prisoner of the Hell Planet reminded me of My Year of Cancer. I didn’t like the art in the Prisoner of the Hell Planet, just like I didn’t like the art in My Year of Cancer. The people look weird and crazy. I think the art compliments the mood of the comic just like in My year of Cancer reading. It helps to tell the story and set the tone of the reading. They still look weird and crazy though...

I liked the combination of words and pictures in this comic, I think they complimented each other well. I felt like the words were the dominant medium telling the story.


  1. This was a good post, very detailed and opinionated--I think you did a good job :]

    Back to your question about why Spiegelman used cats and mice in his story. I think that he used mice to represent Jews because the Germans saw them as an infestation. Cats were representing the Germans because cats are always chasing mice and want to eat them up! Well thought-out on Spiegelman's behalf...at least that's what I think!

  2. Great Post! Yes, I totally agree that by using animals it softens up the mood. It would be really interesting to know why Spiegelmen used cat and mice to tell the story. That is a really good question.

  3. haha thanks for commenting hoku...no one ever comments on my blog...haha

  4. I always comment on your blogs, thank you very much ;-)

    As usual, this is a well written post...even if your summary is a little disjointed :-)

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.