28 March 2012

The Ultimate Escape

The comic Maus: A Survivor's Tale written by Art Spiegelman, is the story of the author's father's (Vladek Spiegelman) life before, during, and after World War II. In chapter five called "Mouse Holes," Spiegelman tells a few stories about his father during the war. It starts out with Artie in his own house receiving a call from his step-mother. She was worried about Artie's father and asked if he could come help him around the house. He was unavailable, but a couple days later he stopped by to see if he could be of any help. His father ignored him and was acting very sad. Confused, he asked his step-mother what the problem was. She told him that his father had found an underground comic that Artie had written about his mother's suicide and that he was very sad about it. Artie and his father began to talk and they decided to take a walk to the bank. On their way, Vladek began telling Artie stories of when he and his wife were in Srodula and were captured by the Germans. The Germans came to their town to take everyone away to concentration camps in Auschwitz, but Vladek and a couple of his friends hid in a bunker in their house and successfully avoided the Germans. But they were scared for their kid's lives so they sent them away to hide in a safer city. While they were hiding in the bunkers they would take turns finding food at night. One night a stranger followed them back into the bunker and said that he was starving and needed food for his family. So they helped him, but he turned out to be an inspector. The Germans found them and sent them off to Auschwitz. But luckily Vladek's cousin was a member of the Jewish police and helped them escape from the Germans. They hid in another bunker and waited until the right moment to sneak out and escape to a better hiding spot. Eventually Vladek and his wife Anja were safe and in no danger of the Germans.

This comic made me think of McCloud's idea that comics could be written in any genre. It is unlike the typical comic, Superheroes or comic strips like Calvin and Hobbs, but it is still a comic. This autobiographical comic is the only comic to have won the Pulitzer Prize. McCloud is right, people would respect comics a lot more if there were more comics like this one and people went away from only writing Superhero comics. I really enjoyed reading this comic because it was a really easy and fun way to learn about the Holocaust. I understand McCloud's point that comics could be a very effective and entertaining medium now that I have read this comic.


  1. Diversity within comics would further diversify the readers who buy them, thereby boosting sales and encouraging more people to create comics. I like superhero comics but if the comic medium is ever going to expand, it will have to keep branching out into other forms of content like this one. There are some other forms out there today ,but I think comics can do better. Interesting thoughts Marci, I will chew on this one awhile.