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Art Spiegelman
Art: Art Spiegelman

Reviewed by Lorenzo Princi
Maus by Art Spiegelman
Cover Concept by Lorenzo Princi, 31st August 2012

Art Spiegelman's Pulitzer prize winning comic book is an absolute joy to read (and view). The artistic license employed to tell his father's story; the experience of a jew during the holocaust, is simple and unique. Art depicts the Jews as Mice, the Nazis (who torment and kill) as cats, the Poles as pigs and the Americans as dogs.

Simply told and simply sketched but with dark and complex undertones, the emotion which the comic evokes is brutal and a direct result of the expressive nature. The use of humanoid animals taps into our inner child and makes the events as they unfold (panel by panel) all the more tragic and haunting.

The story is personal and blunt, his father narrates in a matter of fact way, telling us what was and neither judges nor complains about the past. The present in the story, with the horrors of the war left behind, shows the lasting effects and perhaps the more touching for the reader. We watch as past and present collide, as readers we are sympathetic to Art's father and become frustrated with Art's selfish pressing his ailing father for more information so that he can finish his book.

Art has little to hide and his honesty leaves us asking how we would act in his shoes? By the end, Art learns as much about himself as he does about his father's extraordinary experience.

For those aware of the medium's power, Maus is, or should already be, on your shelf. For doubters of comics, this is the one to read; a powerful story about cats and mice who are all too human.