Art Spiegelman :. Maus and an Introduction into the Medium Of Graphic Novels . “And Here My Troubles Began”.
Art Spiegelman :
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Maus and an Introduction into the Medium Of Graphic Novels
“And Here My Troubles Began”
Art ‘Artie’ Spiegelman was born February 15th, 1948 in Stockholm, Sweden to Vladek and AnjaSpiegelman. Immigrating to the U.S early in his childhood, Art was raised in the Rego Park area of Queens, New York.
Dropping out of college, Spiegelman started illustrating the designs for Garbage Pail Kids, but eventually moved on to co-edit Arcade magazine in 1975, becoming part of the underground comix movement of the time.
In 1980, Spiegelman would co-found Raw Magazine, which would not only cement his position as a predominant figurehead amongst the graphic novelist community, but become the birth place of his most well-received work.
“A Survivors Tale”
Published in two parts, Maus 1: My Father Bleeds History (1986) and Maus 2: And Here My Troubles Began (1991), Maus is as much a historical memoir as it is part visual diary.
The primary focus of the novel is the retelling of the memories of Spiegelman’s Father Vladek, who was not only in Poland at the time of German’s invasion of Europe, but had been sent to and survived the concentration camp Auschwitz.
However, Maus is also about Spiegelman himself, and his attempt to come to an understanding of what his parents went through during the War. The autobiographical segments of the novel allow a more personal look into not only the creation of the work we’re currently reading, but of the problems and questions that provoked Spiegelman to create it in the first place.
Reading the Graphic Novel
The Graphic Novel as a medium is in a state of constant evolution, but at it’s most basic one should approach a Graphic Novel with the same duality the genre presents.
Like a novel, the speech bubble placement and it’s content of a Graphic Novel are important to the story. Often, the artist will bold words that are of importance to attract the eye and help take the important words from each bubble to make transitions smoother.
The reader should also remember to focus on more than text, as the medium as much visual as it is textual. The advantage of the comic medium is the ability to morph the panels, characters and backgrounds to aid in pushing meaning and symbolism in the work.