New Blog Section!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on the tried and true Mausandthemask, but that’s because I’ve been debating whether or not to mar this project with things unrelated to Maus. I loved this project and how it turned out, but I have other passions I’d like to explore. That has lead me to the creation of a new section of this blog: Cross Comics.

As some of you might know I’m a huge fan of fighting games, and with the release of Capcom’s latest fighter I’ve really been wanting to share my opinions on characters, system aspects, and the community in general. Thus, Cross Comics was born. The main draw of the first few posts within Cross Comics will be character analysis, hopefully helping those of you interested in Street Fighter X Tekken to understand the characters highlighted a little better. Eventually I’d like to share my opinions on gems, response to this game, and DLC.

I’m very excited about this, so please feel free to check it out!

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Art Spiegelman and the Graphic Novel

Spiegelman (1948) and his two faces, the photograph and the self portrait.

By Cristobal Henao

Going into the research required for this project, I wholeheartedly underestimated the work of my author. Like many people, I came to simplify the meanings behind the holocaust in the novels I had undertaken. Art Spiegelman’s Maus, a sum of two works, Volume I: “My Father Bleeds History” (1986) and Volume II: “And Here My Troubles Began” (1991) was one of the first non-fiction graphic novels I had read as an adolescent. In my initial re-reading I found very much the same story; This was a recollection of one man’s experiences of one of the most horrible events in human history as told by his son. However, upon my second reading I started to realize that the story of Art’s father Vladek during Germany’s invasion of Poland, was only a a part of a much bigger whole displayed in Maus’ panel laden pages.

This project explores the author Art Spiegelman, whose work in the graphic novel industry helped raising awareness of the validity of the ‘comic’ as a source of both literary and artistic merit. Following such works as legendary graphic novelist Will Eisner’s A Contract with God (1978), Spiegelman’s Maus launched him into the eyes of the public with critical acclaim. One of the first graphic novels to be seen as ‘higher literature’ and the only graphic novel to see canonization, Maus was a cornerstone for the graphic novel genre.

This project will do it’s best to give the reader an outline of the highlights of Spiegelman’s career and his reputation as a post-modernist writer and graphic novelist. I also wish to provide some explanation of what is a graphic novel within this project, as well as give my own personal analysis to Maus as I have come to view it; A coming of terms with the self, with family, and with art, all paralleled.

You can also download my Power Point Presentation, Maus Pres, for more information and some great examples of Spiegelman’s work.

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