I’ve never read a graphic novel (aka comic book) before, but I was recommended to pick up Maus by River City Reading and Estella’s Revenge, so I grabbed copies of both books (Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale” My Father Bleeds History and Maus II: A Survivor’s Tale: And Here My Troubles Began) from the library.
Wow. Maus I tells a dual story. One part is author and comic writer Art Spiegelman’s experience with his father, Vladek, while getting the story of the Holocaust from him. The second part is Vladek’s tale of Holocaust survival, from his time as a young man in Poland before meeting his wife (Art’s mother, Anja) all the way to Anja and Vladek’s capture by the German Nazi soldiers.
Maus II describes a similar dual story, with Art’s experiences with his father being one part. Vladek continues to describe his Holocaust experiences, being sent to Auschwitz and how both he and Anja survived the war.
Maus is so REAL. Vladek and Art are not heros, nor are they perfect characters. They have flaws, which are exhibited in these novels. But those flaws do not detract from what Vladek experienced in any way. His story is memorable and I commend Art for sharing it in such an honest way, including character flaws.
Don’t skip these books because they are graphic novels. That would be a mistake. I have never read anything like this before, never even picked up a comic book, yet, they were so easy to read. I forgot I was reading a graphic novel, to be honest. So don’t let the graphic novel thing scare you away.