Chapter 9 of your textbook covers graphic novels, a relatively new form of art (when placed in the context of the many historical pieces we have covered in the book). I enjoy graphic novels, even though I tend to be a “ word” person. I am giving you a choice in this lesson to write an essay about either Maus, by Art Spiegelman, which is a retelling of his parents’ lives during the Jewish Holocaust or Batman: The Ultimate Evil, written by Andrew Vachss and illustrated by Neil Barrett, Jr. Maus went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. Mr. Vachss is a well-known writer, lawyer and all-around advocate for abused children.
Neither of these books covers a pleasant topic and that is why I chose them. The juxtaposition of ugliness with our idea of comics as fun/funny is part of what makes these graphic novels so powerful. Whichever graphic novel you choose to write about, you must first give a short overview of the rise of the graphic novel as an art form. Please read this article, “Alan Moore and the Graphic Novel: Confronting the Fourth Dimension,” by Mark Bernard and James Bucky Carter, which is available at:
Essay must be 600 words. You MUST cite sources. You must ALSO critique/argue with/praise another student’s post with at least 150 words.
Question for Maus Essay:
Do you think Mausdemeans the Holocaust experience or does the coverage of such a powerful event elevate the comic book form?
Art Spiegelman discusses Maus & MetaMaus
User: burkesdogpansy –
As you view these videos, please hit the pause button often, to really experience the artwork and the story.
Question for Batman: The Ultimate Evil
Since Batman traditionally fights other fictional “bad” characters, what do you think of Andrew Vachss using Batman to fight an ongoing evil that exists in the real world? Due to Vachss’s pretty tight copyright control of his material, this review is the only place that I could legally get images for you to see.