The whole idea of making a “comic novel” amazes me. The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman is the first novel I have easily read and enjoyed because it was written in a comic form. The Complete Maus is about the Holocaust and its survivors. Art Spiegelman puts illustrations together with facts and actual encounters his father, Vladek, recalls. In the first book of Maus, the author introduces most of the characters and we are able to recognize what kind of bond Art has with his parents, specifically Vladek. We learn Vladek is a victim of the Holocaust. Art and his father have an almost “awkward” bond. Vladek has been through so much and shows little emotion, while Art seeks attention and emotion from his father but rarely gets it. In the book Art calls both his parents murderers at some point,once on page 161, showing that he thinks he lacks their love and affection. My opinion is that Art’s parents loved him dearly, even equally to his late brother whom he thinks he is always compared to, but they just have a different way of showing it, a way Art can’t acknowledge.
In the second book of The Complete Maus, we encounter more visuals of the Holocaust. The second book gets more in depth with the suffering Holocaust victims dealt with. The way Spiegelman uses animals as characters tones down the awful experience of the Holocaust. The drawings of dead mice, and evil cats is easier to look at then actual photos from the Holocaust. With this novel, you can get the facts and understand what was going on during the Holocaust much easier.
In the end, even though many people suffered and died from the Holocaust, it was nice to see Vladek be a survivor. Im sure many of the people who have read this novel are glad Art was able to tell his father’s story. Although the suicidal death of Art’s mother was sad, his parents were able to reunite after the Holocaust. Art Spiegelman even used part of his own life story inside of this book, making it easier to relate to The Complete Maus .