Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I just bought Maus II by Art Art Spiegelman. People are interested until I tell them that it's a graphic novel. "Oh." is usually their response.

"Oh." As in: "Oh, that's a comic book." "Oh, I thought you were smart and read things that were interesting and/or clever." "Oh, I thought you had better things to do with your time." "Oh, I'm going to stop talking to you now because you're a fangirl. Bye!"

Apparently literature has to be bound in leather, smell musty, have little to no pictures or illustrations, and nobody should want to read it.

Maus is a graphic novel. It is literature. Art Spiegelman wrote it about his father's experience in WWII during the Holocaust. The Nazis are cats, the Poles are pigs, the Americans are Dogs and the Jews are mice. Symbolism is cool. It wouldn't have come across as convincingly without the use of the comic medium for sure.

But Maus is not literature, because it has too many pictures.

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