Since I d read Maus I about a year ago and Nadja Spiegelman s enticing memoir in the summertime, I was beyond ecstatic to find this second volume on the shelves of my local library.And since it s been quite a while, I was grateful that this volume had a quick recap at the start of what occurred before Art Spiegelman, a cartoonist born after WW II, is working on a book about what happened to his parents as Jews in wartime Poland He has made a series of visits to his childhood home in Rego Park, N.Y., to record his father s memories Art s mother, Anja, committed suicide in 1968 Art becomes furious when he learns that his gather, Vladek, has burned Anja s wartime memoirs Vladek is remarried to Mala, another survivor She complains often of his stinginess and lack of concern for her Vladek, a diabetic who has suffered two heart attacks, is in poor health.In Poland, Vladek had been a small time textile salesman In 1937 he married Anja Zylberberg, the youngest daughter of a wealthy Sosnowiec hosiery family They had a son, Richieu, who died during the war.Forced first into ghettos, then into hiding, Vladek and Anja tried to escape to Hungary with their prewar acquaintances, the Mandelbaums, whose nephew, Abraham, had attested in a letter that the escape rout was safe They were caught and, in March, 1944, they were brought to the gates of Auschwitz.Once again this graphic novel left me at a loss for words, so I think it s for the best if I ll just share those scenes that evoked certain strong emotions in me It was fascinating getting to see Fran oise depicted through the eyes of her husband, instead of her daughter s as in I m Supposed to Protect You from All This But that s also what bothered me in here I didn t like the way she was portrayed I kept feeling like Fran oise was inserting herself in the wrong conversation Like, this wasn t a conversation for her to participate in I mean, that comment didn t sit well with me at all And this just really So I was than willing to let the focus shift from the present day Until I realized just how utterly heart wrecking Vladek s past is The scenes at the camp were one of the most hard hitting It s sad, but the above three images gave me a glimmer of hope in this world full of cruel and inhuman suffering that is to say before I d read the last panel, but still.This graphic novel also educated me a lot, which I wasn t expecting I thought I d heard it all or at least most of what there was to know about Auschwitz, but my history lessons weren t even close The horrors Vladek and Anja and many others had to go through were jarring The amount of suffering My heart aches My mouth is still wide open at that THREE OR FOUR WEEKS All in all I came in unprepared with Maus II The amount of suffering and anguish and heartbreak left me emotionally spent I ll no doubt end up thinking about them for a while to come And it goes without saying that this remains one of the most poignant and harrowing graphic novels I ve read to date.4.5 5 starsNote I m an Affiliate If you re interested in buyingMaus II, just click on the image below to go through my link I ll make a small commissionSupport creators you love Buy a Coffee for nat bookspoils with Ko fi.com bookspoils Such a powerful book Fantastic conclusion I think I enjoyed this one even than the first The two stories of Vladek in the past and Vladek in the present really explore interesting topics of generational gaps as well as national differences Art s American sensibility versus his father s stinginess a result of his wartime survival is extremely understandable and well explored in this volume It s a harrowing story but so uniquely told and such a wonderful insight into one man s Holocaust survival, I would highly recommend it 4.5 stars This was even devastating than Maus I.Vladek Spiegelman s story is continued here In Maus I, we left Vladek and his wife Anja at the gates of Auschwitz In this volume, we are treated to an insider s view of daily life at a Nazi concentration camp.As with Maus I, the fact that it is written in comic book format does nothing to soften the impact if anything, it heightens it In the camp, the inmates are subjected to a slow, drawn out death sentence as the guards play with them like well, cats with mice There is no humanity here, it s every man for himself, and the toughest shall only survive And Vladek happens to be one smart, tough mouse.The troubled relationship between Art and Vladek is analysed in detail and we get a glimpse of how Vladek changed into the self centred, obsessive compulsive miser that he has become Did he survive because these traits were inbuilt, or did the camp life make him what he is Tantalising question.For me, the most impressive part of the book was the second one, where Art tries to come to terms with his father s death as well as the ethics of making a book out of his life Here, all the characters are shown as wearing animal masks, rather than as animals themselves they have become humanised and homogeneous, but the masks of race and nationality are not fully discarded.As Art is interviewed by journalists from various countries, the panels depict, at the bottom, heaps of dead mice piled one on top of the other, their faces twisted in agony this is superb use of the medium, not possible in a conventional narrative Art regresses to a child, crying out for his dead mother, as the paparazzi bully him a sequence both terrifying and comic.A terrific read.BTW, a bigger review is up on my blog. Acclaimed As A Quiet Triumph And A Brutally Moving Work Of Art, The First Volume Of Art Spieglman S Maus Introduced Readers To Vladek Spiegleman, A Jewish Survivor Of Hitler S Europe, And His Son, A Cartoonist Trying To Come To Terms With His Father, His Father S Terrifying Story, And History Itself Its Form, The Cartoon The Nazis Are Cats, The Jews Mice , Succeeds Perfectly In Shocking Us Out Of Any Lingering Sense Of Familiararity With The Events Described, Approaching, As It Does, The Unspeakable Through The DiminutiveThis Second Volume, Subtitled And Here My Troubles Began, Moves Us From The Barracks Of Auschwitz To The Bungalows Of The Catskills Genuinely Tragic And Comic By Turns, It Attains A Complexity Of Theme And A Precision Of Thought New To Comics And Rare In Any Medium Maus Ties Together Two Powerful Stories Vladek S Harrowing Tale Of Survival Against All Odds, Delineating The Paradox Of Daily Life In The Death Camps, And The Author S Account Of His Tortured Relationship With His Aging Father At Every Level This Is The Ultimate Survivor S Tale And That Too Of The Children Who Somehow Survive Even The Survivors When I was a boy living in Germany, my parents and I visited Dachau concentration camp.It was horrible We saw the ovens, the gas chambers, the graveyards The visit drove home to me the magnitude of the horror that had been perpetrated there, and the madness of the people who had orchestrated it Maus II is mostly concerned with Vladek s time in Auschwitz It reminded me of all things I had seen when I was a boy, but it also added a new perspective This graphic novel really drove home to me what the inmates of the camps had to do to survive I think that one of the biggest crimes committed by the Nazis was the way they caused their prisoners to turn their backs on one another, just to survive That stripping of humanity gets lost sometimes beside the greater horror of the scale of death and destruction they left in their wake Maus II also deals intimately with Art s relationship with his father We get a greater insight into the causes of the tension between them We also get to see of how his father s life and damage affected Art through his adult life, even beyond his father s death. When I was a kid I read comic books mostly Superman The Maus books are the only graphic novels I ve read and I consider them masterpieces Mausterpieces Like Spiegelman s alter ego, I was a middle class child growing up in Queens NYC , the son of Holocaust survivors and couldn t communicate with my father when I was growing up He got it down perfectly It was spot on and ranks among the best of Holocaust related literature. It s always nice when you completely understand why something has achieved its status A book of humor, horror, and above all, complexity Spiegelman tells his father s story as faithfully as he can, while remaining aware that he can t tell that story faithfully at all it ll always be clouded by the way he views his father I ve read plenty of books about the Holocaust academic volumes, memoir, fiction but this is the best at capturing just how random survival was, and how survivor both is and isn t the defining trait of the flawed, irritating, endearing humans who survived the Nazi extermination. I think the rating I gave this novel was too low I wish I could give this book as many stars as possible This book, and the book that came before it are so important They let us know about the struggles that the author s own father faced during the Holocaust We even got to how the father acted when Spiegelman asked his father questions to get information This story is such a different way of compiling the hardships of the author s father that it made it so much compelling I would recommend this graphic novel to everyone and everyone. I can t even make sense out of my relationship with my father how am I supposed to make sense out of the HolocaustArt Spiegelman Maus, II And Here My Troubles Began continues with the painful story of Vladek Spiegelman from where Maus I left off but in a intense manner Maus, II And Here My Troubles Began is the completion of a masterpiece by Art Spiegelman The book delves further deep into the everlasting struggle that his family had to go through even after his parents surviving the Nazi death camps and the lingering effects of the holocaust on his family, which makes the private pains of the author raw and shocking to the reader Maus, II chronicles the life of Vladek Spiegelman and his wife starting from the days of their imprisonment in Auschwitz The way in which the author is concentrating his narratives on to the sheer tenacity shown by Vladek for surviving each horror that he and his wife face inside the walls of Auschwitz is brilliant Instead of going much into the greater portrayals of the slaughters and atrocities of the death camp this approach of highlighting the individual perseverance of Vladek Spiegelman as a survivalist makes Maus II a great attempt by the author in his quest for understanding his father and his past This approach makes it personal and enjoyable to the reader This also shows how the character of Vladek was influenced in his life following the survival after witnessing so much death of loved ones and experiencing humiliation, physical and mental strain, starvation and trauma Maus II also goes to greater depths in portraying Art s troubled relationship with his father and his difficulty in understanding what his parents really went through before his birth Some of the imagery in the cartoon panels like those where the mice portrayed with open mouths as if they are silently screaming can literally haunt the reader for days If this story was told in a conventional narrative format it still would have been painful but it wouldn t have conveyed the plain naked monstrosity of what Vladek Spiegelman had to go through during the war and for the rest of his life to the reader in the way it does with these powerful cartoon panels Note I cannot as a casual reviewer do full justice to what this book will be for a reader just through my words It is something that is to be experienced by yourself only one thing is certain, if you get connected to this book as a reader it will take some time to recover from its influence.
Art Spiegelman born Itzhak Avraham ben Zeev is New York based comics artist, editor, and advocate for the medium of comics, best known for his Pulitzer Prize winning comic memoir,
- 144 pages
- Maus II : And Here My Troubles Began
- Art Spiegelman
- 02 April 2019 Art Spiegelman