Art from ‘Maus: A Survivor’s Tale’ by Art Spiegelman.
Gobbledygeek episode 384, “Four-Color Flashback: Maus: A Survivor’s Tale (feat. Eric Sipple),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
For the latest installment of this year’s spandex-free Four-Color Flashback, Paul and Arlo tackle a big one: Art Spiegelman’s Maus: A Survivor’s Tale, still the only comic book ever to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize. Joining them to discuss Spiegelman’s harrowing account of his father Vladek’s time in the concentration camps of Nazi-occupied Poland–and Art’s own tense relationship with Vladek–is Broken Magic author and The Deli Counter of Justice co-creator Eric Sipple. The gang discusses Spiegelman’s provocative choice to depict Jews as mice, Nazis as cats, Poles as pigs, etc.; how Spiegelman follows in a tradition going all the way back to Mickey Mouse; and why it’s specifically disturbing to read Maus in 2019.
Next: Paul and Arlo will return.
(Show notes for “Four-Color Flashback: Maus: A Survivor’s Tale.”)
Came across a pleasant little surprise on Netflix Instant last night: Comic Book Confidential, a 1988 documentary by Canadian filmmaker Ron Mann which takes a look at the history of comic books. It’s interesting from a historical perspective, since this was right when comics were really beginning to be embraced as an artform by the public, what with Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns having been released to critical and commercial acclaim. Obviously, there was still a long road ahead, and even now most people continue to think of comics largely as kids’ stuff with flashy superheroes and WHAMMO! sound effects. At around 85 minutes or so, it briskly takes you through the early funnies, the whole Fredric Wertham/censorship debacle, the first superheroes, and the Marvel boom before going on at length about the underground scene. We hear and see from a lot of comics legends: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Bill Griffith, Robert Crumb, Art Spiegelman, Frank Miller, and Harvey Pekar, among others. Interestingly, neither in the brief look at then-current superhero books nor in the Frank Miller interview is Watchmen mentioned. Anyway, it’s a cool movie and a nice condensed history.