This week, I had the good fortune of seeing the Ari Spiegelman exhibit at the Jewish Museum in NY. Spiegelman wrote Maus, the famous comic book published in 1986 depicting the Holocaust as told through the story of mice.
My dissertation is on issues related to the Holocaust so I think about and appreciate different ways people story this dark moment . In a doctoral program, one must conform to an accepted scholarly format. This makes sense and I'm okay with this, but I so applaud Speigelman's ability to story Shoah in this way.
The comic book format allows us enough distance to be able to grapple with this era in new ways.
I discovered that the comic book story was based the experience of his parents who survived Auschwitz. Looking at his mother's passport in a glass display box, I discovered his parents are from the same town as my grandfather. He left the year she was born and this helped him escape a similar journey to the famous concentration camp.
What was just as surprising is that Spiegelman designed Garbage Pail Kids while working on Maus. Fishy Phyllis here (left) is from my personal collection. I loved these disgusting cards and I can appreciate his need for this kind of absurdity while writing about the Holocaust.
This exhibit highlighted two important lessons for me 1) the importance of finding new and different ways to story atrocities and conflicts 2) and having a side project that is a bit absurd and humorous to counterbalance the intensity of grappling with hu