Art Spiegelman1 • Born in Stockholm in 1948 but grew up in New York • His brother died as a child, and his mother committed suicide; he has a history of mental illness • Worked for Topps Gum Co. for twenty years, creating novelty cards, stickers and candy • Began doing underground comix in 1966
Comix Definition2: • the word “comix” originates from the underground and alternative comic book world (1960s San Francisco). • They were created as the counterpart to the Marvel or DC comics that were light hearted and action packed. • Comix contain adult themes, political viewpoints, diary motifs, and psychedelic mindsets. • The X was added to differentiate these types of books from other comic books • This "X" was also used to show that it often had X-rated material.
In the late 1970s Spiegelman started doing drawings and comics for the NY Times, Village Voice and Playboy • He instructed at the School of Visual Arts, NY • 1979 – co-founded RAW magazine with his wife, where Maus was first introduced as a serial • The first half of Maus was published in 1986 and the second was published in 1991 • He has won several awards for his work, most significantly the Pullitzer Prize for Maus in 1992 • Maus has been published in 20 different languages
Maus: A Survivor’s TalePart 1: My Father Bleeds History This story focuses on two different plotlines: • Vladek’s experience as a Jew in WWII Poland • Art’s difficult relationship with his father Hence, this story covers several genres: creative non-fiction, historical fiction, autobiographical and biographical writing, and of course, the graphic novel.
Brief History of WWII • World War II began in September 1939 when Germany invaded Poland as a result of what Germans saw as the unfair treatment they received when the Treaty of Versailles was created in WWI • Britain, France, Canada were some of the biggest players in this war and famous events such as D-Day occurred during this time • It was during this time that millions of Jews were subject to concentration and extermination camps (the Holocaust)
Hitler, Nazis and the Holocaust3 • The Nazi philosophy was based on the idea that Germans (in particular the Aryan race) were superior to other human beings (in particular the Jews) • Germany was going through much economic turmoil in the 1930s and they blamed the “rich and lazy” Jews for their suffering; they thought the Treaty of Versailles was a Jewish conspiracy • This was also known as anti-Semitism
How were the Jewish People Persecuted? • 1933 – Germans were no longer allowed to shop in Jewish stores • 1934 – all Jewish shops had to write the word “Juden” or show the yellow star of David in their windows
1935 Nuremburg Laws • Jews were no longer German citizens and could not marry a non-Jew • Some Jewish people paid a fee to leave the country; many shops refused to sell food or medicine to Jews • Much violence ensued
Kristallnacht Video Clip http://archives.cbc.ca/war_conflict/second_world_war/clips/16030/
Kristallnacht – The Night of the Broken Glass • November 1938 – a Jewish man shoots a Nazi diplomat in Paris • In response, Hitler ordered 7 days of treachery against the Jews • 10,000 shops were destroyed and looted • Homes and synagogues were set on fire and destroyed • The Jews were forced to pay for the damages and clean up after the terror • 30,000 were sent to concentration camps at this time • This was the beginning of the Holocaust
Auschwitz Radio Clip • http://archives.cbc.ca/war_conflict/second_world_war/clips/10642/
Resources/Links • 1. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Spiegelman.html • 2. http://comicbooks.about.com/od/glossary/g/comix.htm • 3. http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/Jews_Nazi_Germany.htm