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TRIAD Understanding Comics Chapter 2 w/ Maus
Transcript of TRIAD Understanding Comics Chapter 2 w/ Maus
Abigail Schroeter & Logan Herschbach
is one of the most important aspects in comics.
Essentially, an icon is another word for a symbol (McCloud 27).
Like a symbol, the form of an icon can drastically vary (McCloud 27).
, the use icon is present throughout the story in different forms.
For example, one of the most common icons in
is the swastika.
The swastika would be considered a
icon (McCloud 27).
Icons can take the form of
as well (McCloud 27).
Notice how Vladek uses an almost iconic form of
in the story (Spiegelman 52)
representations of race and nationality in
are the most important icons (McCloud 28).
The characters in
are drawn in a minimalistic style that allows for more universal
approach to characterization and the linear storyline limit universal identification at the same time!
This allows for readers to identify more with the characters, but not
the characters (McCloud 36).
Spiegelman does this in order to limit the reader's influence on the storyline because he is trying to give his audience the most accurate story possible.
This allows the reader to feel the
of the emotions, like fear, that Vladek and all the Jews feel,
At the same time, the reader feels
for the Jews, an emotion separate from those felt by the Jews, and retains his/her own
to consider what he would have done in a situation like the Holocaust.
In other words,
must consider the story and reach his or her own conclusions, like
Our differences do not make us any less human
Genocide affects everyone (i.e. Poles), not just those being persecuted
Fate is cruel
relates directly back to
Speigelman's different animals
the differences between
Even though the differences that
separate them are actually
very small - the doctrine
they choose to follow - ...
And aren't really physical at all!
Thus using the medium + a little thinking...
Spiegelman demonstrates the mental block that we, as humans, have about people who are different than us that leads to slavery, genocide, etc.!
This lack of English mastery reminds the reader that this is more than just a story, but is
A Note About Color
Because he uses animal shapes to keep us from becoming his characters, Spiegelman risks
But according to McCloud, we pay more attention to the physical shape of pictures when they are in
(McCloud 189). So...
Spiegelman ropes us back in by using
The animal shapes are impossible to ignore (and, as we have discussed, are very important),
By not putting the forms in
, we see them as a general trend, not a divisive issue, keeping us involved with the story but still cognizant of the icons.
Woah that's a cat!
Looks human enough because of the human qualities and lack of color.
Notably, Maus I lacks an abundance of recognizable icons
No Well Known Icons
The Star of David
The two notable exceptions
This leads to the conclusion that Spiegeleman wanted to distance himself from other symbol-filled
Holocaust accounts and remind his reader that, despite the underestimated
comic form (this acts partially to counteract such notions),
this was someone's story; it makes us forget our preconceived notions and simply consider what is put before us.
In the World of Comics,
there exists a world
of concepts and a
world of senses. (McCloud 39)
Much of Maus exists in the world of Concepts:
Abstraction vs. Reality
Throughout the story of
, the imagery is very iconic in nature.
However, Spiegelman occasionally uses non-iconic and nondescript visuals.
Essentially, some of Spiegelman's panels are presented using a more
The World of Senses uses realism to portray the beauty and complexity of the physical world (McCloud 41).
This style is even applied to the
of panels that use iconic, non-abstract characters.
This does not mean that
Spiegelman focused less on reality and more on
Shape of a
General form of a cup
General face form (eyes, ears, nose,
mouth, no real distinguishing factors)
of Maus exists in the realm of senses.
This world of senses helps readers become a character and enter the world of sensual stimuli.
These panels occur when Spiegelman wants us to integrate with his characters; we need to feel what they felt to become engrossed in the action.
We are the character.
This is the last panel of Vladek's story, the time of hopeless entry into the death camps. Spiegelman wants his reader to feel the hopelessness and despair that all the jews entering the death camps felt.
See very little of
the quick decisions
being made on the
battlefield by making
the reader become
As a result, most backgrounds
are generic, with simple patterns
Which emphasizes the story happening in the foreground.
DETAIL ALL IN THE
Meaning or language
The Meaning of the work as a whole...
Spiegelman, Art. Maus I: My Father Bleed's History. New York, NY: Pantheon, 1986. Print.
McCloud, Scott. Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. New York: HarperPerennial, 1994. Print.
All of this contributes to...
Maus focuses on Idea/Purpose (McCloud 181);
it uses all of these elements to manipulate
the reader into feeling some parts of the
story and thinking about others.
The world of Concepts uses the lack of emphasis
on physical appearance to draw attention to the story within (McCloud 41).
The Idea, of course, is to create
a biography, and it is here that our ability to extend our identity outward comes into play, though it is not the reader who must extend his identity, but Spiegelman and, through him, his father.
Vladek's story becomes an
extension of both his life,
yielding the title "My Father
Bleeds History," and of Art's
relationship to his father.
We, as the readers, become more
attached to the story, and therefore
the plight of all the Jews, and become
receptive to the messages Spiegelman
is sending through this simplified but reader involved medium because we give the story
That is because Maus focuses more on the
rather than the artwork.
Spigelman puts more emphasis on the language and meaning over reality because he wants to tell the story as
This relates back to the reason Spiegelman limits character identification as well.
Note: Reality in this case is not synonymous with factual.