Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Art Spiegelman's Maus - Coda # 2

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Images and sounds:
1. the cover of Breakdowns, From Maus to Now by Art Spiegelman (Belier Press, 1977);
2. "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" (page published in Breakdowns: 1977 [Short Order Comics # 2, 1974]) quotes a Duke Ellington song to give the reader (with the "dripping faucet" continuous bass allusion), a sense of rhythm; in this page Art Spiegelman also experimented with collage, Cubism, out of sync word / image combos, the back-and-forth eye movement of the reader following the ball bouncing, etc...; Spiegelman explained this page panel by panel in Alternative Media magazine (Fall, 1978);
3. Art Spiegelman did some graphic experiences while creating Maus (The Comics Journal # 65 - where this image was also published -, August, 1981: 116): "One solution I thought was interesting involved using this Eastern European children's books wood engraving style that I'd seen in some books of illustrations. But I found myself thoroughly dissatisfied with these woodcut illustrations. [...] The cat, as seen by the mouse, is big, brutal, almost twice the size of the mouse creatures [...]. It tells you how to feel, it tells you how to think, in a way that I would rather not push."; this is a definition of kitsch according to Umberto Eco (The Open Work, Harvard University Press, 1989: 181; translation by Umberto Eco and Anna Cancogni): "the prefabrication and imposition of an effect.";
4. Art Spiegelman at Auschwitz: photo published in the first "Maus" pamphlet (Raw, Volume 1, # 2, December, 1980);
5. Art Spiegelman's cover of booklet five of the "Maus" serialization in Raw (Volume 1, # 6, May, 1984);
6. the cover of Maus, A Survivor's Tale, book one (My father Bleeds History) of two, by Art Spiegelman (Pantheon Books, 1986);
7. as many New Yorkers (see topper "The New Normal" in the first page of the book, below), Art Spiegelman was greatly affected by the 9 / 11 events; the same haunting image was used as a cover of The New Yorker (September, 24, 2001) and as the cover of his book In the Shadow of No Towers (Pantheon Books, 2004);
8. In the Shadow of No Towers' first page;
9. Animation film by Lars Edwards (and crew; music by Pat Carney, The Black Keys) publicizing Art Spiegelman's latest (sketch)book(s; three to be exact) (Be A Nose, McSweeney's, March, 2009).

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