Monday, October 12, 2009

Some Questions on Maus

In Maus one immediate aspect that is different from Watchmen is the presentation of the graphic novel, specifically in the type and organization of the panels. While Watchmen sticks more or less to a 3x3 regular grid, Maus' grid layout is considerably more freeform, with panels of all different sizes and positions. Furthermore, there are many times where the illustration of a panel pops out of a panel, or there are illustrations outside the panels, where Watchmen does not use these techniques. According to Alan Moore, author of Watchmen, the use of a regular grid (as opposed to freeform positioning used in Maus) allowed for "...this element of the pacing and visual impact that he could now predict and use to dramatic effect." Do you agree with Moore's statement, or is Maus' style more effective in creating dramatic tension?

Finally, there seems to be an incongruity in the character of Vladek Spiegelman before the Holocaust and after the Holocaust. Is it the Holocaust that has changed Vladek, old age, or his new marriage with Mala? Perhaps it is a combination of all three, although to argue purely one way or another would be interesting.

-- Andrew Lee

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