Book Review: 3 Graphic Biographies

Maus: My Father Bleeds History and Maus: …And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman are a two-part graphic biography of Spiegelman’s father, Vladek, a Holocaust survivor. These books tell the very sad and detailed accounts of Vladek’s experiences as a Polish Jew during World War II. As graphic novels, they depict the Jews as mice, Nazis as cats, and non-Jewish Polish people as pigs. I respect the historicity of these novels and Spiegelman’s tremendous work.

Blankets by Craig Thompson is the illustrated coming-of-age biography of the author’s adolescence as a Baptist Christian in Wisconsin. Craig recounts the story of his first love, Raina, and his personal departure from Christianity. This was a haunting and sobering memoir which captures the awkwardness of adolescence, and of coming to terms with identity, faith and sexuality.

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