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Berserk Monk
2009-07-14, 08:58 PM
Just finished the first book and I liked what I read.

MissK
2009-07-14, 10:25 PM
Oh, yeah. If you like this, you might like "Deogratias". I forget who wrote it, but it's about the Rwandan genocide.

Berserk Monk
2009-07-14, 11:09 PM
Oh, yeah. If you like this, you might like "Deogratias". I forget who wrote it, but it's about the Rwandan genocide.

Does it have anthropomorphic animals?

Killer Angel
2009-07-15, 04:19 AM
Does it have anthropomorphic animals?

IN what aspects are you interested?
a political / historical discussion on the "background" of Maus, is clearly off topic...
Generally speaking, t's very interesting the use of the anthropomorfic animals to soften the narrative tone, when facing "strong" arguments.
A good example, is in the stories of Miyamoto Usagi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miyamoto_Usagi)... it's a comic full of funny and cute little animals, committing a lot of terrible things. It's a very serious comic, in a japanese medieval setting, with a bunny that act as a real ronin (after the death of his lord (http://www.usagiyojimbo.com/characters/usagi/usagi-battle.jpg)).

Megatron46
2009-07-15, 07:23 AM
Yeah, using animals to tell a parable or deal with/comment on historic events/serious story telling is an interesting one; I loved "Maus"- especially as it is based on his father's story- and "Animal Farm" by George Orwell, and "Mouseguard"- anyone else read that, it is excellent! I think they made it into a roleplaying game? Is that right?

Killer Angel
2009-07-15, 08:28 AM
"Mouseguard"- anyone else read that, it is excellent! I think they made it into a roleplaying game? Is that right?

It is right (http://www.archaiasp.com/mouse_guard_rpg.php).
Also, in this thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=117469), you'll find someone who knows said RPG.
If you are interested, you can PM them.

Decoy Lockbox
2009-07-15, 01:31 PM
When I was in 5th grade (i.e. 10 years old for you non U.S. posters), they were selling books in the library one day, and I bought a copy of Maus (I was a big redwall fan at that age). I figured "hey, its a comic book with talking animals -- cool!" Needless to say, I was totally not prepared for it :smalleek:.

But I did enjoy it quite a bit.

chiasaur11
2009-07-15, 01:38 PM
Fun fact:
Art spiegelman, the guy who made Maus?

He also co-created the garbage pail kids.

That sound? It was your mind being blown.

MissK
2009-07-15, 03:13 PM
Deogratias doesn't have many anthropomorphic animals, but the main character does turn into into a dog when he's especially upset. Does that count?

Decoy Lockbox
2009-07-15, 03:14 PM
Fun fact:
Art spiegelman, the guy who made Maus?

He also co-created the garbage pail kids.

That sound? It was your mind being blown.

What if the Garbage Pail kids was his life's work, and he only did Maus to pay the bills?

Berserk Monk
2009-07-15, 04:38 PM
When I was in 5th grade (i.e. 10 years old for you non U.S. posters), they were selling books in the library one day, and I bought a copy of Maus (I was a big redwall fan at that age). I figured "hey, its a comic book with talking animals -- cool!" Needless to say, I was totally not prepared for it :smalleek:.

But I did enjoy it quite a bit.

Wow. Ten years old, huh?

Reading it has sort made me want to reread Animal Farm. Haven't read it in a few years.

Phase
2009-07-15, 04:38 PM
Fun fact:
Art spiegelman, the guy who made Maus?

He also co-created the garbage pail kids.

That sound? It was your mind being blown.

I guess if you spend your time authoring a book about one of the most horrific and disturbing periods of human history, working on something lighthearted is the only way to drag yourself up from the abyss...

Berserk Monk
2009-07-15, 08:08 PM
Fun fact:
Art spiegelman, the guy who made Maus?

He also co-created the garbage pail kids.

That sound? It was your mind being blown.

Garbage Pail What? Never heard of it? But if it's some kind of kids show, I suppose an equally weird statement would be someone saying Alan Moore wrote some episodes of Sesame Street: "Today's show is brought to you by the letter V for Vendetta." Man, if Rorschach was on that show, I'd watch it 24/7.

Also, just finished the second book today. Good stuff. Good stuff.

Lord Seth
2009-07-15, 08:37 PM
Garbage Pail What? Never heard of it? But if it's some kind of kids show, I suppose an equally weird statement would be someone saying Alan Moore wrote some episodes of Sesame Street: "Today's show is brought to you by the letter V for Vendetta." Man, if Rorschach was on that show, I'd watch it 24/7.

Also, just finished the second book today. Good stuff. Good stuff.Garbage Pail Kids is, according to Wikipedia, some trading cards that were a spoof of Cabbage Patch Kids. It was also the basis for an awful movie (http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/thatguywiththeglasses/nostalgia-critic/5300-garbage-pail-kids).

Megatron46
2009-07-16, 12:18 AM
Yeah the Garbage Pail Kids were purposefully gross, can't remember any of their names at the moment, and I didn't even know they made a film of them. Great combo though, 'Maus' and 'The Garbage Pail Kids'- would never have put them as being from the same creator.

Satyr
2009-07-16, 03:33 AM
I can't help myself, but I always felt that the use of anthropomorphic animals instead of humans in Maus took away much of what it could have been; I really like the comic, but it's still a frustrating amount of wasted potential.

WitchSlayer
2009-07-16, 03:58 AM
If you want another story with anthropomorphic animals, Blacksad is a great noirish detective story and is worth checking out.

JediSoth
2009-07-16, 08:19 AM
Maus was awesome. It's a powerful story wrapped in an accessible package. I had to read the first part for a literature, and went one to buy the second part 'cause I needed to know how the story ended.

And yes, Mouse Guard (http://www.archaiasp.com/mouse_guard_rpg.php) was made into an RPG; an ENnie-nominated RPG, in fact.

Berserk Monk
2009-07-16, 07:42 PM
I can't help myself, but I always felt that the use of anthropomorphic animals instead of humans in Maus took away much of what it could have been; I really like the comic, but it's still a frustrating amount of wasted potential.

I disagree. I think the use of animals makes the story more interesting.

Satyr
2009-07-17, 02:12 AM
I disagree. I think the use of animals makes the story more interesting.

Why? It's a filter that makes thew whole thing more abstract and more detached. It also simplified the whole tory to a degree (which is odd, as it is not really fiction. It is more like oral history in a comic strip form). You could argue that the simplification makes it more accessible and the dehumanisation of all parties in the book is pretty much a point in itself, but more interesting... not really.

The other thing I found always a bit iritating is how bad the Polish are presented in the books.

Turcano
2009-07-17, 02:35 AM
Why? It's a filter that makes thew whole thing more abstract and more detached. It also simplified the whole tory to a degree (which is odd, as it is not really fiction. It is more like oral history in a comic strip form). You could argue that the simplification makes it more accessible and the dehumanisation of all parties in the book is pretty much a point in itself, but more interesting... not really.

One thing it does is show ethnic labels for what they are; the second volume in particular plays with the trope in relative detail.


The other thing I found always a bit iritating is how bad the Polish are presented in the books.

You do know that the Poles were no saints in that regard, right? Poland was as much a hotbed of anti-Semitism as Germany was, albeit of a different variety (i.e., based more on religious bigotry than racism), and Warsaw had seen a pogrom in living memory.

averagejoe
2009-07-17, 03:12 AM
Why? It's a filter that makes thew whole thing more abstract and more detached. It also simplified the whole tory to a degree (which is odd, as it is not really fiction. It is more like oral history in a comic strip form). You could argue that the simplification makes it more accessible and the dehumanisation of all parties in the book is pretty much a point in itself, but more interesting... not really.

I don't see how it makes the thing more detached at all. One of the striking things about Maus, from a technical perspective, is how emotionally deep and expressive it is (visually) despite the art style being so simple that one pretty much has to have animal heads in order to distinguish people-that or give some people inappropriate clothes. The story is as much about Art Spiegelman as it is about the holocaust and the surrounding events. It's one man's honest reveal of his self (something which, I would argue, comics are uniquely suited for, better than any other medium.) It's one of the most honest works I've ever read, and in that the animals make it that much more relatable and revealing, that much more human.

I also must admit that, in light of the Jews=vermin propaganda that was floating around at the time, portraying all the Jews as mice strikes me as rather poignant.

I'm not sure how it simplifies the story either. Or, really, how it has any effect on the story at all.

It's interesting that you mention acessability, simply because for a long time Art Spiegelman was (and probably still is) an important force in the independent comics movement, and tends to be very experimental. Maus itself was originally published in an underground magazine.

RMS Oceanic
2009-07-17, 08:35 AM
One thing it does is show ethnic labels for what they are; the second volume in particular plays with the trope in relative detail.

Indeed it does. My favourite example:

One mouse is complaining about how he shouldn't be here, with these "Yids" and "Polacks", as he is a patriotic German. He fought for the Kaiser, and his own son is in the army. The next panel shows a cat in the same pose, which I think highlights how arbitrary these labels really are.

Berserk Monk
2009-07-17, 09:38 AM
Why? It's a filter that makes thew whole thing more abstract and more detached. It also simplified the whole tory to a degree (which is odd, as it is not really fiction. It is more like oral history in a comic strip form). You could argue that the simplification makes it more accessible and the dehumanisation of all parties in the book is pretty much a point in itself, but more interesting... not really.

The other thing I found always a bit iritating is how bad the Polish are presented in the books.

Yeah, but everyone knows the story of the Holocaust. Presenting it with animals is at least something new and creative, and I don't think it lightens the mood: the entire book is illustrate in black and white. Very somber mood.