Page 45 Review by Stephen
"In a story that is trying to make chronological and coherent the incomprehensible, the juxtaposing of past and present insists that past and present are always present - one doesn't displace the other the way in happens in film."
- Art Spiegelman, when asked "Why tell MAUS in comic form?"
Enormous resource for MAUS readers, those studying or wanting to learn about the Holocaust, or those looking to learn about the craft of comics in general.
The book itself features illustrated interviews about everything from the craft of MAUS - its panel composition, sentence compression, the materials used, early versions - to its and Spiegelman's own reception in various different countries. Spiegelman's asked why he chose to work in comics in the first place (early influences include the scribble game he played with his mother wherein she'd draw some random lines and he had to turn them into a coherent image with lines of his own; he also wanted to move into a zone that wasn't his parents' domain) and then why he chose this particular medium for this particular story (it would be opaque to his dad, so he could work on it without interference). Something he talks about which Bryan Talbot also insists on: that the images shouldn't merely illustrate the words - why repeat what's already there? - but tell stories in their own right. There's a transcript of some of the recordings Spiegelman made of Vladek (his father), a chronology, interviews with Spiegelman's children, his wife and RAW collaborator Françoise Mouly, and women who knew Anja in the camp. The illustrations themselves are worth the price of admission alone: complete comic stories published in The New Yorker, a wealth of preliminary sketches, photographs and publishers' letters.
All that's before we come to the DVD! This features the complete MAUS itself (fully searchable by page or phrase), thousands of preliminary drawings, essays, audio interviews with Vladek, two rare 1946 booklets of drawings and cartoons by death camp survivors, Art and Françoise's Auschwitz home movie, 7,500 "barely sorted" sketches, drafts and documents... and more, more, more.