Sunday, September 13, 2009

In the Shadow of No Towers

In the Shadow of No Towers
by Art Spiegelman [SOS 741.5 Spi]

In 2004, graphic artist Art Spiegelman (Pulitzer winner for Maus), a New Yorker, released this oversized hardback compilation of a series of ten full-page graphical remembrances of the events of September 11, 2001 and their political and social aftermath. With a tone ranging from the terror of not knowing the fate of his daughter (whose school was at the foot of the Towers), to inchoate outrage at the Bush administration's political and goverrnmental handling of the "terrorist" issues, Spiegelman has created a 9/11 work of startling clarity and emotion. Spiegelman's artistic style ranges from highly realistic, to extremely cartoony, and he frequently ends up using the "mice" visual persona that he used so effectively to portray himself, his family and the Jewish people in Maus. People with a strong right-leaning political stance may not necessary appreciate this work, but it is a significant contribution to post-9/11 literature. An extra feature in this compilation is several pages of older newspaper comics from the late 1800s through the 1930s, by a variety of other artists. These include entries such as the Kin-der-Kids and Little Nemo, among others. Since Spiegelman's own works in this volume were full-page newspaper strips, seeing these historical examples from other eras places Spiegelman in an interesting historical context. I found this entire book to be a fascinating read. -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library

[ Wikipedia entry for this book ] [ Wikipedia entry for Art Spiegelman ]

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