Book Review – The Complete Maus

The Complete Maus
Art Spiegelman
Children of Holocaust survivors
2003
296

Maus tells the story of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler’s Europe, and his son, a cartoonist coming to terms with his father’s story. Maus approaches the unspeakable through the diminutive. Its form, the cartoon (the Nazis are cats, the Jews mice), shocks us out of any lingering sense of familiarity and succeeds in ‘drawing us closer to the bleak heart of the Holocaust’ (The New York Times).Maus is a haunting tale within a tale. Vladek’s harrowing story of survival is woven into the author’s account of his tortured relationship with his aging father. Against the backdrop of guilt brought by survival, they stage a normal life of small arguments and unhappy visits. This astonishing retelling of our century’s grisliest news is a story of survival, not only of Vladek but of the children who survive even the survivors. Maus studies the bloody pawprints of history and tracks its meaning for all of us.This combined, definitive edition includes Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale and Maus II.

‘The most affecting and successful narrative ever done about the Holocaust’

– Wall Street Journal

 

‘The first masterpiece in comic book history’

-The New Yorker


My first graphic novel and what a wonderful book to read!

Spiegelman does a great job of recounting his fathers story of the holocaust. The broken English of Vladek and the interspersion of his miserly acts in between the telling of the horrors of holocaust sort of balances the narrative and makes you want to read this book till the end. But for it, I am sure, people would not have read the book in it’s entirety.

Through the book, I kept wondering if the resourcefulness of Vladek may have helped him survive the camps. But at the same time Anja and Mala too survived the Auschwitz and somewhere you couldn’t help but wonder the truth of – “…But it wasn’t the best people who survived, nor did the best ones die. It was random!”

My Rating: 5/5

A few gem from an Obama speech writer…

Every once in a while you come across an article that packs a punch. Here’s one by Obama’s speech writer about growing up.

There are too many gems hidden in it, each of which can stand on its own. So, I though, I’ll pull them out as bullet points for myself.

  • Impulsiveness can often pass for decisiveness, especially when the stakes are high
  • One secret to solving big problems, is knowing which little problems to ignore
  • Decisions are only as good as the decision-making process
  • Generosity is a habit and not a trait
  • Children strive only for pleasure; adults strive for fulfillment. Children demand adoration; adults earn respect. Children find worth in what they acquire; adults find worth in the responsibilities they bear

 

Analysis of Corporate logos (1/2)

This post has been long pending… While working on a company’s corporate branding, wherein there were huge debates around the typefaces and colours, I wondered what are the most common colours and font’s used in corporate logos. And luckily I found totaldesign.nl site (can’t find the sub link now) which had compiled 697 corporate logos and stated that the data/site site may be downloaded for research purposes or personal use. So, I promptly did a wget of the html pages to analyse later.

And here is a quick look at that database….

1) Number of Logos in the database and the year they were created: 697

2) Top 15 companies which had created unique logos (not adapted / modified from previous)

3) Top 15 typefaces used

4) Top 25 colours (pantone) used

Will look at a few unique logos as well as quirks (preferences etc.,) of design agencies in the next post.