Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman: I read this in two separate volumes but they were back to back so I’m going to review the whole thing as one. This is the tale of Spiegelman’s father’s experiences during the Holocaust in Poland, as told through interviews with his son. There are a large number of flashbacks, but interspersed are present-day exchanges as Spiegelman attempts to deal with his often unreasonable father. A number of interesting things were done here: first, the father’s imperfect English was kept verbatim, so I could completely hear his Polish accent. Second, various creatures were used to represent various peoples: Jews were mice, Germans were cats, Poles were pigs, Swedes were reindeer, and Americans were dogs. Oddly, the animal attributes were only applied to the heads; the bodies were unquestionably human. The tale itself was one of horror, as expected, but also one of love and hope. The choice to tell it as a comic in stark black and white was a wise one: it really drove it home for me, leaving me with both words and images. The Holocaust – much of WWII, really – remains an incredible, almost unbelievable part of human history, and one that must never be forgotten. Maus is only one story from it, but it is a powerful one nonetheless. Recommended.