Week 2: Pg 71-127
How can a story in a graphic novel be (or not) more effective that a book with only words?
First of all, Maus is a book by Art Spiegelman which is an allegory to the Holocaust. The book is written in the style of a comic book, also known as a graphic novel and uses animals to represent different groups of people. The way the author uses drawings to tel the story is very good. One difference between this and a normal book is that in a normal book you have more of a chance to picture the plot in your mind. On the other hand, in a graphic novel, the pictures are already there. In the readers opinion, to tell an event or something that already happened, a graphic novel is a very effective way to portray the plot line because it already happened, so the reader making up their own idea of what it as doesn't really have any use. On the contrary, it seems that a book that tells a story which is pure fiction would be good to be without pictures, because in that case, the reader making his own idea is part of the fun and of the experience as a whole. All in all, it is clear that in some cases, a graphic novel can be more effective in telling a story, but not always.
How can visual metaphors affect the reading experience?
In the book Maus, the author uses many "hidden" visual metaphors that enhance the reading experience. These little things make the book, as a whole, very complete and very interesting to read. For example, on page 125 (see picture below), when Vladek and Anja are walking, they are in a field. Seems normal right? Well it is not. Take an even closer look at the field's format. More specifically, the road's format. That's right. Its the Nazi symbol. As many can infer, this may represent that the Nazi's took over that place and basically made it theirs, and no matter what happens after that, people will always remember what they did, and the terrible things that happened. There are other visual metaphors spread all over the book, but they are hard to find, especially if you are reading the book for the first time.
Picture Taken By Lucas Taragano from the book Maus.
If the book was in color, would it be any different?
The book Maus is a black and white graphic novel. In the story, there are mice, cats, pigs and many more interesting scenarios. Yet, many times while reading this book it comes to the reader mind, that, it it were colorful, wouldn't it be much better. As many already know, the Holocaust was a terrific event in which 6 million Jews were killed, 1.5 million being children. Maybe this is one of the reasons why this book is in black and white. Maybe it is because this book tells the story of an event that was so horrific, that is needed to be "color-less" to give a heavier effect. Even though this book is a graphic novel, it doesn't mean it is for children. If this book was in color, instead, maybe the terrible things it talks about would seem less heavy, less painful. Possibly, this might be why the author decided to print this book in black and white.