Monday, January 7, 2013

The Best Graphic Novels Ever #10 -- Maus

10. Maus
by Art Spiegelman
Published by Pantheon

Welcome to the Top Ten, after almost a month of counting down the best graphic novels of all time!

Topping off the top ten is Art Spiegelman's anthropomorphic historical biography Maus. The Holocaust re-envisioned with cats and mice. This is perhaps the most taught, most studied, most famous, and most important of all graphic novels.

Spiegelman's story is both universal and personal, focused not just on the life of his father but also on the idea of the legacy that history creates in the son whose father endured such a life. Maus is perhaps the truest example of a classic literary graphic novel we have in the medium.

Does it mean everyone will love it? By no means. Not everyone enjoys Faulkner, nor should they, and Maus may be overly cumbersome to readers more used to the monthly stylings of Superman and the Captain America (just like As I Lay Dying might be to the average reader of John Grisham). But that doesn't mean it's not worth the effort.