Art Insert – “Lady in the Bath water”


“Let’s stop, please, your Tape Recorder”: “Maus II” Afterthoughts

The ending to Maus II: And Here My Troubles Began is, unsatisfying.

Mainly because the characters stay trapped, and even death is not a release from them.

Vladek is still (mentally) trapped in the Concentration Camp

He saves everything…

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Maus on a Hot Tin Roof : Concluding “Maus I” by Art Spiegelman

A difficulty with documenting the Holocaust is avoiding kitsch.

Kitsch: art, objects, or design considered to be in poor taste because of excessive garishness or sentimentality (google)

Sentimentality is not always bad, but it does eclipse the reality that people suffering is not enjoyable, ever. Now, sentimentalizing suffering is not necessarily disrespectful IF one has experienced the event, but usually when suffering is used as a mass marketing technique then it borders on fantasy and ends up almost disrespecting the people whom it sympathizes for. The desire to be sympathetic to another’s struggle is not altogether bad, but when it wounds that individual, or depreciates the honest pain of a person’s struggle, then it’s not okay.

Popular Examples of kitsch


Poverty Porn

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First Impressions of Maus I by Art Spiegelman

Maus I: My Father Bleeds History the epitome of Amplification Through Simplification.

As discussed in the post on Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, sometimes stripping the details from faces, events, scenes, etc. Usually, people jump to insert themselves into the “blank,” but in this case almost no one wants to. Partially out of respect, but also because most people cannot relate. If this is on purpose, it’s brilliant.


One many see cartooning such a tragic, major word event as disrespectful, BUT because the Holocaust is such a unique–in all due respect–experience, no matter how “blank” the characters are it only opens space for those who were personally affected. It’s hard to articulate how inclusive and yet exclusive this book is, but either way it’s pretty cool.

Having talking mice–a cartoonish element–sterilizes the otherwise gruesome acts of violence being committed, repeatedly.

Why Animals?

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Progress and Regress: Analyzing the Story Order in “How to be Happy” by Eleanor Davis

Humanity progresses.

(or at least it is supposed to)

The story order in “How to be Happy” by Eleanor Davis, reflects a progression.

Survival (Regression)

Major Story 1: The Fall of Eden, reflects a regression from an agrarian society to a hunter-gathering community. The leader’s increasingly stringent restrictions that prevent the use of most “industrially made objects” such as knives, rope, fishing hooks, a compass, etc. all of which are useful technological advancements (9). That is why this society dies in my opinion; because it goes against human nature to regress to a more [unnecessarily] challenging time. Read More

Raising Evil II – My Theory on “Epileptic” by David B.

What is the “high evil”? –MY HONEST OPINION–

My theory is that the real evil is avoiding death. Treating it like it’s not a normal part of life, and as a result prolonging adolescence, or using unusual means (e.g. medicine, spiritualism, etc.) in an attempt to stave off death. The real evil is not admitting that DEATH WILL HAPPEN and being willing to run-over people, lie, offer false promises, and sell frog juice for immortality–as is the case of the guru, macrobiotic community, physicians, etc..

“High evil” can rise in anyone seeking immortality, which is all of us since most everyone seeks subconscious immortality through having children. That is why I’d title this book “Raising High Evil,” since all evil people were once children. The reasons they become evil, or allow evil to overtake them is a mystery, but prolonging adolescence might just do it.

Besides, all people can “raise” evil within themselves –no matter what age–if they feed it enough.

Hope that makes sense. 

The End.