Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ariel Schupp covers Maus: A Survivor's Tale

Original cover by Art Spiegelman; Pantheon Books 1986. Ariel Schupp's website is here.


  1. Blasphemous, beautifully blasphemous.

  2. Thanks a lot for the comments! I really appreciate it :D

    Also, thanks a lot Robert for the space!

  3. Honestly? This is just awful. You turned the cover of one of the most iconic books in the history of comics into a poorly executed Disney knockoff. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  4. I don't think you get the point of this blog, then :)

  5. This is rubbish. One of the worst covers I've seen on here.

    Way to be 'edgy'.

  6. Did you even read it, Ariel?
    (no offense)

  7. I'm not trying to be a hater like those other guys, but when I first saw this, I thought that it really changed the context of the main characters. On the original, they look a bit scared, but also strong and willing. On the new one, they only look scared, very scared.

  8. I don't know if it was Ariel's intent, but this new cover highlights how offensive the original Maus is in simplifying the Holocaust so that all the characters are either good or bad (mice or cats).
    Treating such horrific events as a black and white issue makes the "Disney Knockoff" style perfect here.

  9. Honestly? I've seen better covers. But I think this whole "touching iconic covers"/"being ashamed"-deal is just ridiculous.

  10. This is terrible, dude

    edit: also to the anonymous from 10:17 way to be a nazi bro

  11. don't call someone a nazi. not over a drawing.

  12. When I read the nazi comment, I thought that this blog has been up for almost 2 years and it this was the first time someone called somebody else a Nazi in the comments section. I wonder if that is the longest time a website with a comments section has gone without that happening. We may have an internet record.

  13. C'mon everybody -- the correct epithet is IGNATZI.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. **edit of my original post to remove some of the swearing**

    The image isnt my cup of tea but you knuckleheads that are talking shit behind the curtain of anonymity are lame.
    Like it. Hate it. Whatever. But it's obvious youre only talking the level of smack you are because there are no repercussions to your name.


  16. Further to my comments on November 10th, 10.17: How is calling the Holocaust horrific being a "Nazi"? I don't get that.

    And why not remain anonymous if you're going to get mis-labelled as a Nazi. I resent Jews being portrayed as mice, as somehow weaker than Cats (Nazis). As though all members of that race can be put under a single label. That's what the Nazis did.

  17. It doesn't sound like you've actually read the book if you think the intent was to portray Jews as under a single label (other than "Jews"). Individual Jewish people are portrayed as individuals in the book.

  18. I have read it and the Jews are portrayed as real people, which begs the question why go through the Disney-fication process at all and make any of the characters animals? It weakens the message that these were real horrors visited on real people and adds nothing of value to it at all.

    And why would anyone here call anyone else a Nazi. If they had any imagining of the horror and terror that entails, they wouldn't go throwing that insult around so easily, surely.

    Aren't we here on this blog for the very un-Nazi act of loving all kinds of art?

  19. Fairy Tales, Fables, The Bible & Novels have always used different animals as Human stand-ins. Animals have certain characteristics that seem human (the lazy Donkey/Clever Fox/Wise Owl)....at least that's what we project onto them. Disney didn't start this...it will always exist. We don't question why Daffy is a Duck...wouldn't he be just as funny as a person? (maybe....see Groucho or Bob Hope)...

    I think the real reason we do this is the same reason we draw cartoony characters like Peanuts . More people can project themselves into the situation if the characters are less-defined. Actually, that's probably why most lead acters are kind of symmetrical and generic-looking. A character actor like Ernest Borgnine isn't going to be as relatable to the everyman.

    Art Spiegelman got a lot of shit about his depictions when Maus came out....but I went to 2 of his talks and there were plenty of Holocaust surviviors in the audience who seemed to admire and respect his work.


  20. @anonymous 9:24 the use of animals in these kinds of stories has a long tradition and makes the story resonate a lot throughout different cultures. Like the above poster says this has been common in fables all throughout human history. Just because it didn't add anything of value for YOU as an individual reader, that doesn't mean it didn't add anything for other readers.

    And I have no idea why some random anonymous person would call you a nazi but if I had to guess I'd say: it's the internet, that shit happens.

  21. It's a nice cover recreation. Besides that book is overrated anyhow.

    Blake Sims

  22. Whether Ariel's cover is 'good' or 'bad' artistically is subjective. (Full disclosure: I don't like it). What it has accomplished, however, is what art should do, i.e. make people think and dialogue.

    The name-calling is a sufficiently ignorant response to a valid criticism:

    I don't know if it was Ariel's intent,
    but this new cover highlights how
    offensive the original Maus is
    in simplifying the Holocaust so that
    all the characters are either good or
    bad (mice or cats).

    Treating such horrific events as a
    black and white issue makes the
    "Disney Knockoff" style perfect here.

    I thought those words were an intelligent, thoughtful response to Ariel's cover. Then, an intentionally or unintentionally - doesn't really matter which - boorish and tactless comment is made at another's expense because of an opinion, but I digress.

    When it comes to art and opinions, offense can be taken by many different people in many different ways for many different reasons.

    For example, the 'svastika' on the cover is offensive to many because it was appropriated by the Nazis to represent their party. Many Buddhists and Hindus might well be offended because for thousands of years it has symbolized something other than the evil it's associated with now, i.e. life, sun, power, strength, good luck, etc.

    According to Leviticus 11:29, the mouse is an unclean animal. Portraying Jews as unclean mice might very well cause offense to Orthodox Jews.

    Or: Call someone a Nazi for no good reason and offend the very people who would stand up for your freedom to express your opinions in whatever artistic or non-artistic media you so choose. Kudos!