1st Edition

Comic Books, Graphic Novels and the Holocaust
Beyond Maus

Edited By

Ewa Stańczyk

ISBN 9780367585921
Published June 30, 2020 by Routledge
142 Pages

USD $48.95

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Book Description

This book analyses the portrayals of the Holocaust in newspaper cartoons, educational pamphlets, short stories and graphic novels. Focusing on recognised and lesser-known illustrators from Europe and beyond, the volume looks at autobiographical and fictional accounts and seeks to paint a broader picture of Holocaust comic strips from the 1940s to the present. The book shows that the genre is a capacious one, not only dealing with the killing of millions of Jews but also with Jewish lives in war-torn Europe, the personal and transgenerational memory of the Second World War and the wider national and transnational legacies of the Shoah. The chapters in this collection point to the aesthetic diversity of the genre which uses figurative and allegorical representation, as well as applying different stylistics, from realism to fantasy. Finally, the contributions to this volume show new developments in comic books and graphic novels on the Holocaust, including the rise of alternative publications, aimed at the adult reader, and the emergence of state-funded educational comics written with young readers in mind.

This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Modern Jewish Studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction  1. Picturing anti-Semitism in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands: anti-Jewish stereotyping in a racist Second World War comic strip  2. Four colour anti-fascism: postwar narratives and the obfuscation of the Holocaust in East German comics  3. De-Judaizing the Shoah in Polish comic books  4. Between memory, didacticism and the Jewish revival: the Holocaust in Italian comic books  5. The Shoah, Czech comics and Drda/Mazal’s "The Enormous Disc of the Sun"  6. "Draw yourself out of it": Miriam Katin’s graphic metamorphosis of trauma  7. Mapping transgenerational memory of the Shoah in third generation graphic narratives: on Amy Kurzweil’s Flying Couch (2016)  8. Not seeing Auschwitz: memory, generation and representations of the Holocaust in twenty-first century French comics

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Ewa Stańczyk is Lecturer in East European Studies at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She is the author of Contact Zone Identities in the Poetry of Jerzy Harasymowicz (2012) and has recently completed her second book on the politics of memory in Poland.


"This edited volume consists of eight excellent essays on anti-Semitism and the Holocaust in Europe as portrayed in comics during the Second World War and in follow-up graphic novels still being published in our day. All of the essays contain fine analyses of both the art and the texts of the comics and graphic novels under consideration. The book fills an important gap in discussion of European, including Eastern European, comics and graphic novels, many of which have been influenced by Art Spiegelman’s Maus." 

  • Stephen Tabachnick, The Modern Language Review 


"Comic Books, Graphic Novels and the Holocaust. Beyond Maus is an edited collection examining lesser known, often pioneering graphic narratives that appeared both pre- and post-Maus, mainly in Central and Western European countries where the Holocaust has left a lasting mark. The book’s eight essays demonstrate the richness of the genre and the variety of ways that comic artists have engaged with the Holocaust across time and beyond Maus. This is a much needed and timely study of a unique art form, overlooked by academia yet a powerful way to teach readers about the Holocaust and represent traumatic events."

  • Aneta Stępień, East European Jewish Affairs


"The studies in the volume perform the important work of expanding the critical dialogue about comics and the Holocaust [...]. As its subtitle suggests, the collection of essays moves beyond the well-known and iconic Maus to consider lesser-known yet just as historically impactful graphic narratives. The original and insightful studies permit the graphic narratives and their creators to enter ongoing and dynamic critical dialogues about intersections between comics, the Holocaust, memory, and individually distinct national histories."

  • Lynn Marie Kutch, German Studies Review