1st Edition

Comic Books, Graphic Novels and the Holocaust Beyond Maus

Edited By Ewa Stańczyk Copyright 2019
    142 Pages
    by Routledge

    142 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    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


    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


    "This volume offers an impressive array of examples of comics from Poland, Italy, Holland, the Czech Republic, East Germany, the United States, and France, including transnational comics depicting narratives that transcend national boundaries. The comparative framework is enlightening and allows readers to consider the similarities and differences in comics about the Holocaust that result not only from the aesthetics of the medium but also from each country’s particular socio-historical context and memory politics. This volume will certainly be of interest to comics studies scholars, scholars of the Holocaust, and scholars of European history."

    • Priscilla Layne, Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies


    "Ever since the success of Art Spiegelman’s Maus, the graphic novel medium has been closely associated with Holocaust and genocide representation, and various international publications and exhibitions have highlighted and examined this connection, particularly over the last decade. First published as a special issue of the Journal of Modern Jewish Studies (2018), Comic Books, Graphic Novels and the Holocaust sheds new light on this area of study, through a series of essays covering the representation of the Holocaust in comics and graphic novels from the war period to the present day, across a range of national and transnational contexts."

    • Fransiska Louwagie, European Comic Art


    "The book […] gives access to an important corpus of non-English language comics that are possibly never going to become widely available, but whose reading can contribute to a better understanding of how they both reflected and assisted the consolidation of both anti-Semitic sentiment and the belated post-war representation of the Holocaust […]"

    • Mihaela Precup, Studies in Comics