Monday, December 5, 2011

In the Shadow of No Towers: Art Spiegelman

This special book, In the Shadow of No Towers, created by Art Spiegelman (author of Maus), is very unique and striking. This example is also signed by the author (silver marker on inside book cover). Here is a summary the author and this book:

For Art Spiegelman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Maus, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were both highly personal and intensely political. In the Shadow of No Towers, his first new book of comics since the groundbreaking Maus, is a masterful and moving account of the events and aftermath of that tragic day.

Spiegelman and his family bore witness to the attacks in their lower Manhattan neighborhood: his teenage daughter had started school directly below the towers days earlier, and they had lived in the area for years. But the horrors they survived that morning were only the beginning for Spiegelman, as his anguish was quickly displaced by fury at the U.S. government, which shamelessly co-opted the events for its own preconceived agenda.

He responded in the way he knows best. In an oversized, two-page-spread format that echoes the scale of the earliest newspaper comics (which Spiegelman says brought him solace after the attacks), he relates his experience of the national tragedy in drawings and text that convey—with his singular artistry and his characteristic provocation, outrage, and wit—the unfathomable enormity of the event itself, the obvious and insidious effects it had on his life, and the extraordinary, often hidden changes that have been enacted in the name of post-9/11 national security and that have begun to undermine the very foundation of American democracy.

Further info:

The comic evolved from Spiegelman's experiences during the September 11 terrorist attacks. Spiegelman has said that the comic is a way to reclaim himself from the post-traumatic stress disorder he suffered after the attacks.

It also has many references to Spiegelman's Maus comics, for example one in which Art said that the smoke in Manhattan smelled just like Vladek said the smoke in the concentration camps smelled. Also he often turns himself into a mouse on the fly.

It was published by the German newspaper Die Zeit after Spiegelman was unable to secure publication in any major American outlet. In Britain, excerpts have been published in The Independent. A segment also appeared in 2004 as part of the Actus Tragicus comics album Dead Herring Comics.

In 2004, the entire series of ten strips and a supplement of reprints of turn-of-the-20th-century comics such as The Katzenjammer Kids and The Yellow Kid were collected and published together as a book by Viking Books. In the Shadow of No Towers was selected by the New York Times as one of the 100 Notable Books of 2004.[1]

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