Week ahead: 4

2/4 Sketch 2: Visual Note Taking
4 2/6 Maus 1, chapters 1 & 2

Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics, ch 2 (library reserves link)

2/8 Maus 1, chapter 3

Understanding Rhetoric, issue 2 “Strategic Reading”

2/11 Sketch 3: Sunday Sketches

As I said at the end of class on Thursday, Maus is about the Holocaust and so you should be prepared for the book to address difficult, painful subjects. One of the topics we’ll certainly discuss about the book is how Spiegelman handles such emotionally charged subjects and events.

Pay careful attention to the structure of these two chapters. How does Spiegelman indicate the different timeframes included in the narrative? How is the narrative framed? Who are the major characters and how does he distinguish between them, both visually and in the text? How would you classify the genre of the book? Where does Spiegelman’s text fall on McCloud’s Picture Plane triangle?

After you’ve finished reading the first two chapters of Maus, but before class on Tuesday, please watch this very short video by Nerdwriter in which he analyzes one of the first pages from Maus:

Nerdwriter’s video essay is really interesting in a number of ways — and it also touches on the sort of analysis I’ll be asking you to carry out for your major project on Maus, so you should definitely watch it carefully and we’ll be talking about it in class.

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