Wednesday, February 04, 2009

OT: On Spiegelman's Maus and ... hmmm .... what works there...?

My friend Rusty Witek, who's written a book or two about Art Spiegelman sent me an email yesterday with the subject line "If you ever"

. . .find yourself writing anything—anything at all—on Art Spiegelman’s best-known work, do NOT title it “Of Mice and [Something].” Please.

So, just to be sure, I asked him if he meant something like this:

OF 'MAUS' AND MAN: Two decades after his Holocaust memoir gained him a Pulitzer Prize and comics cultural acceptance, Art Spiegelman still struggles and strives to break the medium wide open, By Kiel Phegley, 2/3/2009.

To which he responded:

Very much so. And like this:

Of Maus and More

Of Mice and Memory

Of Maus and Memory

Of Mice and Vermin

Of Mice and Mimesis

Of Maus and Men

Of Mice and Menschen (this one also worked in “Comics Come of Age” in the title.)

Of Men and Mice

Of Mice and Supermen

Of Mice and Jews

These are almost all from peer-reviewed journals—don’t even think about the reviews and feature articles.

So yeah, like that.

That makes “The Maus That Roared” seem charmingly inventive. And after a certain point it means one of two disturbing things: either they aren’t reading the critical literature on Maus before submitting their own stuff, or they know it and use the title anyway. And either way an editor lets them do it.

You've been warned.

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