August 10, 2004

U.S. Media Out of Toon with 9/11


Art Spiegelman’s serialized 9/11 cartoon strip, “In the Shadow Of No Towers.” is about to be released in book form.

The author of Maus, the graphic novel about the Holocaust, has again used the comic form to express, and work through, his own reactions to the terror attacks and the political aftermath. Spiegelman lives close to ground zero, and he spent a good part of 9/11 searching for his daughter, who attended school close to the Trade Centers.

Because the story is highly critical of the “war on terrorism” and the Iraq war, the cartoon has not had much exposure in the United States. Supposedly, it also was the cause of the cartoonist resigning from The New Yorker. In a nice overview of Spiegelman and the book on the U.K. website, tinyonline, Spiegelman accuses the New Yorker of “marching to the same beat as The New York Times and all the other great American media that don’t criticise the government for fear that the administration will take revenge by blocking their access to sources and information.”

“In the Shadow Of No Towers” was commissioned by the Germanpaper, Die Zeit. Serialized over 10 episodes, it was published domestically by the New York Jewish magazine, The Forward, as well as by La Repubblica in Italy, De Standaard in Belgium, and the London Review of Books (episode 1&2 sample link; episode 3 sample link).

To see Speigelman’s powerful New Yorker cover following the Trade Center attacks, go here.

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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