In the Shadow of No Towers by Art Spiegelman
Like all primitive forms of art, comic books can express simple things in a bold way. There is no more effective way of telling a story, especially one punctuated by the visually arresting exploits of superheroes. And comic books are also ideal venues for presenting dreams and myths. For what are dreams but a species of graphic communication, using symbols and metaphors to penetrate beneath the surface and reveal the hidden meaning of things?
For these reasons, one might expect that a comic book about September 11 might express truths that could not otherwise be easily expressed. And there was cause to believe that the author of such a comic book might be Art Spiegelman. The child of Auschwitz survivors, Spiegelman was the creator of Maus, A Survivor’s Tale (1986), a comic book that retold the story of the concentration camps as a terrifying adult fable in which Nazi guards were depicted as cats and Jewish prisoners as mice.
About the Author
Michael J. Lewis, a frequent contributor, teaches at Williams College. He is the author most recently of American Art and Architecture (Thames & Hudson)