Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Graphic Novel of the Month: In the Shadow of No Towers

"Waiting for that other shoe to drop!" That is the theme for Art Spiegelman's first page of In the Shadow of No Towers & ultimately the theme of the whole book, which is Spiegelman's graphic essay about the anxiety & paranoia that came about after the 9/11 attacks on the Two Towers.  When open, the book is too be read length-wise & is newspaper sized. The 10-page book starts from Spiegelman's thoughts on the attacks to the coming year filled with odd politics & fear-mongering. Spiegelman claimed he created the book to get over his post-traumatic stress disorder caused by being in New York City during that tragic time.

The pages contain many of the characters from Spiegelman's other books & he will often randomly turn into a mouse, much like his highly popular & highly acclaimed book Maus. The glowing, ghostly frames of the towers are incorporated throughout the book. At the end of the book is a number of old comic strips that Spiegleman helped get him through creating the book, including The Yellow Kid & Little Nemo in Slumberland. In the Shadow of No Towers is a fine example of an artist working through his inner & outer demons.

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