Book Review: Maus by Art Spiegelman

Hey guys and dolls,

Welcome to another book review and today we have a graphic novel I would like to discuss because I study MDes (BA Hons) Illustration, graphic novels and children’s publishing. Personally, I don’t know where I want to go with this degree but what I do know is that I want to do general illustration including surface patterns and fashion illustration because you know, that’s what I’m into and I am not too keen on graphic novels as it is. I can understand it as a type of art form but however I… doesn’t see myself in that career as a graphic novelist. In fact, before this degree, I thought graphic Novels were for children and comic books such as Marvel and D.C comics which I shouldn’t be admitting.

I have read Maus before when I was eleven because well, it was for children I remember my headmistress saying and all the school children were talking about it and I thought I might give it ago since I think I finished the My Story book series.  I didn’t quite understand what Maus was all about till I got a history lesson when I was in secondary school about the Holocaust and Poland during the World War 2. I am a huge history nerd anyway, and I needed to read it again but I couldn’t find it in libraries or bookshops and after that, it was in the back of my mind.

Till my graphic novel/illustrator tutor told me about Maus in the lecture and how the difference between Comics and Comix (a whole blog post that I need to do on my art blog) and I kept my eye open for Maus after he mentioned it so I could read it.   I found it in the BHF (I try not to buy books new) beside Twilight series by Stephine Meyer. From the moment I brought it, I just read it, read it before the bus home, during the travel sickness on the bus and when I sat on my bed instead of being on my phone. I was so engrossed.

Right, what is the book actually about then?

This is about Art Spiegelman father, his view on before Germany invaded Poland, as the invaded Poland and afterwards. His father is a Jew so he went through the terrors of the holocaust and to imagine I read this when I was 11 but I didn’t know the seriousness of it especially when I read it again 10 years on  and some pages hit me like a tonne of bricks and it was like ‘whoa’ at some parts.

The visual langue of this is very well thought out and I think how he portrayed the characters that appealed to me as a child. How the mice were Jewish folk, then the cats were Nazi’s, the polish is pigs, French are frogs and the Americans are dogs.  Animal and kids always a perfect mixture, and animals are all the rage when you’re a kid.

In the middle of the book, it shown Art Spiegelman’s struggle on trying to carry on writing this due to his father death and how he went to the therapist as well… and now I’m thankful I didn’t understand this as a kid too because now looking at this it’s a very grown-up graphic novel aimed at teenagers (and of course adults).

If you have a chance on wanting to read this I provided an Amazon link to the book on the UK Site if this book is your sort of thing.

So, I shall see you soon over the moon very soon.

Loads and loads of love,

Alexandra

xxx

Monthly Goals : May 2016

Hey Guys and Dolls,

May is the calm after the storm I will see it as, I am rubbing my eyes all tired after last month and all I can do is breathe and relax. However even if I had a stressful month and I want to relax this month I can’t put anything on hold really.

So let’s look what I can do for this month goal wise.

  1. Be brave at the scales.

Personally I haven’t weighed or measured myself since I started swimming and the gym, and to be honest I am frightened stiff. To put it lightly I haven’t weighed myself since January and that’s where things got busy and trying to juggle everything. So with my gyms help, and semi-healthy eating I can see the benefits but I can’t see what I have done if that makes sense?  So, this month I want to brave myself at the scales even if I find it frightening.

  1. Carry on swimming and progress to over 62 lengths.

I used to be able to do 60 lengths in the pool before university and I want to be able to do that again. I love swimming, I love being in the water. When I was younger people said I was part fish because I could hold my breath for half a length. I want to be able to do that again. I want to build up to that again. I went swimming today, and I had the pool to myself! It was amazing.

  1. Carry on going to the gym with Alys.

Alys is my new gym buddy and its fun to go with her. She encourages me to better myself and the same with the IPC lot as well.

  1. Post more book reviews.

I have been reading so much and I want to start posting book reviews. I have not only been reading novels, but graphic novels as well, and some graphic novels have a serious attitude towards them especially the one that I have recently read. I have been getting into reading historic books such as Queen Mary of Scots and the murder of Lord Durnely by Alison Weir (seriously someone has to get rid of Reign, its taking over my life!).

  1. Go up to Liverpool and see my beautiful best friend.

This sounds really stupid and shitty, I haven’t seen her since January and I miss her. Where I live we can’t rely on Facetime/Skype due to internet signal. So I am booking tickets to see her at the end of the month borderline June so I have something to look forward too.

  1. The secret goal

Shhhh….

  1. Blog more on my Art blog and Plus You.

Since I kind of abandon it due to assessments and briefs. Time to focus on that a little more, don’t you think?

That is it, please do check my friend’s monthly goals (HHLDR) this month! I shall see you soon over the moon!

Alexandra

xxxxx

Monthly goals review: April 2016

Hello guys and dolls,

April has flew by, it went, and it went bye-bye very quickly. Too quickly for my liking even if this month has been very tough and challenging for me. We had challenges in my family this month which made me not complete some of my goals this month due to these challenges.  I had assessments due in, I had briefs, I had family difficulty and not only that my boyfriend has been busy and I felt guilty if I put my worries on him which made me go back into my shell a little more.

Without any more dillydadling lets go with the flow and lets get on with review of my goals this month.

  1. Try go to the gym more.

My god. My god. I have found this gym in the outskirts of my university town, and I go with this girl called Alys (A welsh version of Alice). Found her on the university group  thing on Facebook and we hit it off until two weeks ago because my tutors put a little bit of stress on my shoulders which could have been avoided but we are adding more onto our excerise regime such as swimming this Sunday and going to this gym twice a week or more. For a bigger person I am so proud of myself.

  1. Try fruit smoothies for breakfast.

Alys lets me sip her smoothies but I want to do the smoothies that she does, but, this is going to sound very embarrassing but it needs to be said… I have no idea what Kale looks like. So instead I thought spinach would do, and it did. I had frozen fruit berries, banana and spinach that tasted okay but it isn’t like hers.

  1. Cook more at home.

I had no clue how much my mum would be over the kitchen, when ever I started she pushed me aside and went ‘I’ll do it’ but I managed to make pasta bake, and scouse (traditional Liverpudlian stew, and I am going to make S and his flatmate the dish…. Something is telling me they wouldn’t dare touch it) but I baked so much this month when mum was out which I loved. Baking I love doing.

  1. Do more ‘Open when letters…’

Done… haven’t sent it. If you want to see the full blog post : Here it is!

  1. Go to bed earlier.

I hated the clocks going forward a couple of days but once I got into it, I loved it. I love the early mornings (even though I love sleeping in) and lighter evenings. It got me into a schedule to sleep earlier.

  1. This one is a secret.

This was a big fat fail due to family circumstances so it has to be moved forward to next month. GREAT!

Go to the HHLDR to see what their monthly goals are. They updated theirs. Now I need to update mine!

See you soon, over the moon!

Alexandra