The Familiar and Maus

Though The Familiar is not considered a graphic novel, like Maus, it contains many graphic features that make it the book that it is. Maus is written and illustrated throughout in a pretty consistently straight and aligned way; rows and panels tell the story in a left to right fashion. In comparison, The Familiar utilizes many different graphic elements, some of which are read from left to right, and some that are read in the form of raindrops or spirals.

Both novels are uniquely their own, but they have some similarities as well. For example, both The Familiar and Maus would not elicit the same reactions from readers if it weren’t for the graphical elements. Danielewski illustrates his text in a swift rainy fashion while Xanther runs through the rain in a panic, causing the reader to feel some panic as well. In addition, Spiegelman’s story would not have gotten the same point across to readers had it not been for his graphically illustrated scenes of aspects of the Holocaust such as the gas chambers, hiding places, and inhumane treatment of the Jews.

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