The graphic novel is still evolving. To some, the term is simply a fancy way of saying comic book, to others it implies transcendence from traditional comic tropes into some sort of uncharted graphic/literary hybrid. This summer, the "Modern Marvels" lecture series at Highland Park will explore Jewish artists' and writers' contributions to the increasingly visible art form. University of Minnesota Professor Judith Katz leads weekly discussions; the series kicked off last week. This Tuesday's talk will focus on Art Spiegelman's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Complete Maus: A Survivor's Tale. The graphic novel follows the author's struggle to recount the tale of his father and mother, flashing back to their youth and young adulthood during the rise of Nazi power and the Holocaust. Using anamorphic animals to represent race and religion, Spiegelman tells a hauntingly complex story, one that may at first appear simple. It's no wonder that Maus is showing up more regularly on schools' required reading lists. The series will also cover works by Harvey Pekar, Joann Sfar, and Ben Katchor.
Tue., July 8, 7 p.m., 2008