The Complete MAUS – Art Spiegelman

maus-cover“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” is a very common phrase used about a wide variety of things but when it comes to actual books I think it is okay to judge a book by its cover. How many people will shuffle through books until they find a cover that catches their eye? I know I do. That is what a good book cover should do; It should make you stop and wonder what story that book has to tell.

Categorized as Memoir and History, this cover is a bit unusual with its seemingly lighthearted approach to a heavy subject.

An example of an excellent book cover is Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel, The Complete MAUS, a combination of MAUS Volume I and MAUS Volume II. Categorized as Memoir and History, this cover is a bit unusual with its seemingly lighthearted approach to a heavy subject. It features the illustrated faces of two mice and behind them a swastika with a cat face in the center of it. The swastika/cat symbol is also featured on the spine. This use of imagery on the cover immediately draws in an audience of those interested in WWII and the Nazis. The design elements, such as the use of illustrations, color, and placement of images and text, create a rather discomforting mood. The placement of the swastika in the upper right corner makes it appear as if it is looming over the mice. Red is also a vibrant color that stands out on a shelf and is often associated with war, danger, and malice. The text used for the title is large and bold with clean lines. It is very easy to see but it still allows the imagery to stand out. The author’s name signed at the bottom reflects the artistic style that a reader will find inside.

This cover is not only beautifully designed but it also does a great job of drawing in its intended audience and makes them curious as to what they will find inside. It also raises many questions for the potential readers. Why did the author decide to tell his story with comics? Who are the mice on the cover? How is this a memoir?

If you’re already curious and want to know more you can get you own copy here and find out for yourself!

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