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Streb, Markus and Ole Frahm. "No One Wants to Draw the Muselmann? Visual Representations of the Muselmann in Comics." Journal of Holocaust Research 34.(2020): 241–61. 
Added by: joachim (8/22/20, 6:17 PM)   Last edited by: joachim (8/22/20, 6:19 PM)
Resource type: Journal Article
Language: en: English
Peer reviewed
DOI: 10.1080/25785648.2020.1785086
BibTeX citation key: Streb2020
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Categories: General
Keywords: History comics, Holocaust
Creators: Frahm, Streb
Collection: Journal of Holocaust Research
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This article traces figures of the Muselmann in comics and graphic novels from 1942 to the present. The first observation is that depictions of the Muselmann in comics are rather rare. As in the arts, literature, and theory, they are often metaphorically supplemented by figures like the golem. Especially in comic books before MAUS—A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman (1986, 1991), genre conventions seem to prohibit the explicit mention of Muselmänner. But with the golem-like mud monster the Heap, we identify an early and disturbing reflection of the Muselmann. In action and war comics like ‘7 Doomed Men’ by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the Muselmann appears as an atmospheric figure that contours the male heroes by pronouncing dichotomies like weak/strong or active/passive. MAUS eventually establishes a much more nuanced representation of the prisoner societies and the food situation in the concentration camps. Since then, the graphic novel, rather free of strict genre conventions, has enabled other renderings of the Muselmann, visible in publications like Aurélien Ducoudray and Eddy Vaccaro’s Young: Tunis 1911–Auschwitz 1945 or in the series Episodes of Auschwitz. These comics provide a differentiated description of prisoner societies, their modes of functioning and their inherent hierarchies. The article argues that there are different genre conventions at work here. In the early comics, they enable a rather indirect perspective on the Muselmann, while newer approaches refer to more common conventions of Holocaust representation and offer more nuanced depictions.
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