While Spiegelman insists he never wanted to become “the Elie Wiesel of comic books,” Maus did make him a go-to source for those seeking reflection on the genocide and its meaning. Spiegelman, who also created a comic book on the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, is only too aware of the uses and misuses of history, part of what he refers to as “the memory industry.” One of the most striking images in MetaMaus is his nod to the commodification of the Holocaust: He draws a Jewish prisoner in striped concentration-camp garb and yellow star, clutching an Oscar.Yeah, that would have worked--as long as we could have moved Jerusalem and all the other Jewish antiquities (along with modern Tel Aviv) lock, stock and barrel to Billings.
His association with the Holocaust, however, has led to Spiegelman being attacked for not supporting Israel enough. “People have screamed at me, ‘How can you not be totally supportive of Israel?’ ” he says. “Israel is a sad, failed idea. I just feel fortunate that my parents went right instead of left after the war and we ended up in America. I’m neither pro- nor anti-Zionist. I’m a-Zionist. If I’d been around in 1948, I would have said, ‘Can’t we all just go live in Montana?’ ”
|Spiegelman's "Promised Land"?|