The Depths of Light and Shadow

In general, Spiegelman’s art is awesome. His attention to detail and care for each page is truly admirable. For now, let’s talk about his use of shading throughout the series. Looking over the books, Spiegelman tends to use a combination of hatching and107 middle panel crosshatching for shading, with the occasional use of stippling for texture. You can see a few different techniques on page 107 of Maus II, which makes sense since it’s at night. The patterns on the page help to distinguish the characters from the background along with the different land forms. In a scene with a lot of shading, it’s harder to discern what is what, especially since the comic is in black and white (and NOT grey.) This helps emphasize the prisoner’s escape since he blends in with the darkness. Compared to page 74 of Maus I, the shading isn’t as prominent since it’s a scene of Vladek and the family eating dinner. The only things inside the room not hatched or stippled are the outfits and the cabinet in the corner. However, I’d like to point out the window and the door behind Anja’s grandparents. Both are colored in and rather noticeable. 74 topThe darkness hasn’t separated the family, but has them encircled and trapped. Interestingly, it seems that the light source is from the inside. This makes sense since Anja’s family is still well-off at this point of time, hence the page is brighter compared to 107.

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