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CSBG Archive

Comic Critics #146!

Here is the latest installment of the Comic Critics strip, courtesy of Sean Whitmore (writer) and Brandon Hanvey (artist)! You can check out the first hundred and forty-five strips at the archive here and you can read more about Sean and Brandon at the Comic Critics blog.


Let us know what you think, either here or at the ComicCritics blog!


Wow. Good sharp jab there, Hanvey. I very much like it when you take the kid gloves off.

Wow! Totally did it with that Maus panel! Great work!

I don’t get it. I mean I kinda do but I’m not sure.


2) If you don’t “get it”, go read Maus.

3) If you still don’t get it, then you can ask, but you have to tell us what is on page 95 first.

Haha, who died and appointed you Lord of the Comments? ;)

Seriously though, I read it but I don’t have a photographic memory of the thing, and I donated my copy to the New York Public Library because I wanted to share it with others. So I can’t tell you what was originally on pg 95.

I get the joke in a general sense, that if we allow the Huck thing to happen, who knows what will be next, like Maus. I mean in a specific sense I don’t get it, as in what originally happened in that panel, which I’m guessing was altered.

The content of Maus is not the point, really. It’s about the Holocaust. That’s all you need.

This was the best Comic Critics I’ve ever read. Funny, relevant and biting. I guess they can’t all pack a punch like this, but it’s a nice bar to aim for.

T, you don’t need to have read Maus beyond knowing that it’s about the Holocaust. I do agree with Squashua that we shouldn’t explain the joke here, but I really would deny that specific knowledge of what exactly happened on the page in Maus is needed here.

That said, I had a nice chortle over that one. Ouch. Like Scott said, sharp jab.


January 21, 2011 at 8:53 am

Im guessing that with any knowledge of what timeframe and group Maus is talking about we can get the joke without having read it.

“You can’t enlighten the ignorant by bending to the limitations of their ignorance.”

This may be the most brilliant thing I’ve ever read.

The comic is excellent, but I feel like it’s fundamentally lacking without the inclusion of the word “retcon” at some point.

Love the heat vision eyes in panel 4!

That was quite possibly the best Comic Critics episode. I wrote a similar themed essay, but used The Merchant of Venice as a second example rather than Maus but it is apt and all done in six panels. Really good work here.


I agree that you don’t need to read Maus to get the joke, you only need to know that part of Maus is about the holocaust.

Wow, that was great. I was wondering how it would be tied to comics, and I didn’t see that coming. Best one in a while.


Like a lot have said, this was the best Comic Critics yet and it perfectly summarizes my opinion on the subject.

Wow. This one hit it out of the park! Great work, guys.


Should have drawn the Maus panel, not C/P. I know it’s a nitpick but It would have been nice since you draw the superhero stuff all the time.

Thanks, everyone!

And Olympia, fair point, but I thought using the actual art made the altered text stand out that much more.

Thanks to everyone who says ‘don’t explain the joke’. i have Maus at home & i didn’t get what the relevance is of the last panel.

Those who don’t want to explain it are giving up a chance to share whatever it is that makes them rave over this particular strip. Thanks for showing how big of a jerk you are.

Super glad that i don’t know any of you jerks in real life!

By the way, i have been to Auschwitz I in Poland, am part Jewish & lost family members in WWII concentration camps. So, i’m not ignorant of the history of the war or of some people’s differing opinions of what happened.

To not help someone out here is simply showing your lack of character, and as i said above, i’m SO glad i don’t know any of those people in real life.

i normally end with a sign off of letters, but as i’m disgusted with some of you, it’s meaning would go against my feelings, so i won’t.

I thought about re-drawing the Maus, but agreed with Sean that just altering the text made it stand out more.

Plus I used Comic Sans for the Maus lettering to make it even worse.

I’ll explain it since as I mentioned previously, I did write about these issues on my blog a couple of weeks ago.

The set up is about the recent controversy regarding censorship in the NewSouth edition of Huckleberry Finn. The point made by many who have criticized this act of censorship is that it whitewashes the sheer insidiousness of racism in the old South in the name of sparing people from reading an offensive racial slur.

Some, myself included, have wondered if this is really so much to protect the descendants of African-American slaves from a word that is still understandably hurtful as it is to protect southern whites from acknowledging the full evil of a system that their ancestors perpetuated, from which they profited, and for which they fought in the Civil War.

The panel from Maus with revised dialogue is meant to establish a parallel between this censorship of America’s racist past with Holocaust denial: because if you were to start censoring books about the Holocaust to avoid anything that portrays the racism that motivated the perpetrators, you start to minimize the Holocaust.

I was hoping somebody would make a Maus reference when this whole thing blew up. Thank you.

The actual panel is totally irrelevant. Stop calling people names.

All you have to know is some basic information about the holocaust.

Tom Fitzpatrick

January 21, 2011 at 5:41 pm

One summer day, I was walking my dog past a school, that teaches grade 1-6, I think.
Anyway, in one of the windows, I noticed a book rack, and there, wouldn’t you know it, was a copy of Maus.

I remember thinking, wasn’t that a bit heavy reading for kids at that age? In grade 7-12, sure, but I forget what grade I was in, when we learned about the Holocaust in history class.

I suppose it really doesn’t matter how old we are, when we learn about the Holocaust, as long as the lessons learned is never forgotten.

Ian, except the comparison doesn’t QUITE work. Replacing the N word with “Slave” may slightly ruin the ability of teacher’s to teach of the racism and slavery of the south…but not really. And the N word IS offensive.

Six Million is NOT offensive.

An equivalent comparison would be if there was a work on the Holocaust that involved Nazis using the word “Kike” 200 times and replacing that with “Jew.”

The actual panel is totally irrelevant. Stop calling people names.

What’s the harm in showing people the damn panel? It’s not like it ruins the original comic.

Seriously guys, get over yourselves. Although I don’t agree with danjack’s name calling, I do agree that it’s rather rude and superior to forbid other people from answering someone else’s innocuous question. If the original panel is irrelevant, let them see it and determine that for themselves.

It was definitely the right idea to use the original art in the last panel. I don’t think I would have recognized it as a panel from Maus otherwise, unless you aped the original art style so closely that it defeated the purpose of redrawing it.

garik, I’m making the comparison, I’m explaining the comparison because danjack was having trouble understanding the strip.

That said, there is a habit in teaching European history to often leave antisemitism unexplained so that Naziism appears to come out of nowhere in the 20th century as if it had no historical antecedents like pogroms, ghettos, expulsions, or smaller-scale, more localized genocides, let alone the ideologies that fostered this hatred. My general feel is that an attempt to present European antisemitism as something exclusive to the Nazis or their immediate antecedents is to make things just a little bit easier for the deniers.

And while arguably few except the most rabid anti-Semite is going to find the figure of six-million (give or take a few hundred-thousand) linguistically offensive, you will find that more than a few non-German Europeans become very hostile when the issue of their countries’ collaboration with the Nazis comes up.


“’I’m making the comparison, I’m explaining the comparison because danjack was having trouble understanding the strip.”

should be:

“’I’m not making the comparison, I’m explaining the comparison because danjack was having trouble understanding the strip.”


“That said, there is a habit in teaching European history to often leave antisemitism unexplained so that Naziism appears to come out of nowhere in the 20th century”

That was definitely my impression in history class. I remember feeling blindsided by “Then the Nazis were in power and suddenly the Jews were to blame for everything.” It was years before I finally realized the context.

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