America: God, Gold, and Golems

Religion in Graphic Novels: Works by Spiegelman and Sturm College

Contrary to what some might think, the literary field of graphic novels tackles important issues such as gender, race, and religion. One work has stood out amongst the rest as a classic
and revolutionary piece that has tackled one of, if not the, most important and diabolical events ever to take place. Art Spiegelman’s Maus portrays the Holocaust through the story of his Jewish father who survived the traumatic experience. This graphic novel deals with the theme of religion, more specifically Judaism, and sets the tone for future generations of artists in this field. This issue of Judaism can be seen in another highly acclaimed work by James Sturm entitled James Sturm’s America: God, Gold, and Golems. Sturm’s story, The Golem’s Mighty Swing, shows similarities in the portrayal of the Jewish plight, not in the Holocaust, but in small town America during the 1920’s. Both works address the similar theme of religion, and by their artistic talent, show how the Jewish people have been mistreated yet still strive no matter what comes their way. There are, however, differences in the portrayal of the Jews in both works.

Art Spiegelman’s depiction of the Jews in Maus drew a lot of attention and criticism although it is a very important...

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