Search This Blog

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Just Arrived From Booktopia! We Spoke Out: Comic Books And The Holocaust

Yesterday was a blazing hot day - 44’ Celsius(that’s 111’ Fahrenheit). I knew I had a book coming from Booktopia and looked forward to turning on the fan and reading. However, I wanted an early dip in the sea, before the weather got too dreadfully hot, so I left home at 7.20 am, had breakfast in Acland St, St Kilda, on my way back from the beach and got home about 10.30 am.

Who would have thought the postie would deliver so early? Or leave a card instead of the book? I really wasn’t up to going out into that heat to pick it up from the post office(don’t think I wasn’t tempted!). I figured the shops would all be closed anyway because the power went out due to the heat. Oh, yeah... I sat in the lounge without cooling...

But by about 2.30 the temperature had dropped to 28’ and I went out to get my book, dammit!

And here it is!

It’s fascinating stuff so far. Apparently, after the war, kids in American schools were not being taught about the Holocaust. Too awkward once West Germany became an ally. So it was up to the comic book artists and illustrators to do it through entertainment. Some of the superheroes were even a part of this. 

Interesting to see some big names, including the founder of Mad Magazine, illustrators for the SF pulp magazines and - much to my surprise - one of the stories was probably illustrated by Harry Harrison, who is best known as a science fiction writer, author of The Technicolor Time Machine and the Stainless Steel Rat series. He was here many years ago and did say he had done comic book art at one time, but I had forgotten. 

Each chapter is followed by the actual story it discusses. I’ve read four chapters so far, and am looking forward to reading the rest. 

Well worth enduring a bit of heat for! 


AJ Blythe said...

Yay for a cool change. Ours is lucky to be called that with it only dropping to 35 today.

How fascinating that schools didn't teach about the Holocaust. You can't rewrite history so better not to talk about it? Weird.

Sue Bursztynski said...

Glad not to be living in Canberra now! My friend Gillian Polack has been keeping us all up to date about it on Twitter.

Yes, very weird. A good thing we had comic book authors and artists, eh? πŸ™‚

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sue - interesting to know that comic book authors and artists are bringing aspects of history nearly forgotten about out into the written world. Interesting to know about ... perhaps something I should check out in the library - cheers Hilary

Sue Bursztynski said...

Definitely worth looking for. You can always ask the library to get it in if they haven’t got it.

Hels said...

I have found when I write blog posts about Nazism, the Holocaust or other difficult subjects, the number of readers drops to about a quarter of the usual :( That suggests to me that adults have as much trouble getting their heads around difficult topics as do school children and their teachers.

Sue Bursztynski said...

People just don’t want to know! But the Holocaust and Nazism are a part of the Year 10 curriculum here in Victoria, as you may know, living in Melbourne, and kids get taken to the Holocaust Centre in Elsternwick. Ours do, and I once met a couple of enterprising kids from Cranbourne grabbing the opportunity to do their City Centre assignment in Elsternwick, while visiting the Holocaust Centre, as they figured they might as well do it there as the city.

Maria Behar said...

Hi, Sue!! I'm still trying to catch up with my replies and comments back, so I apologize for not visiting in a while.....:( But well, here I am now!! :)

OMG!!! You poor thing, having to go through such high temperatures!! I would have melted! Lol. I don't like it when the temps get to 28 Celsius, btw. That's 82.4 Fahrenheit, and it's already TOO hot for me! :)

As Hels commented, it does seem that people don't like to read book blog posts about difficult topics such as the Holocaust. I've just finished a buddy read of "The Hate U Give", by Angie Thomas, which I know you've read, and haven't seen that many comments on these posts. You and Brian @ Babbling Books, plus Barb @ Booker T's Farm (my fellow buddy reader) are about the only ones who have commented. I find this to be quite strange, considering all the ratings and reviews this book has gotten on Goodreads, as well as all of the awards it's won! AND we now have the movie, as well!! (Don't worry, it'll be down under soon!) :)

It's WONDERFUL that it was comic book artists who kept this sad period in history from not being discussed in schools at all. Yes, it's uncomfortable to talk about the Holocaust, but we MUST remember that it actually took place, in order to keep it from EVER happening again!!

Interesting fact that Harry Harrison had also illustrated comic books in the past.

Thanks for mentioning this book! I'm adding it to my Goodreads shelves!! HUGS!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

Sue Bursztynski said...

Hi Maria! Don’t you live in Florida? I thought that was one of the warmer states of the US? Still, maybe I’m just assuming - I always assumed California was a hot place, but an exchange student from there told me it was similar to Victoria, where I live.

Strange you didn’t get too many comments on your THUG buddy read. As you say, a very popular book, and well worth the hype. I don’t get many comments, even on posts that have a lot of hits, so I guess I haven’t noticed. If anything, this one has had more than usual. But as you say, an uncomfortable topic. I’m the child of two Holocaust survivors, so it’s a part of my life.

Sue Bursztynski said...

By the way, the film has reached us and I was very pleased with it - as was Angie Thomas, who was involved with producing it, so obviously had a say in it. I heard her interviewed on the radio about her new novel, which I hear is also very good.