Published: 1993-02-28

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Gay old revisionist dog barking his heart out for free speech

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It's Spiegelmaus, rodent extraordinaire!

One morning while I was working at the computer, I was surprised to see a batch of cartoons was coming out of my fax machine. I didn't know the artist. This was his way of introducing himself to me. The panels expressed only mainstream ideas but were very well drawn.

I got in touch with the artist, who is not primarily a cartoonist but follows a different profession. We talked things over on the telephone, and shortly afterwards he produced a dozen inventive drawings much looser than the first samples he had sent. I ran a few of them in the last two issues of Smith's Report. Still, we had not yet come up with a truly distinctive idea.

For several years I have mulled over the idea of using Alice from Alice in Wonderland in illustrating my work. I did use a few of those ideas in Revisionist Letters, where I used some of the original Alice drawings that illustrated the book. (I still have copies of the one issue I did of RL. Send $2 for p&h, and I'll pass a copy on to you.)

I've looked for a comic artist who would donate his talent to the project but was unable to find anyone. Once this new artist (let's call him "Codoh") started talking things over, we began coming up with one idea after another. None of them was quite right. Then, only last month, a wonderful idea came to me out of the blue, which is where all my ideas appear to come from.

We would develop a series of cartoon characters that would take off on Art Spiegelman's Maus: A Survivor's Tale. I admire Spiegelman's work, but he's wrong-headed, full of misinformation, bigoted and a little nuts. Nevertheless, Maus has received high accolades from our cultural elites. It has become perhaps the most influential book about the "Holocaust" circulating today among college students. Its form—a traditional novelistic story illustrated with cartoon panels—is a perfect medium for students and their terrified, though tenured, professors.

The cartoons you see in this issue of SR are our first run at doing "Spiegelmaus." You'll recall that Spiegelman draws his Jews as mice, Germans as cats, Americans as dogs, and had the cute idea to draw Poles as pigs. Above is how we will picture that gay old revisionist dog who directs the Campus Project for the edification of men like the nutty Art Spiegelman. If you have ideas for multiple panels or strips using Spiegelmaus, I'm all ears (no pun).

Additional information about this document
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Author(s): Bradley R. Smith
Title: Spiegelmaus
Sources: Smith's Report, no. 13, January/February 1993, p. 2
Published: 1993-02-28
First posted on CODOH: Aug. 31, 2015, 7:40 a.m.
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