In the Shadow of No Towers

In the Shadow of No Towers For Art Spiegelman, The Pulitzer Prize Winning Author Of Maus, The Terrorist Attacks Of September , Were Both Highly Personal And Intensely Political In The Shadow Of No Towers, His First New Book Of Comics Since The Groundbreaking Maus, Is A Masterful And Moving Account Of The Events And Aftermath Of That Tragic Day Spiegelman And His Family Bore Witness To The Attacks In Their Lower Manhattan Neighborhood His Teenage Daughter Had Started School Directly Below The Towers Days Earlier, And They Had Lived In The Area For Years But The Horrors They Survived That Morning Were Only The Beginning For Spiegelman, As His Anguish Was Quickly Displaced By Fury At The US Government, Which Shamelessly Co Opted The Events For Its Own Preconceived Agenda He Responded In The Way He Knows Best In An Oversized, Two Page Spread Format That Echoes The Scale Of The Earliest Newspaper Comics Which Spiegelman Says Brought Him Solace After The Attacks , He Relates His Experience Of The National Tragedy In Drawings And Text That Convey With His Singular Artistry And His Characteristic Provocation, Outrage, And Wit The Unfathomable Enormity Of The Event Itself, The Obvious And Insidious Effects It Had On His Life, And The Extraordinary, Often Hidden Changes That Have Been Enacted In The Name Of Post National Security And That Have Begun To Undermine The Very Foundation Of American Democracy

Art Spiegelman born Itzhak Avraham ben Zeev is New York based comics artist, editor, and advocate for the medium of comics, best known for his Pulitzer Prize winning comic memoir,

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  • Hardcover
  • 42 pages
  • In the Shadow of No Towers
  • Art Spiegelman
  • English
  • 12 February 2019
  • 9780375423079

10 thoughts on “In the Shadow of No Towers

  1. says:

    Art Spiegelman his family witnessed the attack on the World Trade Center Twin Towers at close range from their lower Manhattan neighborhood and his panic, rage, fear, mourning and his overall emotional state just after the 9 11 attacks can be perceived from the following extract taken from the introduction of the book I tend to be easily unhinged Minor mishaps a clogged drain, running late for an appointment send me into a sky is falling tizzy It s a trait that can leave one ill equipped for coping with the sky when it actually falls Before 9 11 my traumas were all or less self inflicted, but outrunning the toxic cloud that had moments before been the north tower of the World Trade Center left me reeling on that faultline where World History and Personal History collide the intersection my parents, Auschwitz survivors, had warned me about when they taught me to always keep my bags packed. His teenage daughter was in her school which was directly below the towers when the attack happened The personal horrors that his family experienced and his torment and panic over those chaotic days soon turns into white hot anger at the U.S Government, which utilized the events for their own predetermined agendas Spiegelman who was spending than a decade before these incidents avoiding creating comix responds with a collection of cartoon strips illustrated in large scale format depicting the 9 11 and it s aftermath drawn from 2002 till September 2003 in a self imposed journey to find solace from the PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that he suffered after witnessing the attacks His artworks brims with his personal take on the event, his feelings on the horrors of the attack, and his indignation over the hijacking of 9 11 events by the Bush administration which he personally believe was for their own imprudent and often morally wrong political agenda.In order to capture the enormity of the theme he chose to present his works in double spread large scale pages and found the broadsheet newspaper medium of Die Ziet the perfect platform to fully express his emotions In 2004 these collection of original artworks, along with 2 of his essays and 10 old American newspaper comic strip reproductions from early twentieth century where published in a beautifully crafted, over sized book which opens vertically, and each page made using heavy board stock paper which perfectly confines the work by Spiegelman This is not a book which describes a linear story, but it is a collection or rather a collage made out of a selection of artworks and cartoon strips which allows the reader a level of interaction where he can follow the narrations in any order chosen by his own comfort and like a puzzle piece by piece the big picture slowly emerges in front of his eyes.In In the Shadow of No Towers Spiegelman brilliantly mixes international and local contexts in the cartoon panels to effectively bring out the personal and political realities of post 9 11 atmospheres One of the recurring sequences that can be found through out the book is his vision of disintegration conveyed through the illustrations of the skeleton of the North Tower just before getting disintegrated, and this shows the feeling of haunting that these events have over the author The large scale format of the paper allows Spiegelman to juxtapose his fragmentary thoughts on the event in different visual renderings and styles, which are full of outrage, wit and aggravation The non linear way of narration also adds to the depth of the experience He also inspects the aftermath of the event on the very foundation of American democracy in the form of post 9 11 national security policies through some of the cartoon panels.Some of the cartoon panels and accompanying text in the book have sharp hints of humor with an undercurrent of melancholy The panel, which shows a chain smoking, post 9 11 cartoon mouse version of the author with the following comment is a brilliant example for this I m not even sure I ll live long enough, for cigarettes to kill me. In the Shadow of No Towers is a perfect example of how graphic novels breaks the shackles of common misconceptions about the genre and makes a powerful statement by bringing personal emotions of the author blended honestly with historical or political viewpoints in a clear, representational manner The straightforward nature of drawn images and localized narratives that are offered by the graphic narrative space makes complex socio political cataclysms controllable and presentable for the author and this strength of the graphic medium is utilized to the most by Art Spiegelman in this book In the Shadow of No Towers effectively captures the events and aftermath of the tragic 9 11 attacks in a clever and moving form.Note Physically this is a very large book and weighs a lot almost 1.3 kilograms or 3 pounds and storage will be a definite issue as slotting it up in a normal bookshelf wont work due to it s dimensions Readers will also find it difficult to hold the book and handle it during reading.

  2. says:

    MISSINGART SPIEGELMAN S BRAINlast seen in lower Manhattan, mid September 2001

  3. says:

    As beautiful as it is shocking, In the Shadow of No Towers is a short yet artistic metaphorical graphic novel of New York s citizens coping in the aftermath of the World Trade Center Attacks, and how humans grieve and survive in dire times throughout history in general.

  4. says:

    I have read several reviews on here that mock Art Spiegelman as The King or call his book pretentious or get angry over the fact that it s short or too large in size But let s get one thing straight here Art Spiegelman is, without a doubt, just as important as he thinks he is And this book is further evidence of that.Other complaints have centered on his strong political beliefs but, let s face it, he is right That tragedy WAS highjacked by the right, and the American public was hoodwinked into a costly war that killed far innocent people than September 11th did, and it lasted over 10 years So, to be mad at him for that is to be in denial and discomfort of reality.And even though Spiegelman may be well aware of his genius in the realm of comics and politics, he is never, ever pretentious with his readers he is honest about his flaws, his insecurities, his paranoia, his obsessions, his weaknesses, his sadness and that honesty translates into a beautiful and undeniably truthful work of art that captures the chaos and the fear of that historical event brilliantly.Visually, the artwork is stunning full color, cardboard pages rich with symbolism, varied artistic styles, and textured, carefully rendered vignettes about the experiences and his reactions being so close to the event Every page you turn evokes a breathtaking awe and a gut wrenching reaction.As for the size of the book, it is HUGE At first, I got it and thought oh no It won t even fit on my bookshelf I m going to have to lower one of my shelves just for this book Why so big And then I thought about it September 11th, as an historical event has forced its way into our subconscious and it s big, bulky, difficult to carry, demanding and space in the trajectory of American history and identity as the years go on For a New Yorker, this must be even true The bulk and heft of this book seems appropriate I made the space for it on my shelf.Finally, I thought the supplementary material that inspired this work was really interesting for any fan of comics you can see the way the form has evolved to be imbued with high quality craftwork and social commentary, and in these comics Art gracefully shows how history repeats itself and how comics have been a medium for grappling with complex human emotions for decades It s a beautiful piece of art that you can hand to future generations to teach them about the chaos of the moment, the saturated media around the event, and the displacement that occurred afterward that led to many Americans feeling a deep cynicism and shame It s an important work Long hail King Spiegelman

  5. says:

    Cannot emphasize enough how interesting this work was A huge book, the material is like strong cardboard and the pages are huge planks.In the first part Spiegelman recounts his emotions during the bombing of the WTC towers on 9 11 and what it all meant to him We even get a little glimpse of Maus The second part is Spiegelman s picks of comics from the past To me they are a gateway to the past and a real reflection on today s world I can t think of another comic artist to have done such a work before so really Spiegelman created something ground breaking here.It just really made me think.

  6. says:

    So, yeah I liked it, but I didn t like it.Don t get me wrong, I can understand what Spiegelman try to do, and the story about how he lived 11S, but I really prefer that part, and not when he talks about the fact itself, cause all of us know the story, but how it truly affect to the ones who lived it, and that s the part that touch me and make me continue reading.

  7. says:

    Let s terrorize the terrorists Yes, I did that I started off a review about 9 11 with a Family Guy quote You all saw it Take my goodreaders badge away Too late When did the satire on 9 11 begin Is it still acceptable Let s ask the hipsters okaay Yes, I laughed at the Family Guy episode GW refounding the confederacy and starting a 2nd Civil War that resulted in 17 million dead including Cesar Millan. it puts a nice spin on the what happened if 9 11 was thwarted idea I guess I m just feelinguncomfortable lax unworthy about reviewing this I also feel that everything has been said Jaded I think that fits I m jaded Last year I visited the 9 11 Memorial with my two daughters, then 16 and 13. The line was one of those bank sort of lines where the nylon rope is zigzagged and you re carried like a mouse looking for cheese until you get to the airport like security circus at the end, and through all this, all you see is a baracade No glimpses of what to come. My daughters complained about the line to which I gave them my evil stare and then used all my guilt tactics then ended up telling them to shut the hell up The mood of the crowd was light kids were skipping and people were snapping photos I just stared I tried to imagine where I used to sit when my husband and I would take nightly walks to the towers I tried to recall how repulsive I thought they looked at night, big. well SHADOWS blocking out the sky I tried to remember hugging one of them and staring straight up and getting dizzy It wasn t happening I stared at the two square holes in the ground and saw two square holes I didn t even take in the installation, the cascading water, the names etched on the side I do remember the trees They were so tiny. and the one tree that had survived the attack and then later survived a hurricane so that it could be replanted and memorialized. it was tethered with wires, kids were trying to touch it and people were posing in front of it smiling Jaded.Spiegelman s story seems just as jaded in his paranoid, neurotic, disillusioned, horrorific take on the attacks He constantly refers to his pivotal image. The image of the looming north tower s glowing bones just before it vaporized It is present in each piece and it s beautiful He talks about visiting small town America a month after the attack Still the small town I visited in Indiana draped in flags that reminded me of the garlic one might put on a door to ward off vampires was at least as worked up over a frat house s zoning violations as with threats from the raghead terrorists It was as if I d wandered into an inverted version of Saul Steinberg s famous map of America seen from Ninth Avenue, where the know world ends at the Hudson in Indiana everything east of the Alleghenies was very, very far away His references to early twentieth century comics is astute, in a conspiratoral sort of way. how there are allusions to falling towersSometimes I had to put aside my cynicism and see this for what it was. a scared, but prolific writer, trying to figure out what all of this means and how to survive it Still time keeps flying and even the New Normal gets old My strips are now a slow motion diary of what I experienced while seeking some provisional equanimity though three years later I m still ready to lose it all at the mere drop of a hat or a dirty bomb I still believe the world is ending, but I concede that it seems to be ending slowly than I once thought so I figured I d make a book Yes, the sky is falling.

  8. says:

    Halfway through this book, Spiegelman, who lives in Manhattan and had to run through the streets on September 11 to get his daughter out of school, writes that the only way he could get the image of burning skyscrapers out of his head was to browse old comic strips That they were made with so much skill and verve but never intended to last past the day they appeared in the newspaper gave them poignancy they were just right for an end of the world moment And with that, he created 10 graphic memoir panels that capture his mindset, observations, frustrations, and sadness in the aftermath of September 11 Those panels make up the first half, and the old comic strips from the early 1900s that he browsed in late 2001 make up the second half of the book In between the sections there is an essay about the old strips and what they mean to Spiegelman It s a literary graphic memoir, packed with references, allusions, and the chaos of the post 9 11 city.The format of the book is inspired, and it underscores the message on each page It s a huge book, tall like the towers, and on one page the smaller panels are bordered by outlines of the towers You have to hold the book differently, flipping the pages up and down instead of left and right The smoldering skeletons of the towers appear on every page of the 10 memoir panels, sometimes obvious, sometimes in the background, and the last panel has a bottom border of flames On a sidenote, I ordered this book, online, the weekend that Osama Bin Laden was killed When it arrived, I sat on the couch, reading it, with the news on in the background It was an interesting confluence, a coincidental retrospective I think that this is an important book to read now, almost a decade after September 11.

  9. says:

    Like other reviewers I wanted to like this, but ended up feeling as though it was a bit unfinished Excellent bits, but I m not sure they work as a coherent whole Then again, I don t believe an artistic response to 9 11 is required to be coherent.

  10. says:

    This book was too disjointed and chaotic to really enjoy It s a bunch of snippets bound together than it is a story.However, perhaps that s the point NYC after Sept 11th must have been chaotic, unsure, paranoid, surreal There must have been no flow to one s reality or new expectations of what s going on In that case, this is an exceptional book It follows completely along these lines The graphics are terrific I especially liked the use of upside down strips part of a strip is right side up, then it switches to upside down The world of New Yorkers was turned upside down, so why not the graphic novel telling the story This is a book worth checking out but don t expect a straight forward story.

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