Crucial comic book stories about the Holocaust and interviews with their artists and writers, with a cover drawn especially for this book by Neal Adams.
An amazing but forgotten chapter in comics history. Long before the Holocaust was taught in schools or presented in films such as Schindler’s List, the youth of America was learning about the Nazi genocide from Batman, the X-Men, Captain America, and Sgt. Rock. Comics legend Neal Adams, Holocaust scholar Rafael Medoff, and comics historian Craig Yoe bring together a remarkable collection of comic book stories that introduced an entire generation to an engaging and important subject. We Spoke Out is an extraordinary journey into a compelling and essential topic.
The theme of drawing to live continues in WE SPOKE OUT: COMIC BOOKS AND THE HOLOCAUST (IDW, $49.99), an anthology of 18 stories from 1951 to 2008, which concludes with an account of the Auschwitz inmate Dina Babbitt, who was spared when Josef Mengele, the notorious Nazi doctor, asked her to paint portraits. The book’s self-congratulatory tone lands the wrong way: The “we” of the title does not refer to survivors or witnesses but to cartoonists. Its premise, that these mainstream comics, of which all but two are fictional stories — many featuring fantasy — were received as historical education, often feels like an overstatement (the book also skirts around the titanic success of Art Spiegelman’s “Maus,” which would have added depth to its claims about the reach of comics tackling the Holocaust). Still, the volume fascinates as a time capsule of what Americans were able or eager to imagine (some stories do not specify that the Nazis’ victims were Jews) about the racism and profound violence of genocide. —The New York Times