Thursday, February 3, 2022

Thursday Morning Superhero: Banned Books Edition

 One of my favorite graphic novels made headlines in recent weeks, when a Tennessee School Board voted to remove Maus from its shelves.  Not too long ago My Friend Dahmer was banned by a school district about 30 minutes away from where I enjoyed the book for the first time.  As some school districts are getting more aggressive in removing books from their libraries, I thought it would be a good idea to highlight some banned books that are worth sharing with your kids.

Maus by Art Spiegelman:

Maus is a story about the atrocities that Jews faced in Nazi concentration camps, based on his own parent's first hand account.  In the book, the Jewish people are depicted as mice and the Nazis are depicted as cats.  This book won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992 and is a difficult, albeit, important read.  Parents cited concerns about profanity and nudity in the book, but Spiegelman doesn't pull any punches in this first hand account that his own parents experienced.  Maus is a fantastic graphic novel that can be serve as a great educational took to share with your kids.

My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf:

I have written about this book in the past and it remains one of my favorite graphic novels and Backderf remains one of my favorite creators.  My Friend Dahmer is a collection of first hand accounts of people who were high school acquaintances with Jeffrey Dahmer.  It is a chilling tale about Dahmer's life prior to him becoming a serial killer.  Backderf, who went to high school with Dahmer, conducted a lot of interviews with his friends to put this story together.  The story doesn't actually contain any murder, so I am guessing that the book was banned due to its discussion on the issues Dahmer faced being gay and closeted when he had fears he wouldn't be accepted.  This book is extremely upsetting, but one that I ensure I read every year.

Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan:

While this wasn't technically banned, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund was informed in 2015 about a student at a school in California attempting to ban this book, along with others, as they were "pornography" and "garbage".  While the second point is subjective, Y: The Last Man is not pornography and is a book that I am about to share with my son who is in eighth grade.  It is a post apocalyptic story in which a plague kills all of the men on earth, with the exception of Yorick. This book introduced me to Vaughan and is a series that I highly recommend.

POSTED BY MIKE N. aka Victor Domashev -- comic guy, proudly raising nerdy kids, and Nerds of a Feather contributor since 2012.