What I liked about Maus II so much was how much time Spiegelman spent on the “alternate” story line (himself and his father as well as his writing of Maus II). Especially in the beginning where he discussed the issues he went through with the media and his inability to write and draw after his father’s death. It added a deeper layer to the story but also to the characters within it. Making the writer a character within the story, and showing the trials of writing the book that is in my hands gives me a greater appreciation for Art Spiegelman. It also makes his character so much more real and reminds me yet again that what happens in this book is real.
Along with elaborating on his own character, Maus II really elaborated on Vladek’s character. This book especially emphasized his actions and feelings that exist because of what happened to him in the holocaust. I felt like I understood Art and Francoise’s frustration with Vladek, but also this sort of guilt for feeling so frustrated with him. Doing silly things like saving his wooden matches, leaving the gas on all day, or trying to return half eaten groceries frustrated me as a reader, but at the same time made me feel terrible for this man whose earlier days led him to act like this. Overall I think Spiegelman did an excellent job in the second half of this story of really making everything real for me. The characters were real, and I felt for them, even if they did look like mice 🙂