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Comic Book Shops Give Away Free MAUS Copies After School Ban

After Maus was banned by the McMinn County School District, retailers have chosen to give away free copies of the award-winning graphic novel.

After Art Spiegelman’s Maus was banned by the McMinn County School District, retailers have chosen to give away free copies of the award-winning graphic novel. The book retells the Holocaust through mice, with experiences based on the life of Spiegelman’s father.

This past week, Maus made headlines when the Tennessee school district decided it would not be read by students in classes, citing “strong language” and “graphic depictions of the Holocaust.” The graphic novel has been known to be one of the few books within the medium to be taught in classrooms. Occurring in the same week as National Holocaust Remembrance Day, the news of Maus’ exclusion from the curriculum sparked outrage, with comic book readers referring to the development as censorship.


Related: Art Spiegelman’s Maus Latest Graphic Novel to Be Banned in School

As reported by WBIR, in response to Maus’ recent ban, comic book shop Nirvana Comics in Knoxville, Tennessee announced they will give away free copies of Spiegelman’s graphic novel. If a student enrolled in the school district reaches out to the store’s social media accounts, they said they will donate a copy while they are in stock. Preparing to run out of supplies, they ordered an extra shipment to ensure that any student who wanted to read Maus would have the opportunity. Nirvana Comics has also turned to crowdfunding as a means to keep their supply lasting, as the book had previously sold out online following the news of its ban.

The owner of a comic book shop based in Sunnyvale, California called “Comics Conspiracy” has also offered free copies of Maus to families in McMinn County. In a tweet that has since gone viral, Ryan Higgins wrote, “As I’ve offered before with other banned comics, I’ll donate up to 100 copies of The Complete Maus to any family in the McMinn County area in Tennessee. Just DM me your address!” After posting the message, the tweet blew up with over 10,000 likes and several thousand retweets.

Other industry professionals have gone to Twitter as a means to get Maus into the hands of as many interested readers as possible, including screenwriter Gary Whitta (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) and artist Mitch Gerads (Mister Miracle). In a tweet, Whitta said he gave away an estimate of 25 copies of Maus, citing the ban by the McMinn County School Board as fascism. Similarly, Gerards offered in a tweet to donate Maus to residents of McMinn County, writing, “Kids, you’re the future, not these backwater olds. Don’t stand for it.” Due to the passionate response against the McMinn County School Board, it’s possible that more students will be reading Maus than if the ban never occurred.

More: Gender Queer: a Memoir is Latest Graphic Novel Facing School Controversy

Sources:WBIR, Ryan Higgins, Gary Whitta, Mitch Gerads

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