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Binky learns why
School Is Hell

Matt Groening

  • Life in Hell
    Before the Simpsons there was Life in Hell, the big square quarter-page weekly comic which ran in papers such as the Village Voice. Each page is an all-u-can-eat buffet of funny bunnies, biting wit, and perceptive commentary. In No Exit, Sartre wrote, "Hell is other rabbits." In Matt Groening's hands, Hell is a hell of a lot of fun.
School Is Hell is a must for anyone who has ever done time in an institutional learning facility and lived to laugh about it. And once you finish that, graduate to the sequel: Work Is Hell, where all the bullies and toadies who once tormented you are now your supervisors or trying to sell you insurance.

Go To Hell

Before Bart Simpson, there was Binky

The Simpsons
  • The Simpsons : A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family
    This exhaustive full-color guide to first 180 Simpsons episodes includes script highlights, inside jokes, movie and literature allusions, and every single couch gag, blackboard quote, and Itchy -n- Scratchy synopsis.

Art Spiegelman
Maus: Volumes I & 2

Thirteen years in the making, Maus is Art Spiegelman's masterpiece, a two-volume graphic novel which tells the story of his father Vladek Spiegelman's life in Poland during World War II, with Jews cast as mice and Nazis as cats. Two narrative threads are woven: Vladek's harrowing account of life in occupied Poland and Art's relationship to his father as he visits him in Queens to tape record his history. Through wit, cunning, unbelievable resourcefulness, and, above all, luck, Spiegelman's parents made it out of Auschwitz alive, but their struggle for survival didn't end there.

For his father, survival comes down to counting pills and nursing a weak heart amid the breakup of his second marriage. For Art, survival means trying to keep his head together as he struggles to come to terms with the story he is telling, his mother's 1968 suicide, and the second-hand survivor's guilt he gets from his father who throughout Art's childhood kept a picture of Richieu, the brother Art never knew who was poisoned in order to avoid the camps, as a silent reproach to all with the audacity to keep living.
  • Maus: Volume I: My Father Bleeds History
    Covers the period from mid-1930's to winter 1944. Vladek marries Anja and is set up in business by his father-in-law, but the good times come to an end when the Nazis invade Poland and the deportation of Jews begins. The large family is dispersed and Vladek and Anja fare well in hiding but are double-crossed when they try to escape to Hungary. This volume ends at the infamous entry to Auschwitz, with the optimistic lie Arbeit Macht Frei ("Work will set you free") wrought in iron above the gates.
  • Maus: Volume II: And Here My Troubles Began
    As if what was recounted in Volume I weren't troubles. Senseless violence, inhuman cruelty, bureaucratized death. Vladek and Anja survive it all, avoiding the ovens by the slenderest of margins. Instead of statistics, we are given intimate glimpses of the day-to-day hardships and dangers of life in the camp. If you fancy yourself a survivor, read this and then assess what your chances for making it through would have been. I rate my own as zero.

Art listens as Vladek relates.

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© 1999 robert zverina