After a Tennessee school district voted unanimously to ban a Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust, comic book stores across the country rallied to give away free copies of the novel to students across the country. district.
Last month, the McMinn County School District voted 10 to 0 to remove “Maus” from its curriculum. The council raised concerns about “foul and objecting language” and nudity.
The story, which was serialized throughout the 1980s, tells the story of author Art Spiegelman’s Jewish parents in 1940s Poland. The novel portrays Nazis as cats and Jews as mouse.
The decision to ban the book drew criticism from across the country, including the US Holocaust Museum. It also inspired Ryan Higgins to take action.
As I have offered before with other banned comics, I will be donating up to 100 copies of The Complete Maus to any family in the Mcminn County area of Tennessee. Just DM me your address! pic.twitter.com/ptmdjmwYE5
—Ryan Higgins (@RyanHigginsRyan) January 26, 2022
Higgins owns Comics Conspiracy in the town of Sunnyvale, California. Late last month, he tweeted an offer to provide up to 100 copies of Maus to students in McMinn County.
Higgins’ tweet has since been retweeted nearly 4,000 times and “liked” more than 12,000 times. He told CNN he immediately sold the novel after the school board voted to ban the book. But he said he should soon receive a new order, which he will send to students in Tennessee.
“It’s not a book that’s all about pornography and violence,” Higgins told CNN. “It teaches these kids about the horrors of the Holocaust in a more acceptable way than some images that are just plain horrific.”
Additionally, USA Today reports that Nirvana Comics of Knoxville, Tennesee has promised to lend copies of “Maus” to local students. The store also launched a GoFundMe to donate more copies to local families. This effort raised over $100,000.
“This should be required reading for everyone,” Knoxville Nirvana Comics co-owner Rich Davis told CNN. “If we don’t show them what the Holocaust was, the next generation might think it wasn’t that bad, then the next generation might think the Holocaust didn’t happen, and then the next generation will repeat the Holocaust.”