Comic book stores donate free copies of 'Maus' after Tennessee school board ban

Several weeks ago, the McMinn County school board voted unanimously to remove the book from its curriculum, with one member saying he thought the content was "not wise or healthy."

 Art Spiegelman's graphic novel 'Maus' on sale at a French bookstore in 2017. (photo credit: ActuaLitté/Flickr Commons/JTA)
Art Spiegelman's graphic novel 'Maus' on sale at a French bookstore in 2017.
(photo credit: ActuaLitté/Flickr Commons/JTA)

Comic book stores are giving away free copies of the Holocaust graphic novel Maus after a local school board in Tennessee banned the book due to concerns about vulgar language, nudity and violence.

Several weeks ago, the McMinn County school board voted unanimously to remove the book from its curriculum, with one member saying he thought the content was "not wise or healthy."

The owner of a comic book store in Sunnyvale, California, Ryan Higgins, on Twitter committed to donating up to 100 copies of the novel to families in the vicinity of McMinn County.

He later told CNN that his store had since received "endless support" from strangers calling the establishment. According to The Algemeiner, Higgins added that Maus is not about "pornography and violence" but rather the gruesome reality of the genocide perpetrated by Nazi Germany in the Holocaust.

Another store in Knoxville, Tennessee, Nivana Comics, also said it would be giving away free copies of the book as well as an included parent teaching guide to help parent-child discussions about it. The shop also set up a crowdfunding page to enable it to purchase additional copies to donate.

Cover of the book 'Maus' by Art Spiegelman (credit: Courtesy)Cover of the book 'Maus' by Art Spiegelman (credit: Courtesy)

According to The Washington Post, the author, Art Spiegelman, who based the book on the experiences of his father, who survived the Holocaust, was outraged about the school district's decision, equating it to Holocaust denial:

"This is a red alert. It’s not just: 'How dare they deny the Holocaust?' They’ll deny anything."

Philissa Cramer/JTA contributed to this report.