Graphic Content – Max and Moritz

List Item:  Read half of the 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die
74/501Title: Max and Moritz
Wilhelm Busch
Year: 1865
Country: Germany

I’m technically still reading Madame Bovary, but given that this is one of the oldest titles on the comics list and a translated version is available to read here it made for a bit of an easy win to cross off. It also provides such an interesting contrast to works that appear later on the list.

To be completely honest, I’m not entirely sure why Max and Moritz is on the comics list. The space in the work is taken up far more by sentences than by pictures, to the point where I think something like The Hungry Caterpillar or other children’s picture books would therefore be eligible. It’s just a weird quirk of a list that is primary about the use of images to help tell stories to have an entry where, sometimes, the book does a better job of telling than of showing.

That isn’t to say that Max and Moritz didn’t make for an interesting read. In fact, this story warning kids against the perils of prancing feels like a prototype for one of the dark books that Johan was read in Monster. You can see from the beginning that this would end up being a cautionary tale and that either Max, Moritz or both would come a cropper (speaking of which, I now know what hoppers in Minecraft actually are now), but I wasn’t too displeased at how we were faked out only for them to meet a grisliest fate. After what they did to those poor chickens, I’m not sad that they met the end they did – if pop psychology has taught me anything, these were two potential serial killers in the making.

I’ll be finishing off Madame Bovary first and then it’ll be back to the comics list again because I really have a hankering for some good manga. Won’t be as quick a crossing off as Max and Moritz but few things on any of these acclaimed lists takes 10-15 minutes to complete.

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