Essay by ‘Maus’ creator Art Spiegelman pulled because it compared Donald Trump to Marvel villain

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — An essay written by Holocaust graphic novel “Maus” creator Art Spiegelman for a Marvel book was rejected because it compared Donald Trump to a Marvel villain.

Spiegelman said in the essay, which was published in the British daily newspaper The Guardian, that the book’s co-publisher Marvel Comics was trying to stay “apolitical,” and asked him to change the sentence or the essay, meant to be the introduction to the book, could not be published.

The book titled “Marvel: The Golden Age 1939–1949, a collection ranging from Captain America to the Human Torch,” will be available in September with an introduction by Marvel editor Roy Thomas.

Spiegelman writes about how “the young Jewish creators of the first superheroes conjured up mythic – almost godlike – secular saviors to deal with the threatening economic dislocations that surrounded them in the great depression and gave shape to their premonitions of impending global war.”

He concludes his essay with: “In today’s all too real world, Captain America’s most nefarious villain, the Red Skull, is alive on screen and an Orange Skull haunts America.”

After he was told that the essay could not be published with the Orange Skull reference, Spiegelman writes: “I didn’t think of myself as especially political compared with some of my fellow travelers, but when asked to kill a relatively anodyne reference to an Orange Skull I realized that perhaps it had been irresponsible to be playful about the dire existential threat we now live with, and I withdrew my introduction.”

He notes that he later learned that billionaire chairman and former CEO of Marvel Entertainment, Isaac “Ike” Perlmutter, is a longtime friend of Donald Trump’s, and that he and his wife have each recently donated the maximum $360,000 to the “Trump Victory Joint Fundraising Committee” for 2020.