Small-minded ban on Maus backfires: sales are better than ever, and students can get a copy for free

Banning Art Spiegelman's Maus turned out to be great for sales. A silver lining in an otherwise dark age of America.

A week before the school board in McMinn County, Tennessee banned the Pulitzer-prize winning graphic novel – which has been used to teach many 8th–12th graders across America the atrocities of the Holocaust – none of the Maus stories were in the top 1000 books on Amazon, according to Slate. As of this morning, however, The Complete Maus is #1 on Amazon's bestseller list, while Maus I: A Survivor's Tale is #3.

What's more, students in McMinn can pick up a free copy from Knoxville comic book store, Nirvana Comics.

From Slate:

Lots of people have expressed their anger at the school board's decision to ban the first graphic novel to win a Pulitzer Prize in 1992. A comic book store in Tennessee, for example, said it would hand the book for free to every student in the county. The store, Nirvana Comics, first intended to set up a lending system where students could borrow copies of the graphic novel. But as word of the store's plans started to spread lots of people donated to a GoFundMe campaign and the book's publishers agreed to sell the book at a reduced price so the novels could be donated to students.

Finally, as we posted last week, a professor from Davidson College is now offering the McMinn County students an entire Maus course for free – much more Maus than they originally would have absorbed had it just been part of a broader literature class.