Earlier today, The Beat ran a cover reveal for the May issues of Ed Piskor’s Red Room: Trigger Warnings #3. Among the covers was a variant by Jim Rugg homaging the cover to Art Spiegelman’s Maus. We recognize that many readers have found this cover offensive, and among them are some members of The Beat’s writing and editorial staff. We sincerely apologize for the harm caused by giving this image a platform without at the very least interrogating the decisions that went into its creation. We recognize that we cannot undo that harm, but we will do everything in our ability to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Fantagraphics, Ed Piskor, and Jim Rugg have decided to not publish the variant cover for Red Room: Trigger Warnings #3 that referenced the comic Maus. A full statement: pic.twitter.com/QX0IJDRztG
— Fantagraphics Books (@fantagraphics) March 19, 2022
The second season of Red Room by Ed Piskor is in full swing! The third issue of Red Room: Trigger Warnings (of four) will be available at your local comic shop beginning on May 18th, 2022.
The variant covers are included below.
Red Room: Trigger Warnings #3
The premise of the Red Room series was described in the copy for the first issue:
“Red Room is a cyberpunk, outlaw, splatterpunk masterpiece. Aided by the anonymous dark web and nearly untraceable crypto-currency, there has emerged a subculture of criminals who live-stream and patronize webcam murders for entertainment. Who are the murderers? Who are the victims? How do we stop it?”
And here’s the description for the upcoming Trigger Warnings #3 from Fantagraphics:
“Hop on a luxury yacht to the far reaches of the globe in this most unusual Red Room saga yet. Welcome to the island of Pitcairn, home to a native civilization that has been sacrificing their people to the gods for generations in hopes for a good crop season — until bitcoin pirates discover the island and hatch their own plans.”
Red Room is the latest comic from Piskor, whose resume includes X-Men: Grand Design and Hip Hop Family Tree. In 2021, the initial four-issue series of Red Room comics was released, Red Room: The Antisocial Network.
You may also know Piskor from Cartoonist Kayfabe, which he hosts with Rugg, who provided one of the variant covers for Trigger Warnings #3, referencing Maus by Spiegelman. This image has been removed from the article out of deference for those who have found it offensive.
Available May 18th
Have you been following Red Room? What do you think of these variant covers? Which cover are you hoping to pick up when Trigger Warnings #3 arrives at your LCS on May 18th?
The Beat wants to hear from you! Give us a shout-out, here in the comment section or over on social media @comicsbeat.
Man, I thought Jim was more sensible than this.
you guys are soooo stupid
That Maus “homage” is pretty awful…
It’s interesting that an homage cover to Maus is censored due to people being offended so soon after Maus itself is banned, purportedly to prevent people’s being offended.
I’m going to repeat what I wrote over at BleedingCool: I don’t think spoofing Maus is necessarily in bad taste. It’s an iconic cover and as such definitely part of the language of comics, which is what these Red Room covers have been riffing off (to great effect I might add). Maus is a great, important work, but spoofing it for a gory horror comic isn’t sacrilege. If anything, it underlines its power and significance.
I’d also like to add that i f viewing a piece of art causes you ‘harm’, because the ‘decisions that went into its creation’ weren’t properly ‘interrogated’ (what a wonderfully sinister choice of words), then why even read comics or seek out art? How did we go from defending Ginsberg’s Howl and Mike Diana to ‘this loving Maus parody by a great cartoonist causes me harm and must be removed’?
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