Fine, wiry black lines with the occasional brush of green effectively echo Arendt's energized thinking and the tensions of a life lived in constant escape, one step ahead of the Nazis. Through it all, Arendt remains witty, even saucy. And Krimstein doesn't shy away from Arendt's complicated love for philosopher and Nazi sympathizer Martin Heidegger ... Both smart and entertaining; highly recommended and not just for graphic novels readers.
A bold and lovely graphic biography ... visually arresting...a well-balanced, tense and engrossing narrative ... Krimstein’s original look at Arendt --- thoughtful, entertaining and provocative --- will answer a number of questions and inspire many others.
The wisdom of telling Arendt’s story with words and drawings is that — much like Lauren Redniss’ graphic bio of Pierre and Marie Curie, Radioactive — lots of complex information can be packed into one pungent illustration ... And no words could achieve the effect Krimstein does with the recurring outline of a girl, representing someone who haunted Arendt after she failed to save her from the Nazis ... The happiest surprise of Three Escapes is that, despite the often dark subject matter, it’s packed with wit... As a result, it’s a fun and, especially in a final illustration that encapsulates Arendt’s hopes for a better world, inspiring work.
[Krimstein's] accessible book on Hannah Arendt is an inspired and provocative creation, but is also plagued by serious deficiencies ... In Krimstein’s creation, we see both the opportunities and limitations of the graphic-bio genre ... Krimstein devotes a full ten pages to Arendt’s sexual liaison with Heidegger when she was his student. Important though it may be, was this lengthy description really so essential? His explicit depictions of Arendt’s nudity (hardly any of Heidegger, of course) seem gratuitous and unnecessary—too graphic even for a graphic biography ... I wish he had abbreviated l’affaire Heidegger and devoted much more space to the Eichmann controversy ... The challenge to a graphic novel about a great intellectual is this: how does one picture the inner life of a person, especially in the act of thinking? ... In addition to this inherent obstacle, the book has serious omissions. For example, there is virtually no mention of the Nazi rise to power in the late 1920s and Hitler’s seizure of the government in 1933 ... One of the most egregious gaps occurs toward the end of the book, when Krimstein fails to bring into the picture the six important books and many essays that Arendt wrote after Eichmann in Jerusalem ... Furthermore, Krimstein gives very scant reference to one of Arendt’s most important and supportive friends— the writer Mary McCarthy.
A skillful cartoonist frolicking in long form ... Krimstein’s wry, expressive faces enliven the debates and lend poignancy to the turmoil that beset Arendt and her circle of intellectual refugee friends ... A compelling performance with great pacing that makes abstruse political theory both intelligible and memorable.
Fascinating if cluttered ... suffers by being more intent on recording names, faces, and historical details than on quality storytelling ... [Krimstein's] love for his subject is undeniable...a complicated, moving, uneven story that resonates in just such times.