Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Final blog

Going back to Persepolis.

Something that stood out to me with Persepolis was the intense material and simple drawings. I liked how she this. It made the read easier. Hell, if i saw her depicting a bunch of gruesome dead bodies all the time, especially with the nature of the material she was presenting, i doubt i'd want to read the book. I may be intrigued but ultimately turned off.

Another thing i noticed is that she switched between dark and light panels. Perhaps i'm wrong but she seems to use the darker panels for when she or someone else is upset.

Fun home:

I liked how Bechdel payed close attention to detail and actually used some color in her comic. Granted the color stayed a constant blue/gray but i guess you could say it lightened up the comic a bit. I mean the comic wasn't full of rainbows and butterflies but it certainly helped to see a light color as opposed to dark and oppressive lines/shading.


Speigelman was detailed but in a different way than bechdel. His comic was dark but so was the material. He used animals instead of people to ease the pain. (nice touch.) He was careful about what he was detailed with. And he wasnt afraid to depict gruesome scenes.


Thompson was abstract and it worked for him. I liked how he used his imagination.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Persepolis. (movie)

Confession time. I'm one of those people who 9 times out of 10 will prefer the movie version of a book over the actual book. (but not always, of course.) You see, i like reading, and tapping into my imagination to create my own version of the story in my head. But there's something about seeing the ideas pan out on a big screen for you, the fluidity of everything works better for me. So where was i going with this? Heh. I liked the movie version of Persepolis better. The book obviously pans everything out for you already but its not as fluid or easy to follow like in a movie. In the movie, it was all the same stuff, but with voices, emotion that you hear rather than see and of course the fact that your brain isnt working as hard to focus. The movie was just more appealing to me.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Finishing Persepolis

Persepolis. So let me compare this to Maus for a second. Ther're both powerful stories about war and family. Yet theyre different wars, at different times with different families. Despite these differences, its remarkable how similar they are. The frustration and misunderstandings that occur, along with anything and everything else. (now im just being vague.) Anyways, I can't say i disliked this book. I actually enjoyed it more than Maus. Satrapi added humor to her panels, where Speigelman just let things be known.

There's a lot going on in this story but i really dont feel as though she emphasizes lines. I mean, they're there; being used but nothing spectacular. The use of lines is simple but maybe thats because the story is so complex. There's so much going on that perhaps if the story is complicated, and the drawings are complicated, then we're intimidated and disinterested. Or maybe thats just the way it worked out. One question i did have though, was on page 160. It shows Marjane in the supermarket and shes overwhelmed by it actually having food. (this might just be a stupid question) but in one of the panels it shows a woman reaching for something on a higher shelf and above her is a blurb saying "aktion". Is this to emphasize the magnificance of the situation or did i miss something?

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Brutal. That about sums it up right? i mean here we have this small girl with a life that is incomprehensibly difficult and she hasn't even reached the age of 12. The surprising part, (for me anyways) is that she's so knowledgeable about things. (almost too much?) I have to wonder how I would be in that situation. Would i know as much? Read as much? Be as concerned? I feel like i wouldnt, but then again i really just dont know. The amount of people that walk in and out of this kids life is insane. The amount of violence she deal with on a day to day basis is insane. Her life is politics. There's no doubt about it and i really can't get over it. And things just continue to decline throughout the story...
On a more positive note.... I like the way she writes. for some reason it feels more personal than the others. She definitely includes more comic relief but i can imagine thats because the story is pretty thick.

Topic C- Synaesthetics and lines
pg 5 During the demonstrations against the veil. No bubbles. Just words being yelled back and forth. Either "the veil!" or "freedom!" (cursive writing significant?)

The lines are not as thick and dark as that of Maus but not as light as that of Bechdel's either. and the people are drawn in a simpler way than all the comics. All the other comics may have seemed simple but were more complex than we realized. This feels more like a comic. (does that make sense?) Eh. I guess what I'm trying to say is the drawings appear simple.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

MAUS II Chs. 3, 4 & 5

Hmm. Maus. I liked it but it was definitely different from the other two graphic memoirs we already read. The pictures weren't as pretty, but then again the ideas weren't very pretty either. The words were detailed+ interesting. The accents were sometimes confusing but not terrible.
The father is annoying and because i can feel the tension and aggravation within this story, i know that it somehow did it what it was supposed to do. (that and the fact that it's a pretty popular book.)
I'm not even going to bother mentioning time and motion because im not a fan of reaching back in the text and making up an example on how it could have possibly been time and motion but most likely wasn't. (Stuff just kind of happens!) But back to the dad. How aggravating! I don't mean to sound like a jerk but c'mon! He returned half eaten cereal! (which is weird on so many levels, but im also a germophobe....off topic.) ANYWAYS back to the dad. After all he went through with the discrimination of the jews he turns around and does it himself. After they retruend the cereal, Francoise picks up a black hitch hiker (depticted as a black dog). Vladek starts freaking out! He swears, calls the guy names, and claims that he had to watch over the food so that it wouldnt be stolen. AGH! The Holocaust really scarred him, and you'd think that he'd be more gracious towards others, especially others of a different race. (why is this?)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

MAUS II Chs 1+2

Ok so I might just be ridiculous. I read Maus II first and didnt really understand what was going on. I couldn't even get into the story! Anyways, i re-read chs 1 +2 just now. Things are a bit clearer. This story is definitely a powerful one. I like the way he starts off with explaining things. He gives dates and background to a lot of stuff. My favorite is "they want to make it into a movie, (i dont wanna)." This might be a stupid question but why have him wearing a mouse mask at this part? Is there something I missed? (most likely) ANYWAYS, i feel like i have almost too much to talk about. So im going to skip around a lot.

Time and motion. Well last class we talked about how Maus I didn't really have a whole lot of examples of time and motion deptiction. What i see now, is pretty similar but what I have found is at the beginning of chapter 2 (pretty much what i was talking about above), It says "time flies" he has flies all around him (heh cool.) And he has one panel where its him, the flies and a pile of dead bodies. Hmm...
Then he takes us through the stress of dealing with this story and the publicity that comes with it. And as he does this, he gets (im assuming younger) but smaller with each panel until he caves under the pressure and cries. I like this idea.
He continues it while talking to the therapist. It's not until he leaves the office that we see 3 consecutive growth panels. (and the final product as him being normal again)
(does this blog make sense?) Other than this, im not really sure where else time and motion is laregely depicted.

Monday, October 27, 2008


So, Maus is interesting. I don't think it's as easy to read or look at, as say "Blankets" or "Fun Home". The drawings are smaller and darker. I haven't decided yet on whether or not I like it. I"m starting to think that I don't. The story is also pretty interesting. I wasn't sure how I'd like the cat/mouse analogy but I think I'm a fan. Definitely creative. The whole idea of the father surviving the holocuast and telling his son the story is cool and I like the way the stories are told. The flashbacks and the transitions also differ from that of Thompsons. There arent panels within panels of ideas but instead, you're just thrown into the past. OH and the way the father talks is confusing! i have to read his little bubbles a bunch of times just to make sure i know what he's saying. When i first started reading, i was like making up stuff and then it didnt make sense so i had to go back. I'm so ridiculous sometimes. (hopefully its not just me that had this difficulty!)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The rest of "Blankets"

Ok. Did I miss something? I'm totally disappointed with this ending! It's too realistic! I was expecting it to pan out like a Lifetime movie. Happy Ending. They find each other later on,(its some amazing story), they get married and have like 8 children with exotic names. WHAT?! None of this? Alright. Other than the fact that the ending wasn't what I had hoped for, the comic was pretty cool. Take a man, dig deep into his past, tell about his first love and experience as a senior in high school and you have a big hit. For a guy who wasnt very close with his family growing up, was abused by a babysitter, had a ridiculous first love experience and was talked down to by pretty much everyone and anyone, grew up to be kind of a big deal. Ironic. (Just had to make that statement, because i thought it was interesting.)

Now for Topic A: Transitions.
Just flipping through, an interesting transition is on page 179. The panels are of Raina, her father and Craig all in the car. It starts to snow and the panels are suddenly engulfed by a big panel of snow outside the car. I like the way Thompson does this, it's a cool effect. Especially when he has the talk bubble act as a cloud creating snow.

Page 183- Also very cool. You get a glimpse of the quilt as a whole. Then he zeros in on the different patterns of fabric. Each pattern acting as a panel with Craig and Raina speaking to each other about the quilt.

Page 260- The snow starts off in a big panel.
Then to prove his point of sense of space and depth being limited.
He makes the snow smaller, and smaller. (in two separate panels). <-- probably a better example of words and pictures but i thought it was cool.

OH and I can't remember whether this was in the first two chapters or the rest of the book, but when Thompson describes the hot nights that him and Phil shared together, I couldn't help but laugh at the part where Craig makes fun of his brother for flipping the pillow over because its "cooler" on the other side. I used to/and still do that. So i thought it was pretty funny.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Blankets! I just thought I'd add some emphasis to the book title in my blog post. Anyways, Nels was totally right about the way in which Thompson illustrates things as opposed to Bechdel. Their style is very different. Bechdel's lines were flowy and curvy. Lots of contoured and implied lines. But here, with Thompson, his lines are straight and harsh. Also, COLOR is a difference. Bechdel had the gloomy pale blue, almost gray color. Here, Thompson keeps it simple with black. No watercolor accents here, just straight illustration(but he does use lots of shadowing..). The faces that Thompson draws are simpler than that of Bechdels. She uses lots and lots of detail to depict the story. Thompson, definitely pays attention to detail but in different ways and on different things. The way he draws himself is simple. The nose is an open rectangle and his eyes are small black dots. The way he depicts Raina isn't as simple. If you look at it more closely it almost looks like two different comics blended nicely together. It's just two very different ways to draw two very different people. Does he draw himself simply on purpose? (he must...) ANYWAYS, i spent way too much time talking about the lines used within the comics. (not even my topic) But its something that intrigued me from the start.

So far, so good. The story is interesting. I like the way he shifs back and forth in time. I actually prefer the way he does it over Bechdel's style of transitions. Example: pg. 57. Thompson does a flashback within a panel. This caught my eye and i kinda liked it. It added emphasis to the current panel and flow of ideas.

Also pg. 52. Where He's falling and getting older. Definitely a cool way to show time change.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Fun Home Chs 3-7

Alright. So I'm still totally "diggin" this "tragicomic". The story being told is real and interesting. It's something that i enjoy reading. It deals with homosexuality, possible suicide, sex, and comic relief. Those components help make a good page turner. Anyways, Let me start at the end and work my way to the beginning. Alison portrays her father in a new way towards the end. He's no longer the obsessive compulsive, cold hearted perfectionist. Suddenly, he seemed caring. You can actually SEE him happy, and see him having fun with her. Last class, i remember pointing out a panel where he was supposedly being happy and singing to her before she fell asleep but the panel was dark so you never saw the emotion. Here at the end of the story, you see panels where they're together; smiling. I realize its no coincidence and I liked the way she did that. It's like, once she found out that he was a homosexual, she started to look at her father in a whole new way, and so should we. We were made to look at him in a better, more open- minded way and again, I really like how she put it all together. Also, my favorite part, or at least one of my favorite parts has to be on pg 213 when the two girls sit down to eat with her and start mentioning a lesbian singer. Alison then says "Lesbian singers? These people are weird....maybe i'm not a homo after all". It was a good place to add in some comic relief. Especially after receivng the letter from her father about him thinking that she thought he was a queer. (what a mouthful)

At one point, Alison goes home for a break, and everyone ends up leaving. She's left alone with her mother and her mother starts spilling about all the affairs she knew about and pretty much everything. The one question that stuck in my mind throughout the story, especially during the pages with Roy and Bill around; is why did Alison's mother stick around? Why did she put up with that for so many years? She was clearly unhappy. I mean, I'm not sure what I would have done in such a situation, but I'm still curious as to why she put up with it.

Ah! I have so much to talk about but nothing to talk about at the same time.
I guess I'll end this talking about when Alison goes into detail about her family. On page 134, she says "Our home was like an artists' colony. We ate together but otherwise were absorbed in our separate pursuits....And in this isolation, our creativity took on an aspect of compulsion."

I found this part interesting. She shows how disconnected they are as a family but how connected they are to themselves and the things that they liked to do.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fun Home ch 1+2

Fun home is crazy cool. I read it last night after dinner, but before I did, I was convinced that I wasn't going to like it. Guess i was wrong! I really like how she starts out. She shows right off the bat that there's something quirky going on with her and her dad. I mean on the first page, 3rd block, she describes the game of "airplane" that they play together and you can see his face: Unemotional, blank. You'd think that the father would be smiling, laughing or at least showing some sort of emotion but he's blank. It's something small and you might just think it was an error on the authors part, until they get to the end of their game and she says "again!", in which he replies , "get the vacuum cleaner, this rug is filthy". (cold!) Anyways, as the comic goes on, she continues to paint the picture of her father. An unemotional perfectionist with an obsession. His obsession happens to be their house. (architecture, interior/exterior design) It's cool at first but then you start to see just how aggravating he is. You start to see just how much more he cares about the house than his own family. Even others give into it. Like when the mother is playing piano and "Aunt Sue", tells her to keep playing but shes going to show the house off to some friends. Ridiculous!

The relationship between the words and the pictures are kind of a big deal. And by "kind of" i mean "really". Without the pictures, you can't really get a sense of what the characters are like. The author is literally showing the reader just how she wants the characters to be thought of. No room for imagination here! But that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Understanding Comics (part dos) ch 4-9

So, I'm not going to lie in this situation but I'm really kind of at a loss for words. I looked around at other blogs and found that I agreed with Keyokah. (can i do that? talk about how i agree with what someone else has to say in my blog and not on theirs? Should i do both?) Anyways, She said about how the book was repetitive and I agree. I guess it all just relates back to what i said in the first blog. Its a comic book about knowing how to read comic books. It was put together really well and its been helpful but at the same time, its been boring. But again, my favorite part about everything was still the fact that he related comics to famous works of art and how he explained that describing a famous work of art and a comic is similar. I also like that he stood up for comics. He admitted that they were underappreciated but he made sure to relate comics to real works of art to prove that comics are also works of art. Oh! and when he made everything colorful towards the end of chapter eight, i was super happy. Im a big fan of color in general, (hence why you'll see me with bright red lipstick on or some outrageous eye makeup) so seeing color in a sea of black and white was a good finish in my book.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Understanding Comics

Well, I found it strange but cool that I was reading a comic book about comics. Although, I wasn't really sure how to take it at first. I mean, McCloud told us things that we basically knew already but just didn't think about. Like how the human mind can see a circle, two dots and a line and see a face in the midst. But that we were so trained that it would always look like a face. He also mentions how we're a selfish species, looking for "faces" in everything; ie: houses, cars etc...)But when i finished the reading, I realized that it kinda shed a whole new light on comics. (for me anyways). Suddenly, the concept of comics didn't revolve around Batman or spiderman.
OH and before i forget, I was actually able to tie a lot of things that McCloud was saying to my "Aspects of Art" class. The ideas are similar when describing art work, whether its a painting or a graphic memoir. I thought it was cool, especially when he showed "the treachery of images" because I wasnt very familiar with the drawing, i had only seen it for the first time in my art class a week before. And the artowkr was explained to me. I liked the ideas behind it, so when he showed the work of art and then explained it, I smiled a little.
The idea of readining graphic text about readining graphic text was a strange concept at first. But the more i read, the more i liked it. Ill admit, there were pages where id "read" them and then have to read them again because the information just wasnt sticking. But i think thats something we all find, whether in a text book or just in general with things.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Fishing Story

Whoa. I'm a fan.
At first, I wasn't too intrigued with her descriptions. It was nice but I was bored. But then she started talking about how her grandmother has a failing memory. Interesting how the pretty stuff is boring but the tragic stuff is what we find interesting. (people can deny that all they want, but why do they think that something like the news is so captivating for some of us?) Anyways, my favorite part of this essay is when she starts talking about the fishing story. It kind of reminded me of the notebook. (lame?) I loved the way she paints the picture, the repetitiveness, and especially the silence. "They didnt exchange more than 10 words the entire time..") Other than that part, some of the quick comments that Richards makes are kind of entertaining. I realize that there's nothing humorous about death and a failing memory but i think, sometimes the best way to cope with something, is to laugh about it. She mentions the joke she has with her grandmother about "done shit and flew", and even just the way she says some things like : "we tune out until we hear the key word that signals the end..." Richards is right, is does sound rude but there's something about the way that she writes the essay that sheds a positive light on a terrible situation. It makes me realize that we all have tragic things that happen in our lives, but we chose how to deal with them. And when telling the story to others we show exactly how the situation is affecting us without even realizing it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Benson: "The Sparkling Eyed Boy"

This was my favorite essay. Why? Well it was the shortest but that's not the true reason...or the only reason, rather. Hah. you see, the essay packed a lot into the 2 pages that it took up and I was a fan. I'm convinced that i like all the essays that no one else likes. Haha i bet everyone will say that they hated "The Sparkling Eyed boy". Anyways, I thought the essay was interesting. The beginning was super interesting. Think about it, the "sparkling eyed boy did not love my sister", ....but he loved everything else. Classic! The narrator goes on to describe her sister and how she was different and boys liked her and all the jazz. Then at the end, BANG! ,"the sparkling eyed boy may have loved me, but he didn't love my sister." I loved the way it began and ended like that. It was super sweet. The sparkling eyed boy, does not necessarily sound like an ugly kid. He could have been the kid with telescope eyes and braces or zits all over his face. But, instead, he was the "sparkling eyed boy". The narrator chalked up her sister to be something amazing and made herself seem so awkward and lame only to find that the "sparkling eyed boy" was more interested in her, than her sister. At least, this all was my interpretation. What i don't understand is this: why does she say that shes not sure where her sister ends and she begins? And then she goes on to mention about how her sister despises that idea, which I think is interesting because her sister is supposed to be the "cool" one yet shes unhappy with her life and the choices shes made.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ashes, + The love of my life

Ok. So here's the deal, kiddies. As I said in the last blog, my mom died of lung cancer when I was younger, so these essay's were interesting to read. They didn't really upset me though, because I found them hard to relate to. Some ideas found in the essay's were ones i've encountered myself. For example: in "The Love of My Life", she makes comments like "I want my mother" in a stressful situation, "my mother's death has taught me to live each day as if it were my last", and "I cannot continue to live without my mother." These are things I've both thought and said many times before, and so reading it in the essay made me stop and think for a while. Actually, I had an extremely hard time getting through both essays. Every once in a while the writer would say something that reminded me of my own personal experience with the similar situation. I would then stop, and think for long periods of time about anything and everything but mostly things pertaining to my life with my mom still around. Needless to say, I realized that most of the time I try to block out thoughts of my mom, memories and the D.E.C. itself.(note: D.E.C = the day everything changed) It was upsetting for me to realize but I guess it's just been my own personal way of dealing with things. Oh well. I'm digressing. I didn't hate the essay's but I also can't say that I'm their biggest fan. "Ashes", was a story that I couldn't really relate to. I mean, it certainly portrayed a reality, and the ugliness associated with a loved one suffering cancer but at the same time it portrayed a strange family connection. Affection was rare and considered unnecessary. But again, I can't say that, that didn't occur with my family. The difference is that their family was naturally not big on affection in general. So when the cancer hit, they drove themselves further apart to ease the suffering and pain of losing each other. My family doesn't necessarily go day by day hugging and telling one another "i love you", but when my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer we definitely at least tried to be more loving towards each other. Although I do remember, being an angsty teenager and wanting nothing to do with my mom at the time. It sounds horrible because it was horrible and the things I wish I had done was talk to her more...find out more about her and be more mature. Unfortunately, life isn't that easy and you can't just go back in time,(no matter how much you wish to.)

Monday, September 8, 2008


Well, I just read "Beard" and it depressed me but in a good way. Now, reading this, you might ask how can depression be a good thing? All I'm saying is that, the story did what it was supposed to do. It was supposed to move you and make you an emotional wreck. At least, that's what I believe. I liked the reading. I liked the story line and the ways that the characters were introduced and described. The ideas associated with the old and decrepit dog were incredibly sad for me but I'm a total fan of dogs. (So in other words, I might just be biased.) The woman starts out talking about the sky. She describes planets as she waits for the dog to go to the bathroom. At the end of the story she talks about the planets and stars again. I thought it was a cool touch. Catch me if I'm wrong but it’s almost as if at the beginning her life was a mess and the universe was there, still living and after she loses Chris and other friends the planets and stars are still in the sky, living and comforting those who look upon them. I feel as though it’s leaving you with the whole "people die, but life goes on" idea. (This post is a little scattered..but so are my thoughts!)"I get his coat and follow him into the cold November night; there are stars and stars and stars. The sky is full of dead men drifting in the blackness like helium balloons my mother floats past in a hospital gown, trailing tubes. I go back inside where the heat is." This section from the story was particularly moving for me. I think it hits me because when I was younger, I lost my mom to lung cancer and so the image of "mother floating by in a hospital gown trailing tubes" is one thing that I remember vividly. So perhaps this story wasn't meant to be upsetting at all, but because I was pre-exposed to death of a loved one and have a love for dogs, the story upset me just that much more.

Friday, September 5, 2008

An introduction to E.K

As a Freshman at "UHa", I look forward to having a good time and doing well in school. I think that's pretty much what every kid at this school wants to accomplish. So, to differentiate myself from the other students, I'll give you some background. I'm an eighteen year old from Methuen, Massachusetts, a place where many kids go to high school without walls. The school is a prison, the people are diverse and the teachers are ridiculous. But isn't that what everyone thinks about their hometown and the people residing with them? Maybe not. I'm an Irish step dancer, painter and person retaining outrageous qualities. I aspire to do many things and be many different people, but again, that's something you find within the brain of an eighteen year old. I like designing things and I'm a total make-up guru. I'm a fan of indie rock and roll, but I'll listen to virtually anything. Art fascinates me but I fail at drawing. Music amazes me but I'm not very good at any instruments. I find that I'm often mediocre at a lot of things but not really great in anything particular. I always strive to be the best but sometimes the bar seems to be set too high. I'm an optimist(i swear!), and a morning person but I, occasionally have my opinions and days that can say otherwise(like today!). I'm often told that I'm ridiculous but have yet to decide if that's a compliment or not. I like being independent and different. I sweat the small stuff and drive myself crazy. I like Ultimate Frisbee, taking pictures, being silly, bright colors, thunderstorms, eating chocolate ice cream with a fork and just plain ol' having a good time with friends and family.