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.