The Written Unwritten

I’m definitely a fan of the Carey/Gross team, so I might be a little biased in saying that this is probably the best graphic novel we’ve read this semester. It’s smartly written and well drawn, with a compelling storyline full of humor, history, pop references, vampires and all sorts of other strange things.

One of the most important elements of The Unwritten is, obviously, the literary references. They are constant throughout the story and there are many hints that Wilson’s training of Tom in “literary geography” will be his salvation, even though the jaded Tom doesn’t believe it (yet). One doesn’t need to be intimately familiar with literary history to appreciate all the references, but it certainly helps.

I especially like the title – the unwritten. It’s mysterious in its own way, and ironic since it’s a graphic novel about written stories and the shadowy cabal that is behind all of them.

The Unwritten is, as we know, an ongoing series and the end of each issue always leaves me waiting impatiently for next month’s release. I just finished reading the latest issue, #24, in which Pauly Bruckner has his triumphant return. Each issue adds significant elements to the plot and there isn’t a single wasted page. I don’t know how many issues will be in the run, but I do know I’ll be disappointed when this one is over.

A Little More on the Bechdel Test

Since one of Bechdel’s major legacies is the Bechdel Test, I decided to shed a little more light on it in this Weekly Roundup.

The rules were discussed in class and in a previous post, but to recap: at least two women/who talk to each other/about something other than a man. At first glance I thought this was kind of silly, but upon further examination it’s actually a well thought out rule that would disqualify a lot of movies, but certainly not all. The Bechdel Test has a strong presence on the internet, and a quick google search turns up many interesting blogs and even a video that scrolls through just how many movies fail the Test.

The Test also raises some interesting questions, such as: how would the Sex and the City movies fare? Clearly there are more than two women, and while they do talk to each other it is often about men, but not all the time. Add to that the fact that the women in the movies are often materialistic and (in my opinion) petty. On the other hand, many women loved the TV show and the movies. It would be interesting to hear Bechdel’s verdict on this and other similar movies.

Personally, I’m not about to stop watching a movie because it doesn’t pass the Bechdel Test, but I’m hardly the target audience for it.

Empathizing with We3

Although there were a couple posts I considered responding to that deals with the violence in We3 (seriously though, if you think this was violent, never read anything from Garth Ennis), I decided to respond to sbell6’s post concerning the lack of character development.

One issue that is brought up in his post, and that was addressed on Tuesday, is how a reader will connect with We3 depending on whether or not they have a pet at home. While it would certainly make one more inclined to empathize with the animals, it isn’t a necessity. I think that even if I wasn’t a pet owner I would still be upset when the rabbit dies, or at the cruel experiments that they are subjected to.

Another issue that is raised is the lack of character development in regards to the animals. While it is a valid point, I believe that Morrison did this intentionally. I say this because at the beginning, after they kill Guerrera and the General is showing Washington We3, the General says, “They’ve killed their last tinpot dictator.” Before that, Doctor Trendle says that 1 “only kills enemies of our nation.” This indicates to me that We3 has been active for some time now, and for Morrison to leave out their abduction, outfitting and training was a deliberate action. It is a pretty short graphic novel even without this development, but it was enough for me to maybe not identify with 1, 2 and 3 but at least to have some emotional investment in them.