I understand that this link is from wikipedia, but I found the information to be pretty concise. I found a connection between Unwritten and Watchmen in the ways that they both involved heroes that are used to “reflect contemporary anxieties and critique the superhero concept.” I feel that in the same mission of Watchmen, Unwritten also takes on the mission of seeking to alternate the views of the original superhero concept. Tommy Taylor, though he is a very popular type of super hero, he is portrayed by a very young boy, yet lives in an alternate reality as Tom Taylor. I found this connection to be a bit askew, but I did notice a relationship between both graphic novels.
I found the most interesting discussions in class this week to be covered within the graphic novel, Swallow Me Whole. At first, I was very reluctant to begin to read this book because every page involved so much detail and what I believed to be “hidden” messages. However, after reading the piece I found that the extremely detail oriented and hidden meanings within the entirety of this graphic novel is what captured and sustained my attention the most. I love how the book gives us so much room as readers to develop our own beliefs and thoughts. How each page allows for us to sit and talk for moments on end was very intriguing and actually fun. I loved how many ideas were thrown out into discussion throughout class. There were so many differing and thought provoking ideas that I found myself fascinated by how much we all came up with individually for each page of the novel. I especially loved the end of the book where Ruth is literally swallowed up and taken away by her schizophrenic hallucinations. I have no idea why the thought of the early Bible stories of the plague broke out in my mind, but probably because of not only the locusts and frogs, but also because of how these creatures seemed to engulf Ruth’s entire being and sweep her away without her being able to put up a fight any more. Ruth gives in to her hallucinations and is literally swallowed whole. This book is truly one of my favorites this semester. I love how much we as readers are able to allow our minds to be swallowed up by this novel’s illustrated hallucinations and how much it affects us to the point that we ourselves might even sound a little crazy.
Upon reading this graphic novel, I had no clue what to expect. My first reaction was to the use of bright colors and cartoonized characters. Despite the “semi-serious” subject of an unidentified body of a person who was killed in a bus station cafeteria bombing supposedly being the distant father of his distant son, Koby, I found the colors to be quite interesting to use because of the nature of this story. This graphic novel, I compared to WE3 in the ways that I felt as though I was actually viewing a movie. At one point I even had to shake my head and take a second look to remind myself that I was reading a book with pictures and not watching a film. I found this aspect quite entertaining however. I also thought the character of Koby was very developed and “real,” in a sense that he held nothing back in his emotions and you could actually relate him to a real person because of his sometimes indifference about his father’s whereabouts and safety. I also found the romance that grew between Koby and Numi very intriguing. Numi’s discovery that her thought-to-be deceased lover Gabriel (Koby’s father), had been having relations with other women during their “relationship,” pushed her into Koby’s arms because he was also used to his father disappointing him. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this story, more so after I found out Koby’s father was not killed in the bombing, but actually lived so that he could actually come to explain his actions or in-actions, to not only his son Koby, but also to Numi. I did hope that in the end Koby and Numi would have tracked down Gabriel together and come to terms together, but I finally understood the significance of the final scene in which Koby is stuck up a tree in Numi’s backyard after jumping the wall in attempts to tell Numi that he loved her, and how Numi tells Koby to jump and that she will catch him, and despite his crippling fear of jumping, he does. Koby lets his guard down, for once in a very long time.
I found this webcomic to be very relative to that of Maus I: My Father Bleeds History, in the ways the panels are constructed and illustrated. Of course within the story of Maus there are no stick figures as characters, or humorous talk about bands, but rather was drawn in a way that struck me as reminiscent to that of Maus. The lines used within this webcomic gave me that dark and somewhat eerie feeling just like in many panels of the graphic novel Maus. Everything within the panels is dark and extremely detailed with the added contour to the items within the frames. Just looking at the depth and boldness of the fire place gives me an uneasy feeling, like that of loneliness and anxiety. I know many might not understand my reasoning behind this, but it is the very first thing I felt while looking at this.
I found this article to be extremely interesting. It was great to have the entire background stories for some of the most famous comic book characters within the article because I never knew about them. Growing up, I was never fully engulfed in comics or superheros. Now that I think about it, most of what I was exposed to was by watching television. Captain Planet was probably the closest thing to superheros that I ever watched. The ways in which this article encapsulated the very core of Batman and the story of how he came to be, both in our world and the world of Batman as a superhero was really cool because it makes Batman someone we can relate to and invites us into his world.
The time line that the article presents to the reader definitely sets the scene for just how far back the story of Batman goes back. It definitely opened my eyes to just how long superheros like Superman and Batman have been around. It also sparked a particular interest of mine to read that many of the “villains mirrored aspects of Batman’s character and development,” because it adds emphasis that the creators of Batman truly thought about what areas of the adventures of Batman would piece together to create an overall remarkable character. Just as the villains may provide insight into the history of Batman himself, they also created characters such as Alfred to add stability and comfort to the ever-chaotic lifestyle of the Batman(p.4).