22 March 2014
|Source(Never Forget Who You Are)|
This is a history of superman clip from Variant comics for those who don't know about America's Boy Scout.
How are you doing today? My name is Jose Luis Carrillo, I attend K.B.C.C. (Kingborough Community College) in Brooklyn New York. I am taking a visual verbal literacy class with Professor Villarreal; who is a big fan of comics. Our Professor assigned the class to read a book you wrote called "Maus- A Survivor's Tale." So far i have read the first two chapters of your book and have a few question to ask you about your book. First off, I would like to know, why did you choose to characterize "Jewish people" as rats and "The Nazi's" as cats? Secondly, is this book all based on true events or were you trying to make the next big seller? In addition, why did you start the book off with a quote from Adolf Hitler saying "The Jews are undoubtedly a race. But they are not human"? (page 4)
I also wanted to congratulate you on a great book. In addition, I really enjoyed the fact that you wanted to tell your fathers story in you words and tell it to the world in a comic. The part of the book that really caught my eye was before chapter 1 on pages 5 and 6. When you was rollerskating with your so called "friends" to the schoolyard, your skates came loose and they ended up leaving you behind. After that, you went to speak to your father about you "friends" and your father told you a meaningful sentence saying "If you lock them together in a room with no food for a week... Then you could see what it is, FRIENDS!"
It was very interesting in chapter 1 page 12, in the middle of the page there is a slide with your father on a bicycle and on his left arm he has a bar code from when he was captured by the Nazis. It just shows how real it was in that point in time. Personally, i usually never read comics, let alone a comic about the Holocaust but so far i find this book to be a great book to read. I really like the fact that you try to relate with your readers, while still telling the story of your father. You do not over whelm the reader with so much text but give the reader a visual aspect of your story; so what they read they can also have a picture of whats going on. Finally I would like to say that I am very eager to finish this book and start reading the second part; that i already bought because the first book is so interested. Keep up the great work Art.
Jose Luis Carrillo
I wanted to know if there could be a possibility that maybe we can grab a cup of coffee one day and just talk.
Dear Mr. Langston Hughes,
I must say after reading your "Theme For English B" I was quite compelled by the affect it had on me. Going through the story multiple times I came to the conclusion that the main point was to show the indecisiveness in life one can have within adolescence as well as right out of adolescence, through your very eyes; which is something I can personally relate to as well as majority of the youth within this thriving society. As for my personal experience, for about a year to two years of my teenage years I came to a point asking myself the same general question "Who I wanted to be ?", safe to say it was a self realization period in my life which I am glad I experienced; enabling me to gain a form of self awareness.
In the passage you stated:
"It's not easy to know what is true for you or me at twenty-two, my age. But I guess I'm what I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you: hear you, hear me---we two---you, me, talk on this page. (I hear New York too.) Me---who ? ... I guess being colored doesn't make me NOT like the same things other folks like who are other races ... instructor. You are white---yet a part of me, as I am part of you ... As I learn from you, I guess you learn from me---although you're older---and white---and somewhat more free."
These few lines from your excerpt speaks volumes to me; first and foremost stating that within the age of youth the "truth" can be quite difficult to find and one is affect by the interaction with their surroundings. Therefore, ones personal experiences growing up whether it be in the heart of the hood/ghetto, suburbs, countryside, city, or a third world country all connect due to the fact all cases become a product of their environment. This connects when you go on to say (despite racial differences) "I am part of you" which signifies that as people we are all of one; all connected on a superstring field downloading and comprehending information from one another. This in itself is truly beautiful and magnificent, because that's truly what enables us as a society to advance and evolve. The ending ties everything together perfectly by showing the simple reality and facts of the world we live within; despite the idea that we are all connected, people are subjected to their own traditions from both family and history so apartheid continues to thrive and live. I believe that the concept in which this was executed and delivered in itself is ingenious and gives awareness to the masses of this planet about what's really going on, in short the "truth". I respect this and "Theme For English B" had a lasting impact on my life.
- The Only
- "I guess I'm what I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you: hear you, hear me---we two---you, me, talk on this page. (I hear New York too.) Me---who ?"
- Langston Hughes
21 March 2014
When I was reading your book "Fun Home" I thought to myself that this story was very interesting to see how you took realism about your own personal life story to make a comic out of it. Instead of making it fictional like other comic book artist do. So to see something different in my point of view to become a artist inspire me to see how you made everything correspond with different details of your drawing. Once I was reading this in my college English class I thought it was some regular comic that I see all the time But enjoyed it a lot to see your not afraid to share your life stories with other people and for them to read everything that had impacted you. I was wondering what made you want to draw your life in a way no one else had done ? do you feel that you find more of a challenge to prove others what you can do ? Also what kinda shocked me was how you have a obsession disorder with even numbers. What part of life impacted you to make you see and count everything with even numbers ? because I wouldn't say I have a disorder but I do tend to always count everything with even number and need everything to fall on a even number. If it was charging my phone and taking it off on a even number or even warming something to eat in the microwave,I still tend to stop on a even, cant stand it being on an odd number. Not to get off track I do love your work on how you make a challenge to change way of comics of breaking down what some words mean or to figure out what the drawing trying to say. Thank you for sharing your life experience with everyone to enjoy I look forward on seeing what you come up with next.
Recently I have read your story "American born Chinese". I love this story. Its entertaining and it really makes you think. Each page just makes you wanna keep reading on and on wondering what will happen next.
I was constantly bullied and laughed at because of how i spoke. Jamaican is English but in a very funny slang type of way. So when i use to speak proper as a American the kids would feel i thought i was better because i was born there. they always made jokes saying I think I'm better or look better then them because I'm from the states but I'm really slow and dumb. they use to constantly taunt and hit me. Even went as far as to steal my money and my book bag.But after a couple of weeks a girl named Ashley who was also from the states was also in my class. My classmates use to bully her just like they did too me. After a few days i felt bad and introduced myself to her. Since then me and Ashley have been friends ever since. Even though shes in Florida & I'm in New York. We keep in touch over facebook or we always travel to Jamaica together each summer.
So I will like to thank you Mr. Gene Yang. For creating such a awesome and entertaining book. American Born Chinese really made me tap into my childhood and i am very grateful for that opportunity your story gave me.
I have recently read a tremendous piece written by you as a class assignment called American born Chinese, might I say this comic is a great piece of work in many different ways I made a connection with this story immediately. I myself have experienced similar situations as Jin Wang alongside other foreigners who move to this country which is one reason why I gravitated to this comic.
when I first attended middle school It was horrible for a few years. I myself like Jin Wang come form a loving caring family, but my parents are both foreigners who speak "English" if you ask me,but being that they are both form the Caribbean they also have a pretty strong accent which rubbed off on me some how.As a child you don't realize it but the fact being that I have always been around my parents all the time I was starting to sound like them, which I had no problem with at first. Then when I was starting to get teased and criticized because of it .I was the only west Indian kid in class or in my school to be exact.Until after a few months when Demari came a kid who had just moved to Brooklyn with his family from Spanish town Jamaica who had turn out to be my only one true friend throughout middle school.
In the story you gave what to me was a great example of how when ignorance is practice how it becomes just a natural thing "now be nice Timmy! I'm sure Jin doesn't do that! in fact Jin's family probably stopped that sort of thing as soon as they came to the united states" this comment which was made by the teacher when a student said some not so nice things about Jin and his family goes to show you that practice makes prefect and by getting rid of these practices we are taking steps into a better tomorrow.
20 March 2014
Dear Sherman Alexie,
Your story and your mission to help others are simply amazing. Recently I came across an essay you had written called “Superman and Me”. I was truly touched by some of the similarities I have to your own upbringing. Even though you grew up as a Native American boy on a Indian Reservation in Washington State, I was still able to greatly identify with you even though I grew up in a completely different environment as a “Mixed” girl from Brooklyn, New York.
Growing up I was a struggling reader. I used to get embarrassed whenever I was supposed to read something out loud in class because sometimes the words would look like they were from another language. I can remember some of my classmates teasing me about it when I was in Elementary school. I got to the point where I would pray that a teacher wouldn’t call on me to read something. It seemed like the years would pass me by and my reading would just stay the same. It was also during this time when I was first labeled as being learning disabled which did not help with my self-esteem. Luckily for me, I ended up meeting an amazing teacher who changed my life forever.
In 4th grade I met Mr. B. I remember him as a young teacher with a passion for helping his students. He would always tell me that I was much smarter than I thought and that I was my own worst enemy for not believing in myself. He also told me that he was going to make me enjoy reading. Thinking back, I didn’t believe him at all, this is something I heard from my other teachers time and time again. One day, Mr. B told me he got me a book to read during free reading time in school and at home. I remember him telling me he thought that I would really like it. However, when he handed me the book I was quite surprised. This was not like the other books my teachers had asked me to read. This one was full of pictures, full of cartoons. It was a collection of comic strips. It was Calvin and Hobbes! I instantly wanted to read it and I think my teacher had picked out this “book” for me because of my well-known obsession with tigers. Little did I know at the time but these comic strips about a boy and his stuffed tiger were going to change my life forever.
I went home that day and I begged my mom to read it with me. I flew through the book and I wanted more. I began to look for comics wherever I could find them. I loved reading the cartoons in the Newspaper. I loved to read in general. I started to even read my mother’s gossip magazines. Before I knew it wasn’t so scared to read in class.
So I decided to write you to thank you for all you have done. I love that you are now helping others like yourself to find a passion for reading and keep it up. Their needs to me more people like you and Mr. B to make sure more struggling readers do not fall through the class. Keep up the good work.
19 March 2014
New York. But it's legit 2 people I can consider my friends. I've always kept my circle closed and tight. Before I left for Florida I had a bunch of "friends". Now that time has passed, someone I was able to call my close and good friend 5 years ago, I now call him an acquaintance. It all depends how long you known someone or how many times they've been there for you. As of last year, I became great friends with one person who I never really liked only because he helped me alongside our mutual friend to help me in a really tough time in my life. Didn't really expect him to be there but he was and it surprised me. Ever since then, it's just been me and those 2. Probably the best and closest friends I have ever had. But going back to the quote; if that were to happen to us, yes, we would all lose our minds, but then become cool again after we were set free.
Awesome! Next, we can practice what we've read from Mike Rohde's The Sketchnote Handbook with this interview with Alison Bechdel, the author of the excerpt from Fun Home I asked you to read for today!
For homework, maybe touch-up your sketchnote, snap a pic, and post it to the blog!
Also, here are links to the two articles we read in class about Persepolis and Fun Home! These might come in handy in your later research! *wink, wink* *nudge, nudge*
Questions? Quibbles? Controversies?
18 March 2014
I can relate to this quote because when I first started school I was faced with a similar challenge. My parents bout are from the Caribbean my mother from saint peters Barbados and my father out the country side of Trinidad; with that being said I was raised by two people with Caribbean accents with rubbed off on me. Begin they were first people to teach me how to talk, even how to sound out words and pronounce them, this left me talking with an accent only one who wasn't Caribbean can clearly point out. There was another guy in my class who parents were from the Caribbean I believe he was Jamaican and Guyanese which made his accent just as strong as mines. When my class figured out we both had Caribbean background and wasn't actually African American they started rumors of us being long lost cousins, which boiled my blood because I felt like instead of being understanding to why I might pronounce words the way I did or even used different slang they simply made fun of us. I was told mean things like my parents used curry and spices in everything even in our juices. But I couldn't stand curry dishes and never was able to handle spicy food.
Unlike in American born Chinese while Jim and Suzy spent time mostly avoiding each other because of their similarities this made me and Damari close and eventually best friends; we shared a connection in food, music, morals simply because of our background. This also had positive outcomes because we were able to share games, food, music and history eventually on culture day were able to have classmate experience dishes he ate daily which was prepared by my parents which they turn out to like listen learned don’t ever be ashamed of who you are or where you come from because it’s what makes you.
This quote from American born Chinese really stood out to me because of what I think it means.
It's saying you can become whatever you want, if your willing to devote your all into your craft or passion. I can relate to this, not because I have sold my soul but because I haven't, figuratively speaking. To explain what I mean I've been able to draw better than most people for as long as I could remember. I could think back to when I was in the 3rd grade, when I would drawing in class. And catch the attention of everyone, they would love my drawings. I would draw and doodle every now and than never really taking my talent serious. I even inspired one of my friends to start drawing, a couple years down the line he's drawing better that me, me who was naturally talented. I was a little envious whenever I saw someone that could draw better than me, I thought people were just as good as they were never understanding that you could improve. I couldn't understand this for a long time, he couldn't draw a straight line when I first met him now he could draw better than me? I was who was naturally talented and he wasn't. It took me years until I finally understood why my friend could draw better than me. He sold his soul, not literally but he would put effort and time into his craft. I on the other hand didn't draw nearly as much as he did. It's not until recently when I started to put time and effort into drawing trying to forfeit my soul metaphorically.
This quote from Yang's American born Chinese touched me very deeply because many people have to give up things in their life to become what they want in the world. Many people give up living near their families, they move away because of their work , many people become consumed with their jobs and they don't have any time for their friends or families anymore. My step father works on cruise ship and he loves his job but his family lives in Italy and he doesn't get to see him very often. Before he worked on the cruise ship he worked in Italy near his family but he wanted to become a seamen and become a chef engineer. He left his family and went to work for carnival cruise lines in America. In the beginning his family would come to see him but after a while they couldn't do that anymore because it was expensive and they didn't have the time to do it. His first wife asked him to quit and come work at home but he didn't want to because he loved his job to much to give up. Eventually it ruined his marriage with his wife because she was unhappy and had to raise their children mostly alone because he was away at work for months at a time. As the quote says it is easy to become anything you want but it comes with a price like anything else in life. You have to give up your regular life and do everything you have to do to keep your job you want. Some people don't think its worth it and quit but then there are the people that would do anything to keep their job like my step father even if it means going away months at a time from their family. By no means is my step father a bad person he loves his family but sometimes the job just consumes a person.
You look at me and you don't really expect I'm a lifetime martial artist. I look sart, I like comics, I like reading and playing video games, and I don't walk around with my chest puffed out like I got something to prove. But I am a lifetime martial artist. I plan to make a living out of this, usually this when people say "but you're so smart, why dont you do something where you could use your brain". i never really pay attention to those people, I knew this was gonna be my life ever since i got my first white belt when I was eight, I dont listen to people much when they give an opinion on thing that dont concern. Which is in a way what Sherman Alexei did. He was like a juggernaut, just went straight forward and didnt let anything get in his way of success. I aspire to be that same juggernaut.
This is just a badass video of Juggernaut fighting Gladiator in the X-Men Animated Series
Within the book Mause there was a quote that caught my attention; " Friends? Your Friends?... If You Lock them Together In A Room With No Food For A Week ...... THEN You Could See What It Is, Friends! " (Mause, 6). This quote from Mause spoke vibes to me; both the scenario it was used for and the way in which it was used. Due to the fact Vladek, Artie's father, tells him this at such a young age over something as simple as Artie crying; tripping from his loosened roller skates during a race which lead to his friends leaving him, ties everything together and makes this quote perfect to me. Despite the fact it might of sounded "harsh" telling a young boy this, I found it more along the lines of blunt honesty; which to me is one of the purest form of honesty there is because its factual and unfiltered. I like that Vladek told Artie this, and its evident this memory was embedded in Artie's memory and might be something he holds some value towards (Mause first two pages started with this scenario).
In my personal opinion I would prefer a father-like figure to give me blunt honesty, starting at a young age, so it would be in my subconscious; something along the lines of second nature. Despite the advice parents give children passes through ears and over heads, the way Vladek stated his point was witty and wasn't forced into Artie's mind; more like stated and then remained a staple. In some form I can relate to what the actual quote means, due to my own experiences dabbling in social ostracism I can vouch that there is no such thing as friends in this world. People are quick to flip through emotions and it might be because of several factors; envy, jealousy, greed, hate, or as Artie's father stated being stuck in a room with no food for a week. Regardless of the reason for one to show a different side to themselves, the fact remains in this world there are shadows and family; no in-between , no friends.
When i was just about 7 or 8 i remembered laying in bed crying and questioning where was god and why was certain things happening in my life just as Marjane was. This was because when after i was 2 days old fresh from the womb my dad had gotten arrested for drug charges back in Jacksonville Florida. My mom was in and out of the police station with me and my brother due to the fact she was considered a witness. Just as i was 2 weeks old my mother had sent me and my mother down to Jamaica to stay with my grandmother until everything had cleared up. There i was raised, i went to school and everything turned from bad to worse. I was constantly picked on and bullied all because i spoke proper English. I use to get made fun of cause everyone thought i though i was better then them because i was American. I always came home crying and bruised up from getting pushed down or hit and i always use to say " God, where are you" or even second guess if there was a god or not since i never seen him or stopped getting bullied.
Eventually everything stopped as the years went by i had gotten a few friends, stopped getting bullied and i even learned how to speak Jamaican fully. My father came home right before my 15th birthday. Every thing has been running smoothly since then. But that's How Marjane's "God, where are you?" relates too me.
They settle into a house next to a cemetery. Now when the son played he burned incense sticks and sang songs to dead ancestors. The motherdecided to move again.
She found a home across the road from an university. The son now spent all his free-time reading booms about mathematics, science, and history. The mother and her son stayed there for a long, long time."
"she finished the story as we pulled up to our new house."
This part in American born Chinese by Gene Yang really stood out to me the most in the entire story. Because it had sentimental values? because it's a very significant part of the story? because i can relate? maybe, maybe all. maybe you, maybe them, maybe all of us can relate.
Reading this i felt as if she is worried of the surroundings of her son and how they might influence him to be someone in particular, forcing her to act immediately and move away. My story is sort of the same with a little twist to it at the end. From very little i moved from house to house, different school every grade, always having to start up fresh. It wasn't easy, but i knew that my mom as a single mother losing it all just wanted what was best for us, me and my siblings. I remember her always telling me stories of how important people who go to universities were and how easy their life economically and time wise was. I would read and read all the time and teach myself everything i could so just in case i wasn't good at one thing i'll be better at another three. I learned english in 5 months. I searched universities, private schools, honors programs, i got good grades, received awards. I didn't like the idea of moving because i was slightly different from everybody. My hair was blonde, my skin was pale and my eyes were light. I was an "american" to them and i didn't "belong" in a school full of tan kids with curly hair. i would get picked on a lot. But i kept my mouth shut and brought good grades home. I feel like all of the changes i've gone through were lessons and it had made it easy for me to develop as a human being and being my self. Eventually i got accepted as i was, and people would be interested in my poems and stories. Yea at first i hated the moving all of the time and having to adjust to everything but i honestly believe of it wasn't for such, i probably would of never gave writing a try.