Well, our second week of class has come to a close (only six left!), the first round of essays have been turned in (well, most of them...), and we're done with Scott McCloud (for now, anyway). To kick off our next "unit" of the class, we're starting by reading Dylan Horrocks' critique of Understanding Comics and McCloud's theories in general: Inventing Comics. Just click on the link and enjoy pure, unadulterated rhetorical critique! Besides the fact that Understanding Comics is probably the best analysis and entry into the medium of comics, I also chose this book to study McCloud's brilliant rhetoric (the way he formulates, presents, and defends his argument that comics are art). Our first essay was basically the same kind of writing Horrocks is doing but to a very scaled down degree (we only analyze one topic where Horrocks is analyzing...all of them, I think). And Horrocks' probably isn't as nice about calling out McCloud's rhetorical trickery as our essays are :-)
One of our next readings we'll be the Superman story from Action Comics #1! This marked the very first appearance of Superman and really kicked off superheroes as a genre. You only need to read the Superman story for class, but you should really read the rest of the comic, as well. For one, that we have access to the comic (even in digital form) is a huge deal seeing as how a mint-condition copy of it is worth around $500,000. But you might also find something useful in there for your research paper. I had a student who analyzed the kinds of advertisements that appeared in comics as a paper topic, and that issue was helpful for her. Just sayin'.
After that, our next few readings will be from E-Reserves. That link should take you to the page, as well. I'll give out the password in class...when I know what it is :-/ But we'll talk about that more on Tuesday.
Lastly, despite a lackluster showing on the poll in our sidebar, it looks like the blog is largely fine as is? Okay then. Look for a new poll soon...about something or other...In the meantime, I look forward to reading some essays!