24 June 2009

It is a Multiculture Comic World!

In the article Reinventing Comics, by Scott McCloud he gives the reader the idea of comics and who writes comics and how it perceives the world by having the same issues the world faces like discrimation, equality, and diversity. McCloud talks gender balance by showing us that women have been writing comics for a very long time no matter how much comic writing and reading sounds like a male hobby. He discusses Minority representation and how comics have been writen by hispanics, blacks, Jewish, and are common whites. As he called them milestones because they made a big turning point for comics. Then last but not least McCloud brings us to the diversity point of comics and how it shows the world or at least readers how to be open with different lifestyles. From being gay, straight, poor, or rich. Writing comics is about looking at the problem solving it, and hopefully making a little bit of money. Then there is Genres and for that McCloud gives us a defination of a broad category of fiction and nonfiction in any communication medium with presupposes certain elements of styles and content. No matter the comic that is read it is all about solving a problem that individual may face indepentently or as a whole world. Just sit back relax and enjoy comics because they are full of entertainment.
McCloud makes a lot of good points in this article it was actually quite interesting and enjoyable to read. As a reader lately I feel that McCloud is somewhat interesting to read his idea and understanding about the world of comics.

COMICS ARE DOOMED, or maybe not....

"Big World: the Battle for Diversity“, is the second chapter from Scott McCloud’s book Reinventing Comics. The Chapter deals more in depth with the Twelve Revolutions that comics need to under go to become more widely appreciated and accepted. The three revolutions he calls Gender Balance, Minority Representation, and Diversity of Genre from chapter one are the most important. McCloud thinks that if there was a better gender balance, meaning more women writers, artist and readers that comics could potentially have more room to grow both in audience and diversity. McCloud also thinks that Minorities are not represented enough in comics and that there are not enough writers and artist for comics (too many white people).Lastly McCloud wants more diversity in genres of comics. Most comics that come out are either superhero comics or just other knockoffs of another comic‘s great ideas. McCloud thinks that if comics grow in all these areas that comics will become not only more popular, but that the rest of the Twelve Revolutions will come easier.
I agree with McCloud (I know that is weird, right) on all points he made on theses three revolutions. I think that if women were represented in the comic world as more than just big chested and the objects of young boys wet dreams, that comics would be better off. What is so wrong with more women kicking ass like Wonder Woman, or women just having more point in a story than a damsels in distress like Lois Lane? However, I do think in order to connect with a more female audience the writers would have to be women (no mater how hard a man tries we women are still just a little beyond their levels of understanding), which would be part of McCloud’s gender balance definition in his revolutions. Also I think that minorities should be represented more. If comics want to be taken seriously they have to be diverse. It can’t always be a white man saving earth. That drives me crazy. I have not really read a lot of comics yet, but I’m about positive it would be hard to find a well written comic about a Puerto Rican superhero, and that’s if I could find one at all. Last but not least we have Diversity of Genre. I think this might be the most important of all three of the revelations McCloud covers. Not everyone is interested in super hero comic, and no one wants to read the same concept, idea, and story line in every comic. I get that the “great” comics writers like Alan Moore can’t really have great new ideas because it is hard to make a living, but hell why can’t he just get a job at McDonalds and still give us great ideas on the weekend. I think that if comics are going to be about making money and not about doing what you love to do, they might be doomed!

Diversity, Minorities and Genres.....Yeah

In Scott McCloud’s Reinventing Comics he discusses the seventh, eighth and ninth revolution. They include gender balance, minority representation and diversity of genre. McCloud emphasis, that in order to make comic a popular item, artist and publishing companies need to “expand the boundaries of the medium in all directions” (96).

McCloud is making a statement that a gender balance is necessary. If there were a more common or popular female comic it might attract a new group of readers, women. In the history of comics, they were targeted towards young male audience. As we learned in the “Watchmen” the young man eventually becomes a police officer and reads the comic of the young male population for enjoyment. Although it seems that he is interacting with the youth he really is reading the comic because of his interest. McCloud does in fact talk about how there were female artist that created comics for women however they had to take the “back seat” of the comics that were more popular and geared toward men. I believe that if comics were more feminine they would reach an audience of women. It is also possible that if the exploitation on women was eliminated from some comics it would be a success. Some comics portray women as sexual objects and yes, sex sells, but as it degrades women they are more like to not read it.

The eighth revolutionary of minority representation is also a factor to how successful a comic becomes. In the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s there were race issues and that lead publishers to stray away from incorporating minorities into their revolution. As I see it although segregation was a difficult era and time were hard if the publishers would have tried to incorporate all minorities into their comics it might have been a great success. I would have given people of all minorities a chance to laugh and take an interest that might have continued on with them to adulthood. If comic artist would have a variety that reaches different ages, ethnicities, races, religions, class, and sexual orientation to name a few, would really engage more readers because the comic is reaching out to everyone without discrimination. It would reach a larger variety merely because the artist wants to share his/her creativity and love of drawing and creating comics. I think being a new era and the fact that we now have an African American President, and anything is possible, the comic artist that invents a new superhero of minority descent will help flourish the audience and business of comics.

The ninth revolution that McCloud discusses is the diversity of genres. Having a diverse genre could only make things for comics better. Audiences like a variety of reading if there were more romance comics that could attract the female audience, cartoon comics already attract the children with Pok√©mon and Dragon balls. Superhero’s well that targets people of all ages and the list can o on and on. There are many things that comic artists can create if only the publishers would not set restrictions on what they can and can’t do while creating their art. After all McCloud emphasis that comics are a form of art. I agree with the seven revolutions that he has talked about in Big World: The Battle for Diversity. If incorporating these three revolutionaries could benefit the audience of comic readers why has it not been done.

Yes, All of That is Fine and Dandy, but I Want More!

"Big World" a chapter in Scott McCloud's book Reinventing Comics is about how the diversity in comics needs to be shown more. The amount of minorities that read comics is very small. McCloud wants to break this barrier. He notices how the levels of women, minorites, and genres are very low in comics. Every comic that is produced is nearly the same as the next; a picture perfect superhero, or some goofy animals. McCloud wants a bigger following of the comic medium because it has so much to offer, all that is needed is some folks to step up. He also mentions how even though comic book stores that provide a wider variety of comics sell less books, they are more valuable than the comic book stores that do not have a wide variety of books. This is because the srore with more variety is obviously a more comics committed store than the latter, which is a financially driven store.
McCloud wrote this chapter of Reinventing Comics nicely. I agree with his arguements about gender involvement and how women need to be included in reading writing and being characters in comics. Other traits that need to be invloved in comics are varieties in genre and in minority involvement. It is a stuggle to write in a perspective that is completely different from your own. Some people can overcome these barriers, but most cannot. It is hard for people to work for a big company's needs and keep their creativity at the same time. This effects the amount of women, minorities and genres that exist within comics. Overall, companies need too be more open to underdog comics creators because they can offer the next big thing.

23 June 2009

Diversity--There Should Be More Of It

The chapter "Big World" in Scott McCloud's Reinventing Comics deals mostly with diversity. In this chapter, McCloud focuses on three of his twelve revolutions: 7) Gender Balance 8)Minority Representation 9)Diversity of Genre. He believe that if comics were more diverse, there would probably be more people reading them. I agree with this because if there were diverse comics that caught everyone's eye in some way, more people would be reading them. More diverse comics would show readers and possibly interested readers that comics aren't just for teenage boys like they're seen to be.

McCloud first begins the chapter by writing about the seventh revolution, gender balance. Although it seems like men are mostly the creators of comics, McCloud found out that women had actually been creating comics since the 20th century. This is impressive to hear that women have been creating comics for so long. Women writers don't get much notice for their work which is odd. Now, there's some paths crossing between writers and readers of different genders. Women readers are starting to read more of men's writing and vice versa. The eighth revolution, minority representation, has to do with different races, religions, etc. In McCloud's opinion, minority representation is linked to the writers experiences. Milestone Media, a multicultural group of writers, came together with DC Comics and came up with a whole group of multicultural heroes. The ninth revolution is the diversity of genre. Many people think that the only genre of comics is superheros. In the nineties, though, autobiographical comics were becoming more common. For some reason, crime fiction and romance genres aren't very popular amongst intended audiences. In Japan, however, genres in comics was more diversified in the 50s and 60s. Now, they've lost a bit of their diversity. Comics can be any genre, and I think readers should stop with the superhero stereotype genre because obviously there is more out there regarding different genres that readers aren't paying attention to.

Reading is for Everyone, Right?

Well I have to say I completely agree with Scott McCloud about catching readers from both men, women, black, white, Mexican, Jew, etc. Just like everything else in life, comics can not only target a certain race or gender.

Women might go for the sad comic, (which I am not sure exists), but there are men who also go for the same thing. The African American race might enjoy reading more about a hero who is black, but the White race might enjoy it just as well.

This really shouldn't matter to the writer or to the company trying to make a sale, after all, money is all the same no matter who has it.

McCloud has some really good points on types of readers there might be, and just the same about who is inventing the comic. His point, to my understanding is plain and simple, getting comics outward and not only forward to all different types of people. Of course, one community might enjoy comics more than the next community, but this goes for everything from movies to music, to the types of clothes we each wear.

McCloud is hoping that comics can come alive again, and target all people, which at this point would be for the benefit of comics. To make comics interesting, to get new ideas, new talent out there would be best, of course, and the inventor could be just about anyone, any gender, any race, so long as the comic sales increase. After all, reading is for everyone, right?

Not a Snowballs Chance in Hell

The second chapter in Reinventing Comics, written by Scott McCloud, deals with the issues of diversity in comics. Diversity spawns from three of his twelve revolutions stated in the first chapter. 7) Gender Balance, 8)Minority representation, and 9) Diversity of Genre. McCloud first discusses that creators and readers of comics are few and far between. Which boils down to there is only a small percentage of people in the world that even have a thought about comics. I can see where this applies in my world, because of the hundred and some odd family members in my family who have never even seen a comic book.

The first reason McCloud gives to this travesty is that there is little to no Gender balance. Comics have mainly and still somewhat are geared to young boy. There are comics made with women in mind, but they are created by men. McCloud goes on to explain that there are a few women creating and designing comic, but again few and far between. The underground movement brought forth women comics that were emotionally honest, politically charged, and sexually frank. Due to age that we live in, and being that nothing is a accident in life, women could be the future of comics. Maybe they are the group who can save the comic business by just pulling in more women readers.

The next revolution is Minority representation. I my opinion the minoritys face the same issue's as with gender. McCloud claims that this issue can be solved more easily by the writers and artists adding in more minoritys. The problem is though, how do you portray a black, hispanic, gay, or feminist individual if your not that minority? My answer is to encourage these people to make comics. This is America after all, and as I said before nothing is an accident. There are some minority comics out there, one just has to look.

The diversity of Genre is most promising of revolutions. McCloud offers that we, in our minds not real life, burn all the old Genre's of comics and let the writers and artist run wild. Let them create whatever they choose, something is bound to come out looking good. I disagree with this idea or revolution. Humans are a creaters of habit. Eventually comics will repeate what they have already have done, it's a fact of life. One can branch out and make a new or explore a new Genre. It may be the new thing for awhile, but eventually it will complete the circle of life and start over.

Diversity in this context basically boils down to MONEY. McCloud is making an attempt to save his industry. I totally get this because when I get older I do not what to end up behind a desk pushing paper and computers. I want to do whatever I damn well please and make a little money to keep me and my family afloat. I have a hard time buying into this but, let the artists make art for art and themselves. No telling where well end up, as I said before THERE ARE NO ACCIDENTS!

Everyones Hero

As Mason proposed story would have left many of the characters unusable for future stories, Mason used the story as a means to reflect contemporary anxieties and to critique the superhero concept. Watchmen takes place in an alternate history. United States where superheroes emerged in the 1940s and 1960s, helping the United States to become safe. The country is edging closer to a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, freelance costumed vigilantes have been outlawed and most costumed superheroes are in retirement or working for the government. The story focuses on the personal development and struggles of the protagonists.Watchmen is set in an alternate reality which closely mirrors the contemporary world of the 1980s. The primary point of divergence is the presence of superheroes. Their existence in this iteration of America is shown to have dramatically affected and altered the outcomes of real-world events such as war. These readings have been interesting and fun. Reading comics like Superman allows the to imagine what every human wants to imagine of being a superhero and saving the world or someone like Clark. It is about facing fears that human hold within themselves and being a hero in the end and solving the problem on their own. Also, comics hold a special story line that help American’s and other nations deal with the world problems in a humor way. This helping humans understand that no matter how bad there is always a hero out there to help fix the problem

22 June 2009

Morals of a Hero

In, It’s Superman, Clark Kent is disillusioned when he is talking to his mother, or it appears he is talking to her, it’s like he is regaining confidence to finish off the robot. It isn’t until after she tells Kent, “Now get off that silly chair and go do something. Doesn’t matter what. Just do something, Clark” when he finds the strength to continue on fight the robots. I believe that when Clark feels powerless he finds strength in the words of his mother, which eventually leads him to do well. The other chapters are about Lois Lane and Lex Luthor. Lois Lane in the chapter is at the wrong place at the wrong time. She becomes a witness to the murder of the former police chief. I did not realize that it was yet another instance for Superman to save her when the car is headed straight for her. Superman always has Lois Lanes best interest at heart in the movies and the comics. Luthor is discussing his plans for the robot and how he plans on distributing free products to all political influences as his decoy to take over the world. It was not an interesting chapter because my visuals of the reading were only taking place in a car. I found that chapter boring and dull.

It’s Superman was confusing how it jumped from different scenes or stories. It is written like a novel and I enjoyed reading it. I found that when I read comics I am distracted by the picture because they do not fully represent my ideas of what should be taking place. When I read a novel, my imagination creates the scenes of what I am reading. It is fascinating to me to read novel instead of watching the movie.

Under the Hood is an interesting biography because it has a beginning, middle, and end. It discusses the morals his grandfather taught him and how to apply his morals to everyday life. The beginning of the biography draws in the reader. Once the reader has found empathy in the introduction the reader is hooked and will continue until the book is done. Under the Hood discusses how the name “Night Owl” came about and how one man’s determination and moral values became the reason for this discovery. While having seen child pornography, prostitution, child abuse, and dysfunction of all types lead this young man to literally “protect and serve”.

This has been one of my favorite reading so far this semester. I know that “Denise” was correct in telling Mason the importance of creating a novel was to “Start off with the saddest thing you can think of and get the audience’s sympathies on your side” is the best advice any writer could use. It really worked on me. I enjoyed the reading and hope more of our readings are in this form.


In the article Up, Up, and Oy Vey!, by Simon Weinstein he explains how Jewish culture is the beginning of the comics the readers are most familiar with like Superman. Weinstein tells the reader about how comics were created around the Jewish culture and traditions of growing up. The characters all gave a meaning to a lesson being learn that was taught either by parents or the Bible. The use of me metaphors in this article gives the reader the idea of telling that most people look at a spider and think it is scary, evil, going to harm you. In this article Weinstein shows us that spiders are like Jews in the since that they are trying to do good for the world, but they seem to be scary, evil, or going to harm you. I like this article as it was good to go back to the comics I am familiar with to read the relationship between comics and real life. As humans we look for someone to help us or give us the answers our "Hero's" in reading comics like Spiderman and so forth we can relate to finding those hero's someone to save us from evil whatever that might be to oneself. Weinstein makes some good points in how comics relate to life and problems that we face.

You don’t have to be Super to be a Hero

It’s Superman tells the story of a younger Clark Kent, before he fully understood his powers and the responsibility of being Superman. Like usual, Lois Lane has gotten herself into trouble (being that head strong, woman of the future), and Lex Luthor is trying to take over the world with is Lexbot.

There is a scene in the story where Kent is talking to himself and his mother. He says he did not want to fight the Lexbot, but his mother talks him through it. I think that everything Superman did has been done over and over. Although it was an interesting concept having the dialogue between his mom and himself (all in Kent’s head),but other than that I think it was lack luster and boring.

Under the Hood is set up like an autobiography, and tells the story of Hollis Mason (the Nite Owl), in the 1930- 40’s era of the masked hero. In Under the Hood , Mason talks about all the hardships of the masked hero group that he was apart of called The Minutemen. Such as the masked hero known as Dollar Bill, who was a masked hero for hire. Dollar Bill was killed when his cape (designed by his employer a bank to have the maximum public appeal) got suck in a door and he was shot as point blank range. Also the masked hero Silhouette, who was practical forced to leave the Minutemen by their manger, when she was ousted as a lesbian. She was later killed (shot in the head) with her lover. Most of all though Under the Hood is about Hollis Mason (Nite Owl) and his life leading up to, during and his after his retirement . Such as he wanted to be a masked hero when he was younger but became a police officer, until he heard about Hooded Justice, who was already a masker hero stopping crime. Then his decision to retire because real super heroes with real powers were coming up in the world.

This was such a interesting look at the real life of the masked hero. I mean, everyone knows about all the good, such as stopping the bad guy and the praise. However, one never really hears or ever thinks about the bad, such as the Minutemen all being up on trial and forced to show their true identities. This was crazy good. It takes the idea that heroes are real people with real problems, families and hang-up to a whole other level. The story made the Minutemen real. In my opinion, anyone could really be the Minutemen because they are just everyday people, fighting for justice, and truth.

21 June 2009

Well as I read "It's Superman," its a bit difficult because any thing I've read, which is written about Super Man has been in comic form with pictures. This was more like reading a novel. Every time I read a part which may involve a bit of action like when Lois almost got hit by a car and Super Man saves her, I found myself picturing this in a panel of a comic, with Super Man pushing that car out of the way with his strength. It helped me understand what I was reading, though, I was still a bit confused, or maybe wasn't following the story correctly. It seemed to jump from the beginning when Lois was helping Ben when he got shot, to the end where Clark/Super Man over powers the Robot and destroys it, but didn't seem to come together in the middle. There was a whole lot of reading, which I seemed to get lost in.

I did however enjoy "Under the Hood," though. It was cool to me how "The Night Owl" used his views on the world, what was going on in the world in that time, i.e., the great depression to make his decision on super hero's and becoming a super hero. How his becoming a police officer influenced him to become a superhero. This reading was, to me, descriptive, very clear and easy to follow. His idea on super hero's was to save the world and all of the sin that was going on. I suppose in other words a real super hero, trying to save the world against real life crime, crime that you know really happens, i.e., child pornography, rape, not so much make believe with powers that in real life don't exist. The Watchmen might be superhero's like Super Man, Bat Man, etc., but with out the power to move cars with their bare hands. This was an autobiography, maybe this is why it was easy to follow from the beginning of Watchmen to the end, and did come together throughout the writing. I wouldn't mind of all readings were similar to Mason's readings in the sense that the writer lists findings of real life.

The Heroes

In the conclusion of It's Superman!, Lois witnesses a former policeman, Ben Jaeger, get shot by a man named Paulie. Paulie attempted to run over Lois and Ben until Superman came in and saved the two. Later on, Superman tries and does indeed destroy a robot created by Lex Luthor. The "Lexbot" was first distributed to a long list of celebrities and world leaders. The robot went around destroying everything in its path and Superman had to put a stop to it.

It's Superman! was interesting. It was a bit hard to fully understand, though. I felt like the little stories were skipping around too much, leading to some confusion. I could picture exactly what I was reading as if I was watching the whole thing in a movie.

"Under The Hood" is an autobiography of Hollis Mason's journey of becoming and being a costumed hero, Nite Owl. After moving from the country into the city, Mason was disgusted with all of the crime taking place which is understandable because i don't think he saw that much crime when living out in the country. Mason soon became a cop. He then became interested in superheros after reading the first issue of Action Comics and also from reading the newspaper, noticing a couple of stories of heroism by a man in costume--Hooded Justice. Mason now wanted to create an alter-ego for himself much like Hooded Justice. He wanted to save the city from those horrible crimes. Nite Owl came into existence in 1939. By this time there was already more than a handful of costumed heroes about. These heroes were soon to be known as the group Minutemen. The group was in existence up until 1949.

I thought this autobiography was a good read. It was interesting to hear all about how Nite Owl came about and the whole group of the Minutemen for that matter. You could tell the amount of passion the heroes had in what they do. I don't think that the group was ready for the changes that occurred towards the end of their existence, that's probably why they didn't stay together all too long.

They're Number One in the Hood, G!

“Under the Hood” is a story about the origins of the Nite Owl in Watchmen. He tells the history of masked vigilantes in the 1930s through to the 1950s, what got him into becoming a hero and he leads up to how the Watchmen were beginning to form. The Nite Owl (he narrates the story) says how he was secretly inspired to become a hero after reading the first Superman comics in the 1930s Action Comics. Later in his career as a hooded hero, he became united with several other hooded heroes like himself. They called themselves the Minutemen. At first they were loved by publicity and everything else, but eventually everything turned bad. Heroes slowly were dying off in unnatural deaths while others picked up bad habits like alcoholism. Eventually, after the Minutemen had passed, a new form of heroes appeared in the media—super heroes. Realizing that his time of being the one to save the day had passed, and that he needed to pass the hero torch to new comers, the Nite Owl retired. Soon he gets a letter from an aspiring hero who wants to use the name Nite Owl in respect of the original. Seeing that this new guy has his stuff together, he passes on his name.
I thought that this was a wonderful story and now I want to read the rest! The way that it is written is sophisticated, but easy to understand. Just by reading the story I can feel the emotions that are meant to be felt. I felt sad about Moe Vernon and his last day in his car shop when he found out that his wife left him for one of his employees with all of his money. I also felt like laughing when he still had the fake boobs on because it reminded me of the movie The New Guy.
The conclusion of Its Superman! is very interesting in many ways. It is about Superman trying to defeat a robot that Lex Luthor created and planned on sending to one hundred people including leaders, celebrities, artists, etc. These robots are apparently dangerous and attack the city because every building and car is destroyed. Also Superman saves Lois from getting hit by a car (how unlike Superman, huh?).
I liked this story too, but I felt a little confused with what was going on (even with Ben’s synopsis). I loved the way that it was written. It was like there was that announcer’s voice again. It is presented in an ironic form because it tells you information that the protagonist doesn’t know by depicting different points of view. Clark doesn’t realize that the robot is Lex Luthor’s work until he reads the robot’s serial number after he destroys it. It was definitely a good story all in all, and I want to read the whole thing.