20 April 2011
19 April 2011
Re-watching Spider-Man opened my eyes to realize how awesome he is. He was not one of my favorite hero's, but the fact that Peter Parker is only a teenager makes him appear like a person who anyone can relate too. With his goofy and kind personality while masked and unmasked, we feel comfortable to like him. Spider-Man is an important superhero to society because Peter is just a normal guy in heart. He did what a typical teenager would do, use his gift to impress a girl, but he choose to use his gift as good, not evil. He is not this perfect man who acts arrogant with the strength he obtains, he is someone who makes mistakes and always tries to correct them. We admire Spider-Man for his unwillingness to give up and his undying attempt to be the hero. We are all kind of like Peter Parker, just dorks who continue to chase dreams and try our best to be the perfect persona of good.
I really enjoyed watching this movie. I like how Peter Parker is young when he discovers his powers because the viewers don't know if he is going to do good or bad with them. I also like the love story between Peter Parker and Mary Jane. I just wish the actors did a better job in the movie and didn't "over act" every scene.
Peter Parker first obtained his "spider" powers in high school when he visited a laboratory where spiders were being tested on. A new species of spider was loose in the lab and bit Parker on the hand. Parker went home not feeling well, but after a long nap, he woke up to his new muscular body, and perfect vision. After experimenting with his new body, he then finds out he has a new "spider sense", can climb walls, and that he can now shoot out web from his wrist. All of this is very new and amazing to Peter Parker.
In no time, Parker is out fighting crime under the secret superhero name "Spiderman." While this is going on, an evil is stirring inside Oscorp Industries founder, Norman Osborn. Dr. Obsborn is tired of waiting for his new performance-enhancing chemical to be approved, so to prove that it is safe to use, he decides to use it on himself. The test goes extremely wrong, and Dr. Osborn turns into a super villain with extreme strength and power. With anger and hatred towards Oscorp staff and military leaders, Dr. Osborn is ready to fight under the name, "Green Goblin."
The Green Goblin then decides to kill and destroy all those who betrayed him in his business activity. The only person he sees that is standing in his way is Spiderman. The Green Goblin offers a proposal to Spiderman to join him in his activity, but when Spiderman neglects his offer, things get messy. Green Goblin makes Spiderman his main target, while putting civilian lives in danger. This goes on until the Green Goblin makes Spiderman choose, either to save a tramway full of children, or to save his beloved Mary Jane. As things turn out, Spiderman is able to save both, but does not escape the wrath of the Green Goblin.
The conclusion of the battle ends with Spiderman dodging the Green Goblin's glider, which stabs and kills the Green Goblin. After the battle, Spiderman takes Dr. Osborn's dead body back to the Osborn's house, where Dr. Osborn's son, Harry, sees Spiderman. Before Harry can reach for his gun, Spiderman flees. This leads to Dr. Osborn's funeral. Here, Harry promises to revenge his father's death. Peter Parker knows that this is not over, especially since Harry will take his fathers footsteps.
I enjoyed watching this movie. I have only seen this movie once, but the second time around I thought was better. I caught some parts I missed before, and understood more after the class discussion we had. I did not know that the Twin Towers were taken out of the setting because of 9/11. This was interesting to me. All of this new information presented made the movie more meaningful to me. Before, I just watched the movie with no background information on how this movie was made.
18 April 2011
I really enjoyed reading this comic. Believe it or not I actually think comics are beginning to grow on me. I really liked this because it was not about super hero's but it still had good moral content. I really liked how the comic was realistic and on a true event in history.
Wow. I very much enjoyed this reading. It was heart breaking to read about individuals who constantly struggle to live and suffer unbearable lost. The fact that mice were used to portray people made the story more sympathetic because they appear so small and helpless. Even though Anja is gone, the memories of her still bring Vladek and Artie closer.
Chapter five takes off years later, with an older Artie who gets a call from his step mom, Mala, complaining about Vladek being on the roof of their house trying to fix a leak. At first, Artie refuses to help his father, but after hanging up the phone, he decides to go see his father. When Artie arrives, his father is upset about Artie not wanting to help him. While Artie and Mala discuss Vladek's behavior and how he read Artie's comic titled, "Prisoner of the Hell Planet" , Vladek wants Artie to take a walk with him to the bank. Artie agrees to go and Vladek begins to tell Artie of his Holocaust story.
Vladek begins by telling his son of how in 1943, all Jews had to go live in ghettos. Vladek worked in a woodwork shop while his wife, Anja, worked in a clothing factory. Guards would walk them to work, and walk them back everyday. Since times were dangerous in these ghettos, Vladek started talking to a man named Haskell. Vladek talked to him about moving to Zawiercic because he had some influence with the Germans there. This would be safer for the kids as well. Vladek told his son of how he survived the Holocaust by hiding in bunkers.
When Artie and his father arrived at the bank, Vladek gave him a key to his safe box. Vladek wanted to make sure Artie had a key so his second wife, Mala, would not take all his money. Mala was just after Vladek's money. After one of his heart attacks, Mala would ask Vladek about his money and how she wanted it. Vladek wanted to make sure his son got to his belongings first. In the safe were many valuables that Vladek had managed to save during the Holocaust.
Chapter five was very interesting and full of a lot of detail. It was kind of hard to remember all the names of the people Vladek talks about. Also, some of the sentences in this reading are hard to read. The German words also make it difficult to understand as well. This chapter was interesting though. Vladek's was interesting and showed me what difficulties Jew faced at this time in history.
12 April 2011
Now, in 1939 Mason is a New York police officer who at night becomes a costumed hero. The desire for adventure began in 1938 when the Superhero's were created, like Superman. Secretly Mason was fantasizing about becoming a hero himself. Then a masked man with a noose around his neck begins saving citizens from crime, which further influenced Mason to choose his vocation. Soon he began working out non stop, creating a name, and a costume. His name was the most difficult, but it was inspired by a work buddy that once called him a night owl. Finally, Mason began fighting crime, but there were seven other individuals who fought crime as well. Over time all superhero's came together to create the Minutemen, which is a gang of costumed hero's fighting crime to make their country safer. All is well for a while, but some superhero's left, some were murdered, crime lost it's excitement for others, and most importantly there were no costumed bad guys to fight against. And in 1949 the league ended. These superhero's were all human, they suffered downfalls and endured much pain, but they removed their costumes and stopped playing the savor. In the end, Mason the Night Owl retired from his police work and went back to mending vehicles because that was the last time he truly felt real happiness.
I very much enjoyed this reading compared to the others. It seemed so believable and extremely vivid. Mason is a person one can relate to, he is a normal person who achieved superhero status by working hard and being determined. Even though he took off his mask in the end, he did not stop being a hero. He left behind a legacy that influenced younger generations of costumed hero's. Mason's story portrays that anyone can change or make something better in this world.
11 April 2011
31 March 2011
I very much enjoyed reading this chapter. Realizing how much discrimination against genders and prejudice towards other ethnicity's are involved in comics is just shocking! As a female, I consider it extremely offensive for women to not be given equal rights as men in the comic work place. World War II portrays that females are fully capable being creatively successful in the comic industry. Seeing more color in comics would be more appealing, there are just as much people of color than average white males in the world. I truthfully feel that solving diversity of genre is too far in the future, I once had this perception that comics and superhero’s go together. So, when comics can expect other one for who they are, then maybe the public will openly welcome comics a whole lot more.
29 March 2011
28 March 2011
08 March 2011
|Plan on spending lots of time here after break!|
In any event, I hope you all are considering registering for April Kent's Library Research class! As I've said since day one, this course will require you to do outside research; what better way to do it than getting credit at the same time! Of course, you don't have to register for her section (there are three others), but Ms. Kent does have the most experience with helping my students.
Questions? Quibbles? Controversies?
03 March 2011
Superman is actually Jewish, who would have thought? Weinstein brought up many interesting arguments throughout his little book, most made a lot of sense to me. I must say, I totally agree that Superman is Jewish and it was not just a coincidence that he was created during a rough era. I think it is amazing how Siegel and Shuster created this hero who has created a sense of hope in different ethnicities throughout the world. The reading was extremely entertaining and fun. Superman never appealed to me like other superhero’s have, but now this 73-year-old supposedly Jewish man has made quite an impact.
Superman is said to be like Moses because in both stories their parents had to make the choice between life and death, both children are able to live and are adopted. In both stories Superman and Moses have the power to do good, and that's what they do. Superman is compared to Samson based on his strength, he has been quoted, "A guy named Samson once had this idea!" Another biblical reference is Superman's real name Kal-El as well as his fathers name Jor-El. El is used in the bible as another name for God. El is also in names of great prophets such as, Isra"el", Samu"el", and Dani"el", also the angles Micha"el" and Gavri"el". In the bible Michael is the great combatant who fights Satan, which could easily make him Superman's flying biblical alter ego.
When I think of superheros, especially Superman I never used to think of any type of religion. I just used to think of a brave man in tights who saves the day. But after reading this I realize that there is a great possibility he is Jewish. His creators were Jewish, giving him more reason to be Jewish as well. After reading this with the biblical similarities it makes be believe he is Jewish. Superman came around the time when the Jewish people were being killed off just cause the simple fact they were Jewish. So why wouldn't two young boys create secret Jewish character for all of America to love!? Superman defeating the Nazis is another sign...yes he is Jewish!
Sent from my HTC on the Now Network from Sprint!
02 March 2011
Superman can first be identified with Jewish culture through the Bible. The Bible is a main focus in the Jewish religion, so there is no surprise that Siegel and Shuster relate Superman's personality to heroic figures in the Bible such as Moses and David. The connection between Superman and these biblical figures is that they all yield courage at one time or another, and have supernatural powers to serve their people. When European Jewish immigrants first came to the United States, they brought these biblical stories with them and passed them down to their children.
Superman's childhood is also related to the way Jews were treated in Nazi Germany during World War II. In 1939, Hitler persecuted Jews horribly in Germany. Jews could not hold government jobs or even own radios. Jewish parents would send their children to England to seek safety. Superman's childhood has the same background as these Jewish youth. Superman was sent away from Krypton to avoid the mass destruction of his native planet. Just like these Jewish parents, Superman's parents made the choice to send him away to avoid death.
When European Jews first came to America in the early 1900's, they were persecuted by many. It was hard to get a job at this time if you were a Jew. This was when Jewish children and teenagers began creating supernatural characters who came to protect the innocent and fight evil. Siegel and Shuster were just two of many Jewish teens who lived in America at this time. With them included the creators of Batman (Bob Kane and Bill Finger), and many other Jewish comic artists who migrated to America.
With all these Jewish creators of comics, comics became a multi-million dollar business. The public began to accept comics, and the comic industry grew. Comics were eventually studied within the highest levels of academia, and not just seen as cheap child's play. 2002 proved to be a good year for comics. In 2002, actor Nicholas Cage sold his comic collection for $1.68 million. This same year, the New York City Comic Museum released C.O.M.I.C.S. (Challenging Objective Minds: an Instructional Comic book Series), which was a curriculum for k-12 used in many schools. These can be considered milestones that show the progression comics have had.
I do agree with Weinstein's belief that superheroes come from Jewish culture. Weinstein gives great examples that explain the code behind the Superman comic. From showing how Superman's personality is related to biblical characters, to relating Superman's childhood to those children from Nazi German, it is hard to argue Weinstein's claim. The fact that many famous comic artists are Jewish helps his claim. I think the main reason comics such as Superman, that are written by people of Jewish ancestry have such a great appeal to Americans is that America is a Christian nation. Since many people have christian values, Superman appeals to them because the Jewish values of the authors are very closely related. This is why I think superheroes come from Jewish beliefs.
There was an actual scene in the comic where Lois was placed before a firing squad during the Nazi attack on the Jew and predictably she was rescued by her lover Superman. The Author reveals the original name of Superman which is Kal-El. he made reference to the fact that most great biblical characters name ended with suffix El. Isra-el, Dani-el, Samu-el, Micha-el, Gabri-el. he also stated that the suffix "Kal" meant "with lightness", "swiftness", "vessel" and "voice". This the author believes directs us towards the ethnicity of the character. Finally, the author made reference to the birth of Moses which he mirrored to that of Superman. They were bot placed in vessels by their parents with the hope of them surviving and not having to face the pending destruction upon their lives. Both Moses and Superman were entrusted wit special powers and capabilities to save other from the hands of evil men forces that lurked around. In the end of the article superman defeated the Nazi and reminisces on his childhood that took place in the 1920's.
As a reader that has recently been introduced to the value of comics. I must admit that it was very intriguing reading the introduction and first chapter of the book. Based on the evidence and logic provide I am favored to agree wit the notion that Superman is indeed Jewish. Firstly, the creators of the characters are Jewish decent and this I believe will factor into the characteristics and ethnicity of the character. Most writer transports their experiences, beliefs and own characteristics in their characters. Secondly, the origin of the original name made perfect sense whether it was deliberate or coincidental. The writer supported her arguments with good and solid proofs, which I found hard to disregard and refute. Finally, the similarity that was identified in the birth and purpose of both Moses and Superman made the claim more believable and provided a convincing story. Now I might be wrong along with the author. However, based on the facts provided I am left to agree with the argument and belief: Superman is Jewish
In the beginning of the introduction of Up, Up, and Oy Vey! it is said that Jewish Americans invented the comic book. It says that it’s not coincidental that most superhero names end in the word “man”. If you look at many Jewish names, Goldman, Kurtzman, Goodman, and many more, they all end in the word “man”. Another thing said is that they related the Superheroes that they came up with, to the Bible. We can see the many traits that superheroes have which are connected with the Bible: Integrity, Justice, Values, Honor, etc.
In chapter one it talks about some of the ties that Superman comics have with the Bible. The comic says that Superman is a man who has the strength of a dozen Samsons. Samson was the Biblical man who had extraordinary strength and crushed the building of the Philistine chiefs. In episode #81 Superman goes undercover as a shtetl resident. Shtetl is the Yiddish term for a heavily populated Jewish town. In the same episode Superman meats Moishe and Baruch and accompanies them to their house. There, while Baruch is drawing in the corner on a brown piece of paper, Moishe tells superman that Baruch is drawing their angel again and that he, Moishe, makes up the stories while Baruch draws up the pictures.” This represents Siegel and Shuster when Shuster would draw on brown wrapping paper back when they were just young boys. Clearly Jewish religion has strong connections with those superheroes in comic books.
I never really thought about where the inspiration for these characters came. I was on the line of believing and disbelieving that superheroes descended from Jewish beliefs, but was shortly convinced. After I read the part about Moishe and Baruch drawing the pictures and making up the storyline for their “angel”, then I knew that it was true. Superman wasn’t just someone with extraordinary powers who could fly; he was Siegel and Shuster’s angel who they based their entire beliefs off of. Now that makes me wonder if all superheroes are really Jewish underneath.
24 February 2011
Horrocks goes on to claim that McCloud does not justify why Eisner’s definition of “Sequential Art” is definitive in comics, and he chose it based on his personal likings. McCloud takes the concept of “Sequential Art” in order to rewrite it and rename it as comics. Horrocks claims that the definition is a metaphoric system made from other related metaphors, such as, “Comics are a literary genre”. McCloud’s definition is broad and based on visual mediums that he considers and reconsiders children’s picture books to be comics. But since McCloud decided that pictures must tell a whole story, Horrocks feels that McCloud should add an amendment to his definition stating, “Comics must not only contain pictorial narrative; they must be dominated by it”. Overall, the definition provides some closure. McCloud erases the history of comics to focus our attention mainly on media. But then in his book, he returns to the history once more to reclaim cultural artifacts that have been incorporated by other art forms. With the easel of the marginal status of comics as well makes Horrocks believes that McCloud is less concerned about the past than the future of comics. Horrocks suggests that McCloud created a myth in his book that claims pictures gave birth to writing. Horrocks believes, “…with the invention of comics, pictures have finally won the war with language and replaced words altogether”. Horrocks claims that McCloud’s Understanding Comics has helped build the comic nation.
With complete honesty, this response was highly dense and long just like Mr. Ben warned. I do not know how many times I read over it, but it still manages to get me stumped. I did not enjoy the reading very much nor can I agree with Horrocks. The fact that McCloud’s book helped me become more open minded towards comics, I cannot stray far from his opinions. I suppose I will remain a sheep in McCloud’s flock.
To me it seems like Horrak is trying to 'out do' McCloud and say that McClouds definition isn't a fit one. For someone to write a whole book about comics in comic form isn't easy. McCloud really knows what he is talking about and it all makes sense. The whole purpose of this book was to shed a positive light on comic books not to go into such depth about the definition. Sure the definition is kind of broad but after reading this book most will look at comics differently. And if so... Mission Accomplished by Scott McCloud!
Horrock explains that the main value McCloud establishes is closure. Closure allows pictures to transcend the traditional limitaitons of the single image, becoming narrative. Even though McCloud values closure, many people see the problem of comics as crude, poorly drawn pictures while their real problem is the reason people see them this way. What holds comics back are people's attitudes.
Along with comics problems, McCloud writes that comics problems are associated with not what they could be, but what they have been. In order to advance, comics need to get rid of their history. McCloud talks of a division of form vs. content. He also explains the phrase "form as vessel." Form as vessel can hold any number of ideas and images. Even if you do not like comics, you should be able to admire the form. The form McCloud talks about focuses the readers attention on the pure shiny form. This makes comics an equal medium in the eyes of the public.
Horrock also writes of how McCloud uses Eisner's term because it is useful. The term highlights the things McCloud values most about comics. Horrock explains how McCloud basically just uses Eisner's term and makes it into a dictionary style definition and renames it comics. The new meaning just colonizes the old meaning. This is why Scott McCloud's book is arguable because he bases his book off a definition that he just renamed.
Another argument Horrock brings up is McCloud's fear of words or Logo phobia. McCloud thinks a comic should be dominated by pictures and have little dialogue, but my McCloud's definition, as long as their is two pictures somewhere in a book and they tell a narrative, then that book is a comic. McCloud also does not attempt to define the border between words and pictures. There is no rule stated to as how much text and pictures can be in a comic.
This reading was somewhat hard to read, but had a lot of valuable information to make the reader think twice about some of McCloud's ideas. The summary was to show the reader that McCloud's book should not be taken as fact, but as an arguable opinion. The reader can argue the statements McCloud makes. Horrock does a good job of making his arguments of issues he disagrees with McCloud. We now have good reason to be superstitious about the definition of comics.
23 February 2011
Is Scott McClouds definition really a good definition of comics? Well Inventing Comics by Dylan Horrack is all about McCloud’s definition of comics and why it isn’t that good of a definition. In McCloud’s book Understanding Comics he tries to define comics and make people think of comics in a different light. Horrack’s piece is all about how McCloud doesn’t do a good job defining comics. In Horrack’s second paragraph he states “When you’re preaching to the converted, its easy to convince them that you’re speaking the Truth- rationally rather than rhetorically. (Horrack page 1)” Harrack starts off by explaining McCloud’s book and how he goes about explaining comics. Horrack explains how McCloud came up with the definition that he came up. The term ‘Sequential Art’ actually came from Eisner who used it in his when he was defining the art of comics. Throughout Horrack’s piece he talks about how McCloud’s definition is not very good, because he just uses a term that someone else used and just said it was the definition of comics. Scott McCloud makes his definition look like a dictionary style so the he pulls the reader into believing that his definition is correct. Horrack mentions in his piece that McClouds doesn't say anything about the style or the content of comics. He merely defines comics as sequential art. Another big part about McCloud's definition is closure. Horrack just writes about all the bad aspects of McClouds definition.
I think that Horrack's piece on McClouds book is good. I like it because he really talks about why McCloud's definition is not good, or accurate. I agree with Horrack just because McCloud doesn't ever talk about what makes up comics and i think that is important. Before I read this piece i really liked McClouds definition, but now i think that it is to broad. McClouds definition can include some stuff that I do not think are comics. But everyone has their own view on comics. Comics can include a lot of things but i think that McClouds definition is too broad. And Harrock just shows all the bad things about McClouds book and definition
He goes over chapter one by summarizing and paraphrasing selected panels in the chapter. He paraphrases that in page 3, panels 7-9 Scott McCloud come up with a solution to change people's perceptions of what they think comics really are. Dylan Horrocks explains that McCloud's metaphor of himself spitting out the comic drink because he does not acquire the taste for that specific comic; McCloud is implying that if a person does not like most comics they still can admire the form (genre, style, publishing and history) of comics.
Dylan Horrocks then begins to go over Scott McCloud's definition. He says sequential art is where Scott's search for a definition begins and ends. He believes that part of McCloud's definition "sequential art" is the "hidden power" because it makes the readers think of closure. According to Dylan Horrocks, McCloud does not try to prove that his definition is right but that McCloud is showing what he admires and appreciates most about comics. He shows that McCloud expands on his idea of sequential art and turns it in to a standard dictionary definition. He states that McCloud's definition is great because it includes so many things but it also has its limitations stating that comics are not single panel cartoons.
Although Dylan Herrocks believes Scott McCloud's definition is great, he also states that Scott McCloud is unable to define it all. When McCloud was asked if his definition included children literature his answer was "not if the prose is independent of the pictures..". Herrocks find his answer reviling because you would think that from Scott McCloud's definition, children's books would be considered comics too. He believes McCloud would be willing to include picture books because he included photo booth pictures and stained glass windows as sequential art. But why not children's books?
I agree with Dylan Herrocks that McCloud struggles to qualify his definition. I think McCloud should fully include children books or fully exclude children's books. After reading his response I wondered if McCloud's definition was as great to me as it originally was. I came to the conclusion that his definition is now "OK". Even though he did not specify everything his definition is broad yet it still excludes things such as a children's book.
22 February 2011
Dylan Horrocks' article Inventing Comics: Scott McCloud's Definition of Comics is kind of like our Rhetorical Analysis essay on steroids. It was first published in The Comics Journal, an academic periodical about comics, in 2001--ten years after Understanding Comics. It's an important piece because while our class (and McCloud's readership as a whole) takes his ideas at face value, Horrocks shows us why we shouldn't. And it's in that that we can truly see the brilliance of McCloud's rhetoric.
This is your reading for Thursday. But be warned, it's pretty long, somewhat dense, and I want you to blog about it! This is not a Wednesday-at-10pm assignment! You need to spend some time with this text before your write about it, and then give yourself some time to draft a strong. coherent post. As this essay will feature heavily in our Contextual Analysis essay, you'll want to make sure you have a good grasp on it before we discuss it in class and clear up the difficult bits.
Your blog will begin with your typical summary (which will be very helpful when it's time to start our second essay), and end with your response to Horrocks' thesis. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
Lastly, because of how important it will be to look at this piece as a class, you need to come to class with notes on the article! You can even just print up your blog post on it if you want. But you need to come to class prepared to discuss his ideas, and you can't do that from memory!
Questions? Quibbles? Controversies?
15 February 2011
The almighty six steps can be found in the rhetorical analysis for Mr. Ben’s class. The first step would be the purpose of the essay, which is to prove whether McCloud proves the values of comics. The second step is the fact that the analysis is written in an essay structure, with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The third step is the vocabulary we decide to use and explaining the genres of McCloud’s book. The fourth step would be the rough draft of the essay, which is where we decide what is good enough to make the final draft. The fifth step is finalizing the final draft and making sure is almost perfect. Of course, the sixth step of the rhetorical analysis is turning the final draft into Mr. Ben.
In my opinion chapter seven is beneficially. When it comes to writing, we are all the students and should be open to learn more because there is so much more to learn. The six steps helped me understand how I can improve my rhetorical analysis a little more. I also found how McCloud portrayed pre-historic humans to be extremely humorous. Again, chapter seven was enjoyable.
Instead of making art for money, McCloud explains how people use art to represent their individual identity. McCloud writes of three ways art is used to help people express themselves. The first is through exercise. Many play sports or games to relieve stress. Art also helps people with emotions. Art is good if someone has emotional imbalance. The last example of how art effects humanity is through invention. Art inspires creativity and new discoveries.
After explaining these three ways art helps humans express themselves, McCloud reveals his six steps to making art. Here is a bullet of the six steps to make it as clear as possible:
- Idea/Purpose-before you can start your work, you need to reflect on why you are doing what your doing. The purpose of your work.
- Form-This is where you decide what genre your art will take. Example include a book, chalk drawing, sculpture, or comic book.
- Idiom-Idiom can be described as your vocabulary and subject matter. Style of the genre is included.
- Structure-This is where you decided how to arrange your project. Composing your work.
- Craft-I could describe this as constructing your work and applying your art skills on you project.
- Surface-This is how your work looks when finished. Representation of the work.
It is very hard for everyone to walk step to step with these six rules. Many viewers of art do not see all six steps when looking at art. Many just see the finishing product or surface. Idea, form, idiom, structure, and craft are sometimes not fully recognized.