22 March 2012

The Simpler the Better!!!

In the first comic of Superman,”Action Comics #1,” lets the reader in on a small portion of Superman’s life when he was a baby. He was sent in a space craft that his father built to save Superman from the self-destruction of his home planet. When he was on Earth, he was found by a motorist and placed in an orphanage. As a baby he had already acquired his super strength. We are then reading about the future, when Superman or also known as Clark Kent is an adult and is a reporter for a newspaper company. Superman saves a lady in distress as he going to the governor’s house with a very important message. (This is the first story of Superman saving a person that we are told) Superman is confronted by the Governor’s butler and he is refused the privilege of speaking to the governor at this time. But have no worries reader, Superman uses his awesome power of strength to get to the governor and he even brings the butler with him. The governor is asleep but awaken when Superman tears the steel door off the wall. Superman tells the governor that Evelyn Curry is innocent and he has a signed confession. She is 15 minutes away from being executed unless the governor calls it off. The butler must’ve felt that Superman is a threat to the governor because he reveals a concealed gun and aims it directly to Superman. The butler threatens to shoot Superman if he takes another step in his direction and of course Superman steps toward him. But the bullet doesn’t penetrate his skin, instead it ricochets off. Superman then presents the governor with a paper that is a signed confession from the real murders. The governor calls off the execution and spares an innocent life. The next day when the update of Evelyn Curry’s innocents is announced in the daily newspaper, Clark is called into his boss’s office. The boss gives Clark the responsibility of reporting on Superman. He wants him to find some information and take some pictures of Superman in action as an attempt to spice up the newspaper because it is dull. Just as he walks out of the boss’s office, a co-worker tells Clark that there is a wife beating in progress. Clark leaves the office to attend to the wife beating but doesn’t arrive to the address as Clark but as Superman. He throws the husband around like a rag doll and makes him faint. Shortly after the husband faints, Superman puts his street clothes over his costume and the police appear at the apartment. Clark returns back to his job and gets the courage to ask Lois Lane to dinner, which she accepts. Later that night the couple appears at a restaurant and is dancing. A man named Butch is at the restaurant with his two buddies and notices Lois. He decides to cut in and tries to dance with Lois. He tries to encourage Clark to fight him but Clark doesn’t fight him because he must keep his identity concealed. Lois is furious with Clark for not defending her and slaps Butch. She decides to leave in a taxi and confesses to Clark that she don’t pay any attention to him because he is a spineless coward. Butch and his buddies follow Lois’s taxi. They ram the taxi and force it into a ditch. They retrieve Lois and put her in the back seat of their car. Superman is standing down the road, in the middle waiting for them. Butch, who is the driver of the car, doesn’t slow down as he gets closer to Superman. But Superman hurdles over the car and beings to run after it. He picks the car up and literally shakes all the passengers out of it. Butch runs away on foot and is caught by Superman, who hangs Butch from a telephone pole. Superman then takes Lois to the outskirts of the city and reassures her that the incident will not be in the newspapers tomorrow. The next day, Clark apologizes for their dinner date but is given the cold shoulder from Lois. Clark’s boss sends him on travel to San Monte to report on the current war but instead he is going to Washington D.C. He attends a congressional session and witnesses a lobbyist talking to a senator. He takes a picture and over hears them talk about meeting at the senator’s house tonight at 8:30. Superman watches the two gentlemen talk as he stands outside the window. The gentlemen are talking about a bill that is going to be finalized. The lobbyist leaves the resident of the senator and is confronted by Superman. Superman picks the lobbyist up and gets on top of the capital building. Superman asks the lobbyist if he should jump to another building and the lobbyist pleads no. Superman doesn’t listen to the numerous pleads and jumps for another building. The comic ends without telling the reader if Superman completes the jump onto the other building or if he falls short.

After reading Scott McCloud’s book, “Understanding Comics- The Invisible Art,” there are numerous of things that are noticed, that are mentioned in the book. One thing that McCloud focuses on is closure, closure is when there are parts of something and we piece them together and make a new meaning of them. There are at least three incidents that I noticed that go on without explanations. They are that we aren’t told if Butch gets down from the telephone pole, we are also unaware of how Lois Lane gets home from the outskirts of the city and we don’t know if Superman completes the jump to the other building or falls short. Another way that we can relate the “Action Comics #1” to “Understanding Comics- The Invisible Art,” is by understanding that Scott McCloud focuses on the simplicity of the language in comics on the second chapter. He is stating that the language and the art in comics are simple. Even sometimes things are represented by icons. There are also motion lines in “Action Comics #1” in some panels, but they are used to show that there is movement in the panel.

I found the first edition of “Action Comics #1” interesting. I’ve read comics before and some of the art is complex. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that the art is awful; no it is a treat for your eyes. But the art in first edition is simple and it still is a treat for your eyes. What I’m trying to say is that plain and simple isn’t bad but is sometimes just as good as complex art; a prime example is the “Action Comics #1.” I enjoyed how the storyline had a lot of details to it but somehow the creators wrote the story within 13 pages. I adored this comic so much that I read all the stories in the “Action Comics #1” and “Detective Comics #27.”

1 comment:

  1. You've got a really long summary of a 10-page comic ;-)

    Also, Action Comics #1 doesn't so much relate to closure and motion in comics as it's an example of them. I was hoping for a little deeper connection :-/