12 April 2012

Rough Riders

At the Rough Riders Museum!!

The Hero with a thousand faces.... Annotation

In this book of A Hero with a thousand faces author Joseph Campbell what I have read Campbell writes about the theory that how important myths from around the world which have survived for thousands of years all share a fundamental structure, which Campbell calls the monomyth. The monomyth or the hero's journey, is a basic pattern that its proponents argue is found in many narratives from around the world. In a monomyth, the hero begins in the ordinary world, and receives a call to enter an unknown world of strange powers and events. The hero who accepts the call to enter this strange world must face tasks and trials, either alone or with assistance. With this new source in my summary I plan on showing the reader that all hero's whether they are biblical or comical they all follow the same patterns and all have powers of some sort .  

11 April 2012

Annotated Blog

Meskin, Aaron. “The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism”. Blackwell Publishing, 2007.

The article, Defining Comics? written by Aaron Meskin, explains about other comic writers definitions of comics and discusses about why he thinks that those definitions are right or wrong. Some comic writers that he talks about are David Kunzle, Scott McCloud, Greg Hayman and Henry John Pratt. I am going to use this article for my essay because not only does it just give information on one definition, but it also gives information and quite a few other definitions by other authors. It'll help me to explain that there is never going to be an exact definition of a comic.

Death of Superman

Carlin, Mike Death of Superman, DC Comics, 1992, print.

The Death of Superman talks about the tragic death of the man of steel by a creature named Doomsday and the epic battle of good verses evil this is going to be the main base for my research paper it helps me get more in touch with the roots of why people where so touched by the thought of a death of a legend finally brought to the end then the anger and frustration it displayed back to the masses when DC brought superman back from the dead.

10 April 2012

History of Superheroes in Comics

Superheroes in the film Comic Book Confidential filmed by Ron Mann gives us the background and information to most of the comic books written in the past. He takes us through main points in the history of comics. According to the film certain comic books hidden because they were considered to cause kids to take the action s superhero would such as fight, kill, and so on. Superheroes appeared because of the abandoning of pervious comic books. That is how superheroes came about because other comics were vanished and someone had to step in and create something that was completely just right for kids. That is one of the few reasons why I believe that superheroes such as hulk and superman did not derive from Jewish culture because according to this film it shows us that superheroes were created and came about because of the other comic books that were being left and cause for the rise of something that brought justice and seem educational on morals and law!

An Annotated Source I Found Useful

Spiegelman, Art. Maus. New York: Random House Inc, 1983. Print.

What a fine source to use for my analytic essay. The graphic narrative "Maus" is a perfect example of what comics have been striving to do for years. My sole argument for my essay really boils down to how comics are no longer meant for all audiences anymore, and the course material in this book helps me prove this. This story is truly a narrative portrayed through seemingly harmless animals. It holds the same complex George Orwell's "Animal Farm", but instead of discussing the ruthless takeover of communist Russia, "Maus" depicts a vivid story of surviving the Holocaust. It all is from the perspective of Spiegelman interviewing his emotionally distant father who tells him in pieces the true reason for his mothers suicide and why he is so stead fast in not spending money and doing manual labor himself. The story gets a lot more gut wrenching and brutal, but for the purpose of my essay this is exactly what I require. I assure you that I will also have at least five academic sources, but utilizing this mirthless story will be the building block of what I am trying to convey.

Ready to save the real world!?

In the movie, Unbreakable, it was about an ordinary man discovering what his true destiny is, all thanks to the help from a man whom was obsessed with comics. The man’s name was Elijah and Elijah as it had shown in the movie, was obsessed with comics from when he was a child. He has a condition that is very rare which causes him to break his bones so easily. As he realizes that he breaks so easily, his theory is that out there, there is someone who is unbreakable. This is where David comes into the movie. It all begins when there is a terrible train wreck and only one survivor out of so many had lived. This was David, whom was unharmed the whole time of the wreck and from there Elijah starts to pursue him, trying to prove he is unbreakable. It takes some time for David to believe and as he is trying himself to understand what is going on with him, his world gets more hectic, like his son actually pulling out a gun and pointing it at him ready to shoot, just to prove he won’t die. As time passes by, David realizes he is unbreakable but has a weakness, just like the way superman does. Elijah is the one who discovers his weakness which is water.
When David finally accepts the truth, he than helps a civilian family in need from a bad man. He decided to become a new superhero that hides his identity. As David goes to see Elijah to thank him, he touches Elijah’s hand and realizes that Elijah himself was also lying. He was the one who de-railed the train and sacrificed all those people just to find David. Elijah says the most important thing of all which is that David is set to be the hero but every hero has to have a villain. So Elijah became his enemy and David walked away.
This movie was a good one. It had a realistic feeling to it, nothing like these other superhero movies with graphic effects and such. It had a sense of realism to it, and I thought that was thing that made it so great. This movie relates to Maus, and Our Cancer Year, because even though these comics are series, they have real events going on in them. In Unbreakable, it has the same feeling of real life events and it’s based on the actual reality of things. So if someone dies than someone dies, or if the villain does something wrong than they actually go to prison not another alternate universe or if the superhero wants to save the day than they save real life events not made up meteors or ugly creators of the night. That’s how it relates to Maus and Our Cancer Year, because they talk about and have the feeling of real life consequences to them.

Unbreakable.... A great movie

Unbreakable starts off with a baby being born (Elijah) who is born with the disease Osteogenesis imperfecta a disease where bones can easily break. Time passes.....
It is also about a security guard named David Dunn who’s coming home from work and a train he is on derails and crashes. 131 die, one survives (David), he also has no injuries not even a cut. Before that he’s a big time college football player that is supposed to have a promising future. He’s dating  a cheerleader and they are in a bad car accident she gets hurt pretty bad but once again David is perfectly fine; She becomes his wife....Later.  Elijah runs a comic book art gallery and has a  theory that they are what remains of an ancient system of storytelling, and the superheroes they are about are based on real people. Elijah believes David may be one of these people. He has never been injured or taken a sick day from work, and he has tremendous strength, plus the ability to tell if someone is about to or has done something bad. Comic book specialist Elijah contacts David to confront him with a theory: David doesn't know what to think about the theory, or Elijah himself. Elijah, who has been nicknamed "Mr. Glass" because he has fragile bones, thinks that David has got what he doesnt. He starts to find things or remember things out of his past after he has this talk with Elijah. David has never been sick or physically hurt, and his strength exceeds more than he ever knew. After spending time trying not to believe in what Elijah was telling him David started to take his gift to help others. He has another gift that when he touches people he can see wrongs they committed out there pass. He finds this guy that killed this man and his wife but still has the kids at their home, so he follows the man to the house and saves the kids. He goes to see Elijah later and for the first time he shakes his hand. He saw that all those big “accidents” over the past few years were set up by Mr. Glass. Elijah thinks he had to do everything he did to find David; he felt that in his heart that there was more to the reason of his body being the way it is but in doing so he found that his role in this story was the villain because he’s the opposite of everything David is.
This was such a great movie about normal people that have crazy abilities but don’t want to admit it because it doesn’t seem possible. David was strong but he was a man before super hero that’s why he faked his injury in the car accident so that he could be with his girlfriend but he also went to save those kids without weapons or help.

Oh no, not the C word!!

In the comic, Our Cancer Year, discusses a real traumatic event in the lives of Harvey and Joyce. They tell the story about how they were faced with the possibility of Harvey having cancer. Fortunately for Harvey it was only a scare. However they were fearful of that fact that when Harvey went into the hospital for a removal of a hernia and the doctor found a tumor. It was a lymphoma, and that scared Joyce terribly. The doctor was very na├»ve in telling Joyce about the tumor and how Harvey was going to need a CAT scan. Not knowing what a CAT scan was, or not receiving any other information from the doctor about it, Joyce assumed the worse immediately, cancer. Joyce was terrified of the possibility that her husband had cancer and that she was going to lose him. Luckily Joyce had a friend who told her about using the toll free number to get information on cancer. During her call with the cancer hotline Joyce receive clarification about a CAT scan. She also requested information about cancer, to read and gain a better understanding of what they could possibly be facing. When Harvey went in for his CAT scan and results he found out that it had been contained and there were no signs of cancer.

Cancer is a serious disease that is difficult to cope with. It took Harvey by surprise just as it did Joyce. Harvey being a good man decided that it was necessary to fill out a will and make sure Joyce would be alright. Even though it may have seemed to be premature actions that were taken, when a situation of this nature occurs in your family you have to think ahead.

Cancer has occurred in my family. My mother was twice diagnosed with breast cancer. When you hear that someone close to you has cancer you react in certain ways. When we found out both times that my mother had breast cancer it was very difficult for my father, siblings and myself to deal with. Just like Joyce we assumed the worst case scenario when the doctor informed us that the she had breast cancer. My mother was first diagnosed in 1998 on her left breast, then a few years later in 2004 on her right breast. I am thankful to God to still have my mother and pray each day that the cancer never comes back!
I really enjoy this comic, Our Cancer Year, especially because I could relate to Joyce and how she felt.

Will Eisner's Revised Instruction Book

Eisner, Will. Comics and Sequential Art. 2nd Edition. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2008. Print.

Comics and Sequential Art is a masterwork of the twentieth century’s great American artist, Will Eisner. He was a pioneer in the field of comic arts. In his revised classic book Comics and Sequential Art, he refines the art of graphic storytelling into clear, concise principles that every cartoonist, comic artist, writer, and filmmaker needs to know. The book is an essential text filled with invaluable theories and easy-to-use techniques. Eisner has revealed the fundamentals of graphic storytelling. He addresses dialogue, anatomy, framing, and many other important aspects of the art form. This updated instructional book is as valuable a guide as the 1st edition. And, I will be using this book to understand and the guide readers of my research paper through the types of comic books and how they changed with time.

Looking into the Future of Comics Annotations

Understanding Comics
McCloud, Scott. Understanding Comics: Invisible Art. HarperCollins, U. S., 1994. Print.

Scott McCloud is considered one of the pre-eminent comics theorists on the basis of his Understanding Comics, a important work in comics theory. McCloud's work is still fundamental to comics theory, especially due to his own practical use of comics language engaging with more theoretical vocabulary or reference to theory like semiotics, post-structuralism, or narratology. McCloud revisits many of the ideas and vocabularies raised in Understanding Comics, such as the gutter and the representation of time through visual sequence, in order to reconsider, develop, and extend these ideas, especially in the context of technology and digital media. The economic slowdown of comics in the 1990’s, which could suggest the waning cultural import of comics, Reinventing Comics becomes mostly a type of manifesto arguing for the aesthetic, cultural, technological, commercial, pedagogical and artistic potential for the medium.McCloud's spends the second half of the book on an exploration of the intersection between comics and digital media, after the Comic book industry developing a more economic and commercial model for a reinvigorated comics industry. The research topic that would be making my argument is looking at Comic books as acceptable literature for educational purpose will be on the theory's of Scott McCloud's whole overall theme in "Understanding Comics." McCloud's whole message that the current state in the 1990's was that of an absent one. and the state of Comic book in our current time an acceptable form of media.

Ken Schenck, Superman, and Jesus

Schenck, Ken. Superman: A Popular Culture Messiah. New York: Peter Lang, 2005. Print.

A Popular Culture Messiah goes into depth on the topic of  the similarities between Superman and Jesus by analyzing the "eight Christic personalistic traits" and ultimately concludes that Superman is a replica of Jesus. Schenck covers Superman's divine paternity, earthly existence, divine naming, and divine calling among other things which prove the parallels shared between Superman and Jesus.


Persepolis is a movie based on a biographical comic books by Marjane Satrapi. The movie starts out with Marjane sitting in an airport reminiscing on her childhood. We are taken to Iran and introduced to Marjane as a young girl growing up in the middle of the Islamic revolution in Iran during the 1980s. She is a rambunctious kid who's middle class parents participate in rallies fighting for a better society. We meet her Uncle who was imprisoned for trying to re-enter Iran from the Soviet Union. Iranian society only becomes more and more oppressive as the years go by. The war leads to Marjane witnessing terrible atrocities and losing hope in God. She finds every chance to rebel, for example listening to western culture music and wearing westernized clothing. Scared that she will be arrested, her parents send her to Vienna. While in Vienna, Marjane jumps around from house to house until she ends up on the streets and nearly dies from Bronchitis. She ends up in a hospital and contacts her parents and asks to return to Iran. She goes back and falls into a deep depression, but finally snaps out of it and decides to go to college and while getting her degree she sees how hypocritical Iranian rules are, especially concerning the way men could dress compared to all the rules women had to follow with their clothing. Also to avoid being fined for holding her boyfriend, Reza's hand, the young couple marry. Shortly after though, her marriage falls apart and she divorces him. Consequently her family suggests that Marjane leaves Iran for good to avoid arrest. We see Marjane in present day sitting in a cab telling the cabie she is from Iran. Her doing so proves she held fast to what her Uncle and Grandmother told to do, to never forget who she was.

Scott McCloud addresses in his book "Understanding Comics" that comics have the ability to be about anything, anything at all. I would have never guessed that the story of a girl growing up in Iran during the revolution would make a good comic and eventually animated movie, but McCloud and Satrapi again shows their superior intellect by proving that comics are a medium that is only limited by people's own lack of creativity and adventurous nature.

Overall, I really enjoyed the movie. I appreciated the fact that it had a comic book feel to it with the animation. The plot was a shockingly serious topic, but as discussed in class, the animated characters made it easier to relate to, so the fact that it was an animated film didn't detract from the profound emotions that were portrayed. I think, like Maus, I will have to add Persepolis to my reading list.

Jews in Comic Books

Kaplan, Arie. "Jews in Comic Books: How American Jews Created The Comic Book Industry."                 MyJewishLearning. 9 April. 2012 http://www.myjewishlearning.com.

This web article by Arie Kaplan is very helpful for my research paper as it briefly analyzes how the Jewish people were able to suceed in comics as well as how many characters are influenced by their tradition. My research topic is on how comics have been used to retell stories and also why comic creators choose to do this. Jews in Comic Books discusses how throughout time comic books have been controlled by Jewish people and how the Jewish tradition can be reflected by the superheroes they create. Arie Kaplan also gives a few examples of several superheroes who show Jewish influnce like Capitan America, The Fantastic Four, and the X-Men.

Annotation of Andrea Kuszewski's Blog Post

Kuszewski, Andrea. “Walking the Line Between Good and Evil: The Common Thread of Heroes and Villains”. Scientific Americans. , March 31, 2011.

Kuszewki's blog points out that comic books tend to focus on the battles between super heroes and villains; in other words, good and evil. It also points out that in reality villains and heroes aren't so different after all; in fact, the people who tend to do the most heroic things usually straddle the line between good and evil. This relates to my research topic because it explains that heroes and villains should not be held at opposite sides of the spectrum. In order to help superheroes become literary characters they must become more realistic. Maybe, changing the stereotypical “good guy” superhero into someone not so good who does heroic things might do that.

09 April 2012


The movie unbreakable starts out in the past time to a new born baby, later known as Elijah, who appears to have his legs and arms broken without any sort of violent contact. The movie skips ahead to the present where a man, David a security guard who is the main character, is on a train headed home from New York. This train is derailed and David shocks everyone by being the only survivor of this accident. After this incident his reaction is more aware, he now seems to value this miracle and looks for signs. Outside the funeral of the other passengers of the train a note is left on David's car with a question: Have you ever been sick one day in your life? This hits him hard and sends his mind elsewhere. He see's this as a sign really thinking about if he ever has been sick, asking his wife and co-workers wondering what meaning this note has behind it. He traces the stamp back to where the note originated and has a chat with Elijah who thinks David could sure enough be a super hero, which sounds ridiculous right? David appears to let this go in one ear and out the other, which surely isn't the case underneath the front David is trying to put up. After this Elijah starts showing up in his life more and more day to day trying to convince him of this comic inspired idea. From then on he shows David the signs; David is a security guard so he protects people, he cheated death on the derailing of the train without a scratch, and he hasn't been sick one day in his life but he does have a past with water. David experienced a life threatening accident when he was younger drowning in a pool but was saved. This is another important sign; every superhero is great but has a weakness, David's is water. Elijah is doing something much bigger than just getting into David's head about all this he ultimately testing him, secretly. David starts to accept this ability he has of being a "superhero" and is convinced this is no coincidence but more of a gift for the good. In the end Elijah has tested him to where David learns he is the good while Elijah is the evil. He has been testing David causing these events to test whether or not he is strong enough to survive them, Elijah all along has been the villain. He has done this for himself and David. David now knows of his newfound gift and Elijah knows his place in the world.
Unbreakable is a good source in showing a reality of superheroes not just as cartoons, and showing the villains are too breakable. They are the second role, but the strongest overpower in the end. This can be related to Superman. Superman as a child learned of his powers but also chose to keep them hidden, while also having his own weakness. Superheroes can't be broken given the right gift and the right mind of using this gift.

Unbreakable=Super & Breakable=Eww!

Unbreakable is a movie about a man who is indestructible. This man doesn't know his own gift until later in his life after he is the only survivor of a terrible train wreck. However, the indestructible man named David is not the one who discovers his gift it is actually a man named Elijah who is the opposite of him. This man hears about Davids survival and reaches out to him with a theory about David. His theory is that since he is so breakable and continuously getting hurt than their must be someone out there who is unbreakable. He looks at himself and David as being on a spectrum and he is on one side and David is on the opposite side. Their is one problem to Elijah's theory which is: David almost drowned as a child. After discovering this news Elijah is upset and is contemplating in a comic book store where he comes across a Superman comic. He remembers that Superman had a weakness which was Kryptonite and this relates to David. David's weakness is water. David finally accepts the fact that he is Unbreakable and decides to help people who are in need. David's gift has helped Elijah find his place in the world. Since they are on opposite sides of the spectrum and David must use his gift for good then Elijah must have been put on this world for Evil.
This was an interesting movie and in a sense it relates to the comic we read about Superman. David decides to keep his identity hidden along with Superman. They both use their strength for good. Superman and his villains are always opposites like David and Elijah. The main similarity is that they both have a weakness. Obviously, Elijah also sees the similarity since a Superman comic is what helped prove his theory.

Comics in the Classroom

Wilson, Chris. "The Best Comics for Your Classroom." The Graphic Classroom. N.p., April,7,2012. Web. 9 Apr 2012. . Print.

I am using the blog website The Graphic Classroom, to support my essay on why it's important for comics to be taught in the classroom, and what comics are popular within the elementary age groups. The Website takes each comic that is appropriate to be taught in the classroom, and then they review it. The editor of the Blog states "I know that reading is a problem for many students today. I feel strongly that comics and graphic novels can be one way that we can combat this problem." and this is what I am going to base my essay around, trying to prove that comics can solve many reading problems that kids have today.

Use the Enemy. Use Anarchy.

Persopolis is based on the autobiographical comic of the same name by Marjane Satrapi. It tells the story of the author’s coming of age in Iran during the war with Iraq, her move to Vienna to attend high school away from the war, her return to Iraq and her final move to Paris. The animation in the movie was also done by Satrapi and is incredibly accurate to the illustrations in the comic. Along with being accurate to the comic, they are extremely creative in the use of only black and white with the exception of a few scenes in the present day that are depicted in color. Weaving in and out of dreams and thoughts and swirling back into the story seamlessly. Marjane makes for an interesting character in the comic with her head banging to 80’s metal, wearing patch-covered leather jackets and supporting anarchism in a very calm and experienced manner. When her peers seem to be spoiled kids from rich families that were sent away to boarding school because their constant whining about the system was getting very annoying to their busy parents, but Marjane has witnessed political turmoil and bloodshed. The fact that she got to leave and grow up in a safe environment fills her with guilt for her countrymen and people her age that weren’t so lucky or weren’t even alive. Her personality is brooding and troubled but the story doesn’t get drudged down, it manages to keep it’s pace and liveliness in the movie.

I don't really understand why autobiographical authors use their own names in their books and comics, personally, I would give myself a very creative name. Marjane uses her own name in Persopolis exactly how Harvey and Joyce use their real names in their comic Our Cancer Year.
Luckily modern America has not experienced a war on the home front. But that terror and devastation is known very well around the world. In WW II the US benefitted from the fall of European countries and their reconstruction. Sometimes it’s easier to talk about things you don’t know about. In this case, Americans talk a lot about war and attacking other countries, but maybe we would think harder about it if we knew the destruction first hand.

Fresh Jasmine Flowers

Persepolis is a movie we watched based a book written by Marijane Satrapi, which is the story of her life growing up in Tehran, Iran. Persepolis was published in France and then in 2003 published in the United States after it won many awards. The story is about Maji's childhood and trying to grow up through the Islamic revolution in 1979. While growing up she had her mother father and grandmother there to support her every move and eventually had to break it to her that society was going down the drain. Maji was just trying to live a normal life as much as she could by acting like any other kid wanting to be involved in the pop culture and what’s “in” style. Maji focused a lot on imagine and wanting to express herself in the way she liked. By doing this it made it harder for her to grow up because of the strict rules their society has to abide by wouldn’t allow this. Girls were not supposed to be so outspoken and only have one purpose to get married one day and have a family. She had to wear a veil at all times and have no skin showing or any make-up. Girls were simply looked down upon and Maji rebelled against this standard.

Living conditions started to get worse, were Iran was being bombed every day in and all around here neighborhood. So Maji’s parents sent her off to Vienna, Austria because they thought she would be safe and have a better life there. Maji went through many struggles when she moved here because she couldn’t find a place to fit in or be accepted. She felt like she could not connect with anybody and by trying to find herself she experimented like any other teenager does. She started having sexual relations with guys thinking they would fill a void that was missing, also started to smoke and drink. Maji was not happy and finally moved back with her parents to fill that void that was missing.

I loved this movie, I thought the animation and the message it was giving across was amazing. I thought Persepolis related to the reading Our Cancer Year because they were both true stories. They both focused on the struggle of one characters life and how they defied the obstacles. Both just simple showed it was possible to get through anything when friends and family are by your side to help.

The Life of Ms. Satrapi

Persepolis is a simple story told by simple means. The films pictures are arranged into the chronicle of a young girl’s, Marjane, coming of age in difficult times. Persepolis, austere as it may look, is full of warmth and surprise, alive with humor and a fierce independence of spirit.
            Marjane’s Grandmother is the sturdy matriarchal anchor of Persepolis, a source of humor, advice, and moral guidance for young Marjane, and also embodiment of the film’s no nonsense feminism. Like her grandma, Marjane is a natural rebel, someone who takes freedom as her birthright and dares the world to challenge her. Marjane grows up in a family that suffers under the Shah’s dictatorship. Against the forces of intolerance and superstition, Marjane, following her grandmother’s example, takes an impetuous stand as a champion of enlightenment. The political dimensions of her story are as clear and bold as her graphic style, but Persepolis traffics more in feelings than in slogans, and dwells most persuasively on the uncertainty and ambivalence of adolescence. As in Our Cancer Year, Satrapi’s illustrations are similar in the way that they both lean more towards trying to show us the true emotions coming from the characters, rather than trying to be perfect drawings.
            Persepolis dramatizes this dilemma without forcing in into an easy or sentimental resolution. Persepolis is whimsical and daring, a perfect expression of the imagination’s resistance to the literal minded and the power mad, who insist that the world can only be seen in black and white.

Annotated Bibliography Blog

Spiegelman, Art. "In the Shadow of No Towers." Comic strip. First ed. Pantheon, 2004. Print.

            “Art Spiegelman…to the comics world is a Michelangelo and a Medici both, an influential artist who is also an impresario and an enable of others.” For most people remembering things that happened years ago might not be the most important thing to do. But something like September 11th is definitely embedded into people’s minds. Art Spiegelman’s In the Shadow of No Towers is an autobiographical comic on just that, the attacks of the World Trade Center. Spiegelman has the ability to make people see different worlds in ways that no one thought of. He is capable of making others grasp the true magnitude of these attacks in ways that reach out to people even more. In my research paper I will be using this comic, along with other greatly written autobiographical comics, to truly understand the concept behind these types of comics.

Annotated Blog

Jurgens, Dan, et al. Superman Death and Return of Superman Omnibus. DC Comics, 2007. Print.

I will be using the comic, Superman Death and Return of Superman Omnibus to see where the authors of the comics made the mistake that ruined the image of Superman and the other comics. I want to figure out how and why the audience reacted the way they did to the comic.

Together we stand, together we fall

Wright, Bradford W. Comic Book Nation: the Transformation of Youth Culture in America. Baltimore,  MD. London; Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003. Paperback Edition. Print.

In Bradford Wrights Comic Book Nation: the Transformation of Youth Culture in America he bases the book around two main parts; comics and war and the effect the two had on each other. Wright tells the history of comics with the reaction of the social and political scene being a factor with the readers and fans. This book shares a history background on comics, explaining the social society as a turning point in our youth culture and how the older generations influenced the pace of comics. Comic Book Nation; the Transformation of Youth Culture in America is relatable to my topic because it not only comes from a sociological stand point but recognizes society as a whole for the rise and fall in this comic era.

Defining Comics

In the novel The Power of Comics: History, Form and Culture written by Randy Duncan and Matthew J.Smith comic books are defined and their history is discussed. The Power of Comics gives a broader understanding of the medium and an explanation of comic books vs. graphic novels. I will use this book in my research essay because the authors give a definition of a comic in the introduction. I will compare this definition with all my other sources of definitions to see the similarities and differences. This will help give the reader a better understanding of different points of views on the topic and change their perception on what a comic is.


Meskin, Aaron. "Defining Comics?." Journal Of Aesthetics & Art Criticism 65.4 (2007): 369-379. Academic Search Premier. Web. 10 Apr. 2012.

Aaron Meskin’s article “Defining Comics?” discusses his ideology on this subject. Meskin believes some understanding of the styles, techniques, purposes, and elements utilized in the medium are required to properly evaluate and interpret comics. He explores definitions developed in recent years by Scott McCloud, Will Eisner, David Kunzle, and by the team of Greg Hayman and Henry Pratt. Meskin systematically points out flaws in these definitions and, more importantly, the flaw of trying to define comics at all. I plan on using Meskin’s analyses to support my claim that comics cannot hold only one concrete definition and, therefore, readers must decide for themselves which definition holds true.

Unbreakable Summary

The movie "Unbreakable" is about a man named David who at the beginning of the movie is shown being the only survivor of over 130 passengers on a tragic train crash. Along with being the only survivor of the crash, David left the crash without a scratch. A few days after the crash, David finds a note left on his car asking if he had ever been sick. The letter eventually leads David to a comic gallery that is owned by Elijah, who suffers from a disease that makes his bones very brittle and makes him very vulnerable to injuries. When David asks Elijah about the note, Elijah begins to explain his theory of how he believes that he is at one end of the stick which is being as fragile as glass meaning there must be someone who is on the opposite end, making him almost indestructible. Elijah tells David that after reading that David was the only survivor of the tragic train crash, he knew that David might be the person that he has been looking for. David feels as though what Elijah is talking about is nonsense and then leaves immediately. After meeting with David, Elijah continues to follow David and explain the theory that he has about himself and David's conditions. Along the way, Elijah also points out different "talents" David has but that no other man has. After Elijah had pointed out some of the extraordinary things that David was unaware of, David starts to think more about what he was told. He begins to lift weights and his son goes with him insisting to help. Without paying attention to how much weight his son had put on, David is able to lift the weight, and after setting it down, he asks how much was put on and finds out that he had just lift the most he had ever lifted in his life. After telling his son to remove some weight, thinking that he won't be able to lift that much weight again, he tries to bench press again. David at first struggles with the weight but is able to do a few reps, and after setting the weight down he asks his son how much he had taken off and the son then confesses that he had actually added more weight. David is shocked when he hears what his son had told him and the two continue to add weight to see how much David could lift. At one last attempt to get his theory across David, Elijah has David's wife help him rehab the leg that was shattered after falling down stairs, and during his physical therapy appointment Elijah learns more about David after talking with his wife. Fed up with Elijah constantly trying to get through to David, David goes to Elijah and tells him that he can in fact get hurt, telling Elijah how he almost drowned when he was younger. Elijah then explains that water and anything that has to do with water is David's weakness. It's his kryptonite. Again, David leaves the gallery confused and begins to recall all the accidents that he had gone through, in particular, the car accident that he and his wife had gone through when they were younger. While thinking about what happened the night of the accident, he realizes that he never was injured during the accident and that he had actually used his super strength to help his wife get out of the car. After his realization he goes to tell Elijah that he was right the whole time. Elijah explains to David that he does have extraordinary qualities and was meant to protect people. The movie ends with David saving women from a murderer and talking to Elijah and thanking him for everything he had done. But when David shakes hands with Elijah, he sees that Elijah has caused many accidents, including the train crash that David has survived. He tells David that every hero must have a rival and that he was it. David is shocked and leaves and later turns in Mr. Glass (Elijah) to the authorities.

This movie is very close to the comic of Superman that we read for class. David begins as a man who does not even realize that he has super powers even after surviving three horrible accidents and leaving them all without a scratch. Then, once he realizes that he does have extraordinary he uses them for good however, he decides to keep his true identity hidden. The whole story line was closely connected to that of Superman. Along with being closely tied to Superman the movie itself was pretty predictable just as Umberto Eco had explained in his article about the characteristics of mythological characters.