Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Electric Dragon 80.000 v

            This was a great movie. It was filled with over the top eccentric loud electric guitar playing by a punk rocking, lizard loving, and young, Japanese man. This film didn’t need to be in color, actually the black and white made it better. Comic book movies are really popular right now in Hollywood and every year more are being made, but this film beats them all. Electric Dragon actually felt like a comic book. It was full of energy and the antagonist and protagonist were just fake enough to not be real people but were still able to go out on the streets during the day. Thunderbolt Buddha was an electrician with an obsession. He went to work in his costume because that’s who he was, Thunderbolt Buddha. He invented different devices to shoot electricity to fight others.  Dragon Eye Morrison really is a super hero, he gets electrocuted as a boy and now has fits of electricity in his body. He plays his guitar loud and crazy to control his electricity. Thunderbolt Buddha finds him and destroys his guitar, which angers Morrison and they have a battle of electricity.
            Many of the shots looked like a panel from a comic, with static shots of electrical boxes and the city. Director Gakuryu Ishii kept the flow and energy going and kept every shot important. Even the shots of Morrison wandering through the alleys kept the story going and built his character. Some of the Mange style films we watched this year were good, but I don’t think they compare to Electric Dragon. I could be biased because I am a photo major and greatly appreciate good film, but even the story and flow of this was better than the rest. 

Octopus Pie

I think I am in the proper age group for this comic. It’s about a girl trying to make it after college working in an organic grocery store when her boyfriend breaks up with her and her mom invites one of her pre-k friends to move into her apartment with her. Ning is very tight wound and thinks she is alone in the world and better than everybody around her. I couldn’t stop thinking about Ringling the whole time I was reading this. The organic grocery store just reminded me of Whole Foods which most of my friends are obsessed with. And Ning’s hippie-ish roommate remninded me too much of a lot of girls in art school. She seemed like a useless stoner but as it turned out she had a good business going and couldn’t be happier because she could smoke all day and still had a way of making money. Ning was always mad though; even when her roommate introduced her to guys she still didn’t want to like them just because her roommate was a friend with. Everything seemed to be going downhill for Ning, the turning point was when she threw her invented bike into the river and tried being a different person from then on.
The illustration style was very simple, which was suiting for the comic. There were not superheroes and nothing supernatural happened, this is simply a story of two girls living together in a Brooklyn apartment. It stayed consistent throughout, there were no panels with extreme detail, all were very simple especially the characters. It was interesting how it looked like a printed comic when it is strictly an online comic. First of all it was black and white, I was hoping that it would be color just because it is online and it doesn’t cost more to print color because there is no printing. But even with the black and white there was a papery grain. A lot of the grays had texture or hatch marks that resembled cheap paper. It is partly done like that to create depth in the images, but it looked very much like paper. It seems they are trying to fool the reader in thinking they are reading an online comic and are trying to give them the warm feel and texture of printed comics. 

Love and Rocket

            This was an interesting read; I actually found it pretty funny. This was about two women who are friends living in the same apartment complex who suspect their new, tall, sexy, female neighbor to be some sort of superhero. They laugh about it but come to find out that one of them actually is a superhero. She follows her new neighbor around and sees that she’s in an elite group of female superheroes, but that she is having trouble stopping a woman. This woman was granted powers, like the others, but she went crazy with hers. She became stronger and destroys much of what is in her path and nobody has been able to stop her yet. The new neighbor is frustrated because it is her job to stop her and the other woman, who is a heavier set woman, is slowing her down. They go their separate ways and the heavier neighbor teams up with her old crew of female superheroes.
            This reminded me of the Girls Fighting Comic I read earlier, but almost an updated version. Girls Fighting was very for its time and about women standing up, while Love and Rocket joked with a heavier woman superhero with a tall model superhero. They weren’t fighting men but another woman who had lost control. This was made solely for entertainment. It had a few funny moments and surprisingly didn’t have any nudity. Most comics I find have a few panels or some of some nude female but this one was kept PG. It was an ok read, after I read it I wasn’t blown away but yet I wasn’t disappointed either. It was good but not good enough where I read another or told others to go read it. 

Girl Fight Comics

            It was pretty obvious this comic was from the 70’s. With it’s high-boot ass kicking, leather jumpsuits and big hair, and the destroying of men made it pretty clear this was written during a time when women were fighting for equal rights. I actually really enjoyed reading it. It was interesting reading a comic that was written for more than just pleasure reading. This was written to send a message to women to not be slaves to men and stand up for their rights. It was written in a way that either gender could read. It was definitely directed to teenage women because of its message, but it’s illustration of women in little and no clothing made it appealing to boys too. It’s an interesting way to get a message across, show explicitness so the boys will read it, or at least look at it. Foxy was a great character, the strong powerful black woman with the big hair, every time I hear someone mention a “foxy woman,” she is what I typically picture in my head.
 I was surprised how much text there was, most comics I’ve read this year were less wordy. Then again this comic was written to deliver a message in a fun way rather than just entertain.
They portrayed men in and interesting way. Almost all men were dirt-bags who deserved to get their ass beat or get their “mu’fukkin black dicks cut off.” The archeologists was respected by the tribe he found because he brought them gifts, but as soon as he brought the queen to America she didn’t care about him. The only man that the women really liked was the prefect man I the tomb. The group of female archeologists found a living man in a tomb and fought over him. They didn’t fight to study him, it was obvious they were fighting who was going to sleep with him. He died instantly when he went outside and one of the girls mentioned that every time you find a good man he belongs to someone else. This comic made guys look pretty bad but that’s really what it was about, women rising up for equal rights. 

Asterios Polyp

            I read Asterios Polyp for your Literature and Media Studies course but I really enjoyed it and wanted to discuss it as a comic. This was my favorite comic I read for class. It was a simple story of a pretentious man marrying a simple woman, and then having his marriage and life fall apart and him realizing what he really finds important in life. A very simple story not involving any superheroes with powers, in fact every character was a simple, regular, person.
            What really struck me was the style of animation. Every comic has it’s own style but this was something entirely new. Every character was different, every location changed, even the speech bubbles and fonts changed with every character. My favorite was Asterios, before he got married. He was the architect so he was drawn with straight lines and perfect circles in blue. He looked just like a blueprint to a building. He could not have been done any better, even when he got married and him and hers style were put together he was still very clean with sharp lines. Character wise I enjoyed the pretentious choreographer and the mechanic. The choreographer because he was such a little guy but always put himself in the spotlight and weaseled his way out of paying for dinner every time and really wanted his ass kissed my everybody. And I liked the mechanic because he was a different style than everyone else. He was this big guy who seemed to get along with everybody but still got yelled at by his wife on occasion.
            I think I enjoyed this so much because t wasn’t about superheroes, or some average person turned into something and fought crime or tried to take over the world. It was a regular story so I could almost relate to it. It is great to read the crazy fiction comics and get lost in that world, but reading something that could very well have been non-fiction was a good change and really a good read. And the ending was great. Asterios and his ex-wife were getting along and things seemed promising, when suddenly a giant asteroid was screaming toward their house showing an inevitable death to them both. The mechanic and his family are shown in the tree house Asterios helped build watching the asteroid in the far distance, admiring it as nothing more than a shooting star. If it continued and had Asterios be with her again the comic would have been a drama, but with their possible death it almost turned into a tragedy with a happy ending. 

The Adventures of Tin Tin and the Red Sea Sharks

            The Adventures of Tin Tin was a surprise to me. I have never read them before and thought Tin Tin was young, coming just out of boyhood. Maybe he is but he seemed older in the comic I read. In this comic Tin Tin and the Captain ran into an old friend who was selling planes illegally. They go to investigate and get into a mess of trouble, first they survive a plane crash, then hide out and ride camels across the desert where they board a ship that gets shot down by planes and get picked up then brought to another ship which is lit on fire and they are left to die and while on this ship they dodge torpedoes and finally contact the Navy to capture their villains and be safe; quite an adventure. I enjoyed the adventure, but was surprised at how much text was in each panel. This made it seem like a comic for an older age group. There was some violence but not much, mostly just guns with a few fights here and there and the captain was always obsessing over some alcohol. Tin Tin was more grown up than I thought because he carried around whisky and knew how to shoot guns. There’s no age limit for that in comics but I always thought of him younger. The captain was a funny character. Constantly losing his drinks and cursing in his sailor way. This comic didn’t seem as old as it was. It came out in 1958 but I couldn’t tell just from reading. Everything that happened could have happened today. The villains or terrorists were from Africa but some looked like they were from the Middle East, making this comic every more up to date. One interesting thing I noticed was the lack of detail in Tin Tin’s face. Other characters had defining lines and hair or beards, but Tin Tin was very clean and simple, maybe this was Herge’s way of showing that Tin Tin was much younger than everybody.
I did enjoy the comic and would read others. 


            I wasn’t too sure about this book when I picked it up. It seemed like it was just going to be about a love story and I wasn’t too excited about it. But I quickly learned it was much more than that. It’s about a boy growing up and falling in love, but also fighting with his religion. It’s more about a boy becoming a man and trying to find himself.
            He struggles between loving Raina and with following God. When he is with her he loves her but if they do anything he feels as if he betrayed God. He eventually leaves her and finds out that God wants him to be happy and that he doesn’t have to feel guilty.
            My favorite parts of this novel were the flashbacks with him and his brother sharing the bed. They would pretend to be shipwrecked and were very much still children. Until the night the peed on each other and mom came in. They were having fun at first then it got out of hand like everything does as a child so mom came in a forced them to shower. This was their first shower. Up until this point there were still very much children, but the shower seemed to make them more grown up, not yet adults but not quite children anymore either. Then they got their own rooms. Change was happening and it was inevitable, they were growing up whether they liked it or not. They hated being away from each other so they would still sleep in the same bed even though they each had a bed and a room. They relied on each other and felt safe and didn’t want that to go away. I grew up with an older sister so I never developed this, but I have friends who grew up in similar situations. They would do anything for their brother because they feel safe with them after spending so much time together.
            I really enjoyed the style of illustration. I’m a big fan of comics that are real life, not including any superheroes or the such because then I feel like I can relate to them and the story tends to be more well written because the world doesn’t have to be saved by the end of the day. The way the bodies were drawn were very beautiful to me as well as the hatch lines in every panel. It was very pleasing and was a good balance of realism with some cartoon characters to make it real and almost personal. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011


This was a really interesting way to read about the Holocaust. In high school I remember reading Night and watching Schindler’s List and reading other books and learning a lot about the Holocaust, but Maus was a completely new way to learn about it.
It was really interesting how the comic was about a man writing a comic about his fathers experience surviving the Holocaust. It was interesting how it showed the interview going on then showing what his father was explaining. The character design was really well done I thought, having the Jews as mice and Nazi’s as cats, everybody instantly knows that cats chase and kill mice so it added to the hate and depth of the story. Between the mice and cats as characters, and the fact that it is a comic, made it an interesting way to read about the Holocaust, it almost made it seem unreal. It was on a fine line between real and fake because of the way it was presented.
The relationship between the father and son and new wife worked well with the story. I feel like if everybody was a happy family then it would change the mood of the story too much and make the fathers story seem too fake. But the hatred his dad has towards his new wife really adds to the story because he is in constant mourning over his wife who was lost in the Holocaust, which is the story he is telling.  This was an interesting way to read about the same thing in a new way. Obviously the story is different from what I have read in the past, but the character change and format really made it interesting. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Understanding Comics

            It was a relief to finally read a textbook that wasn’t a textbook. It made sense to make a comic explaining how comics worked. The whole time I was reading this I was thinking of my high school science textbooks, how they would have pages of text then a few small photos to illustrate what was in the text, I never understood what the hell was being said. The images were few and far between so a lot of it was left to my imagination, which isn’t good for science class. Usually imagination is good for comics, this book actually tells you its good, but for explaining the structure of them this more “black and white” format worked best. Every panel explained what was being told with simple sentences and images. It made it really clear and easy to read and understand. It was a long comic but I actually got a lot out of it, every page was something useful and the use of all the images made it more clear. I’m really glad we had to read this because I had no understanding of comics, now I have an understanding of different styles of illustration, how the panels are laid out, how transitions are meant to be filled with your imagination, and how sounds effects can be written. This book was really helpful, I need to keep referencing this booth throughout the semester to help me with our other readings. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Arrival

This was the first wordless novel I have ever read. At first I wasn’t sure how to approach it but after flipping through the pages briefly I found that it was much more interesting to read a novel with no true script. I took my time reading each panel and creating my own story. The style of illustration made it very enjoyable to look through and read, how some pages were one large illustration while others had a dozen or so small ones. In particular one of my favorite pages was when the man was traveling on the boat, Shaun showed the transition of time by illustrating over a dozen clouds on a single page. I even like how he cheated and made his own language. It remained a wordless novel because they weren’t really words; they were more like clues that helped you understand the story more. Even though the creatures were unrecognizable and the city was like nothing I have ever seen, I still knew what the story was about, or at least I thought I did since I made me own interpretation of it. The man left his family and home country and immigrated to the new world where he lived alone and found jobs so he could save money for his family to eventually come to the new world. It’s a story about overcoming a new obstacle and in the end his family comes to live with him in the new world and the very last image is his daughter teaching a new immigrant the language. I felt that I have more of an appreciation for comics after reading this story because this was like a true art in a comic form, and I really enjoyed the fact that I could write my own script to go with the images so I could use my imagination more.