Category: graphic novels

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Reflections of the Self in “Infidel”

As I prepared to teach Pornsak Pichetshote, Aaron Campbell, and Jose Villarrubia’s Infidel, a lot of things stuck out. However, when I reread the haunted house story where the monsters that terrorize the characters are the manifestations of racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia, I became intrigued by a few specific scenes where the monsters appear in the reflections of objects such as knives and mirrors. … Read More Reflections of the Self in “Infidel”

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The Construction of History in Guy Delisle’s “Jerusalem”

“History is written by the victors.” Only a few weeks ago, this aphorism appeared on national television when Attorney General William Barr responded to a question from CBS’s Catherine Herridge about the dismissing of charges against Michael Flynn by asking, “When history looks back on this decision, how do you think it will be written?” Barr answered his own question with the following, “Well … Read More The Construction of History in Guy Delisle’s “Jerusalem”

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Barriers in Guy Delisle’s “Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City”

Connections lead to understanding. Connections lead to a break down in the beliefs and myths that keep us separates. Connection bridge the chasms that exist between us. However, one must be open to these connections. If one is not open, then no matter what connections a person makes, they will always succumb to the myths and fears that reside within one’s brain. In Jerusalem: … Read More Barriers in Guy Delisle’s “Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City”

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Whiteness in Lila Quintero Weaver’s “Darkroom”: Part III

Over the past two posts, I have been writing about Lila Quintero Weaver’s Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White. Today, I want to finish up the discussion I started last post about the malleability of whiteness that Weaver highlights throughout Darkroom. She explores this with her father when he goes to the church in Texas and when he goes with the black carpenter … Read More Whiteness in Lila Quintero Weaver’s “Darkroom”: Part III

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Whiteness in Lila Quintero Weaver’s “Darkroom”: Part II

In the last post, I discussed how Lila Quintero Weaver’s Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White highlights the ways that whiteness and racism seep into the community consciousness. Today, I want to look at how Weaver’s Darkroom shows the intricate entanglements of whiteness, specifically with Weaver and her family. Weaver’s family is from Argentina, and they are immigrants to America. In the first … Read More Whiteness in Lila Quintero Weaver’s “Darkroom”: Part II

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Whiteness in Lila Quintero Weaver’s “Darkroom”: Part I

During the fall semester, a student told me about on of her classes where the professor was using Lila Quintero Weaver’s Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White in the course. The student told me about Weaver’s book, and I immediately became interested in reading it. Finally, I picked up a copy and read it. In Darkroom, Weaver details her family’s experiences during the … Read More Whiteness in Lila Quintero Weaver’s “Darkroom”: Part I

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Narrative Construction in Art Spiegelman’s “Maus”

One thing that I really enjoy about graphic memoirs is the metanarrative nature of the medium. When reading a prose autobiography, the author typically does not draw attention to the compositional aspects of the text. For example, with Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography, we know that he writes to his son; however, he does not refer to the writing of the text or the way he … Read More Narrative Construction in Art Spiegelman’s “Maus”

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Dream and Reality in Craig Thompson’s “Blankets”

Over the course of this semester, one of the recurring discussions in the graphic memoirs class has been about the ways that these texts approach memory and the past. I’ve written about this already with Kristen Radtke’s Imagine Wanting Only This where I discuss Radtke’s movement back and forth between specific scenes in the text. In this post, I want to look at this … Read More Dream and Reality in Craig Thompson’s “Blankets”

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Panel Structure in Craig Thompson’s “Blankets”

In “The Beautiful Ambiguity of Blankets: Comics Representation and Religious Art,” Benjamin Stevens writes about the religious symbolism and metanarrative aspects of Craig Thompson’s Blankets. Early in his essay, Stevens discusses Thompson’s use of panels, the absence, in spots, of borders, and other aspects that draw attention to Blankets as a graphic memoir working within the language of the genre. Stevens points out that … Read More Panel Structure in Craig Thompson’s “Blankets”

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Dissecting Pages from Lillian Smith Graphic Memoir

Last week, I shared the graphic memoir that I created alongside my students this semester. I detailed, in that post and the post where I described the project, my thought process for the narrative and what parts of Lillian Smith’s story I wanted to tell. As well, I walked through a three page sequence where I focused on Smith’s work as the director of … Read More Dissecting Pages from Lillian Smith Graphic Memoir

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Graphic Memoir Project

This semester in my Literature and Composition Graphic Memoirs class I am having students do a creative final project. For this project, they will either create their own graphic memoir or do a “Call and Response” piece for Looking at Appalachia. Since this is a new assignment, I am making my own graphic memoir alongside my students, trying my hand at creating a text. … Read More Graphic Memoir Project

Fences in George Takei’s “They Called Us Enemy”

Some of the strongest symbols within George Takei’s They Called Us Enemy are the fences that surround Rohwer and Tule Lake interment camps. There are multiple panels depicting the barbed wire fences, and various angles occur in each of the panels. These images, coupled with Takei’s words, highlight the psychological effects of xenophobia and racism on individuals, especially children such as Takei. I have … Read More Fences in George Takei’s “They Called Us Enemy”