I found MAUS by Art Spiegelman an interesting story. After doing a little research, I found he edited a comics anthology called RAW. The anthology was a flagship in the 1980s alternative comics movement. The comics magazine featured mainly American and European authors, but they also incorporated others from all over the world – Japan, Argentina, and Chile included. Although the magazine primarily featured comics, it also often featured non-comics illustrations and prose.
Volume 1 of RAW were creatively printed in huge doormat sized black and white pages stapled together and hand packaged unorthodoxly by Spiegelman and his staff with odds and ends, such as trading cards or gum.
The story of my video adaptation from “The Arrival” by Shaun Tan follows a young father who leaves his family to chase his dreams across the ocean in a land of technological advancement and opportunity. As he meets people along his journey, he becomes more and more aware of his loneliness in this new place. These new acquaintances relate stories to him of their own journeys through hardship, illustrating the importance of loved ones. The young man comes to realize that his own dreams had changed since he had been blessed with a family. He returns home when he recognizes that that is exactly where he yearns to be.
I’m just a poor boy
I need no sympathy
I’m from a hood full of falling stars and broken wishes
And a lot of potholes on my road to riches
Because I’m easy come, easy go
Little high, little low
Any way the wind blow doesn’t really matter to me
Just gotta get out – just gotta get outta here
I’ve heard it in the chilliest land, and on the strangest sea
Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see
Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul.
And sweetest in the gale is heard
The little bird that sings the tune, without the words –
Never say never.
Watch out Superman, Penn State College of Medicine is in town. Here, a fourth year medical student may choose to take a Humanities course about comics entitled “Graphic Storytelling and Medical Narratives.” The class was created as research has been proven that some students learn serious topics well when learned as a graphic narrative. Medical storytelling is a genre that is growing – as patients and doctors alike write comics relating their experiences. Based on a pre-course assessment of attitudes and skills repeated at the completion of the course, instructors at Penn State found this course helped medical students improve their communication and observation skills, better appreciate patient’ experience of their illnesses, and become more aware of the effects of body language on patient care. Turns out it was worth to try something new – Scott McCloud would be proud!
This year we learned a great deal from classroom interaction, teaching tools, films and graphic novels themselves. As someone who came into this classroom with no background of this genre, Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics proved to be a useful tool for me. A common theme is his emphasis on their potential as a communication medium because the avenue between a comic and his reader in regard to the imagination has not been fully tapped. McCloud treats his reader as one who is new to the world of comics. He begins by generally and explicitly defining comics, followed by a history lesson on their past development. McCloud then describes the mechanics of their language; he illustrates to his readers the uses of paneling, the value of comics’ symbols, and the detection and power of a relationship between words and illustrations. He also vividly and fondly expresses how words and pictures work together to engage all the reader’s senses, as well as motion and time. I see comics very differently now – I have a deep appreciation for their work. While I have long acknowledged their profound creative minds, I have a new appreciation for the level of complexity involved and how integral the reader’s own open mind is.
Here is an interactive link to read about the book’s main premises further:
In Chapter 2, Bras takes a chance not by intentionally endangering his life to stand up for his newly found convictions, however to take a chance at love. He becomes smitten with a woman in Salvador, as far as even, “Not wanting to leave her side.” She has an intoxicating effect on him as she explains to him it is not one’s job that defines him, but the way he lives his life. She explains that who a person truly is illustrated by the way he lives in the moment. Bras takes this newfound pearl of wisdom and applies it to his own life that night, by breaking plan and risking his job interview in order to stay into the next day to see the woman again. Bras ended up not only risking his job interview, but his life. His chance at love was what made that day count for Bras; realizing that he could truly chase his dream, however fleeting, and grasp it.