From Gothic to Graphic

British Literature. Sat, Dec 12th, 2009 at 4:42 pm

Themes: , ,

Not that kind of graphic.

We spent much time on the imagery within Gothic literature—from the dramatic scenes of creation and destruction to the weather that cast an eerie (sometimes eerily calm) glow on the action. We’re going to continue this look at imagery (and plenty of other devices) with a study of graphic novels.

Your homework for this weekend is to travel to your favorite local book purveyor  and browse the graphic novel shelf (the library has a solid collection, just check before you drive).  Find a book that interests you, purchase (or borrow) it, and bring it to class on Monday.

"But wait," you say, "I don’t like superheroes and I’ve never even touched a graphic novel.  Heck, I don’t even know where to start."  Tilting my head in consolation, I respond: "Aww, shucks.  I’ll help you."  Offering a nick to the chin, we begin our journey:

Graphic Novels 101: A story in which your kindly teacher leads you through the illustrated world of the graphic novel, ending in your personal discovery that the most often looked down upon medium actually contains stories worth reading.  And studying.

First lesson, a list.  These are the cream of the crop.  The first three are autobiographical (though Jimmy Corrigan is only partly so); Sandman is masterfully written fantasy; Cerebus is part fantasy, part social satire (think Gulliver’s Travels with an aardvark); the final two are modern superhero tales.

Now, go out and consume.

We’ll begin a formal look at graphic novels on Monday, so please pick one up before then.

Remember, this list is merely a starting point; find a work that piques your interest, not one that you think I want you to read.  Remember, remember, graphic novels are occasionally violent and may contain images that are inappropriate for high school.  You should get parental approval before purchasing anything not on the above list. Also, remember, remember, the fifth of November, the gunpowder treason and plot…

[Note: I realize that I am completely ignorant of authors, titles, movements, styles, etc. in the manga genre.  Please forgive this, and know I will accept any guidance you can offer in this realm.  I also realize that the Graphic Novels 101 subtitle contains an overly long sentence followed by a fragment.  Do as I say, not as I do.]

5 Responses to “From Gothic to Graphic”

  1. Evan says:

    Hey Mr. Stallings i got a graphic novel called Zot And it is written by Scott McCloud. would this be ok?

  2. JStallings says:

    That’s perfect. I’ll be using material from McCloud’s Understanding Comics in our discussion. I’ve never read Zot, but I’m sure it’s great.

  3. okie says:

    I wanna come to class!!!

  4. josh wallace says:

    I always do:)

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