GNED 1404 – Writing About Images
Choose one of the following:
1.Nin/Mardou, “Anaïs in Paris” – St. Vincent Millay/Kolitsky, “The Singing-Woman from the Wood’s Edge”
In their anthology’s introduction to women’s literature in the early part of the twentieth century, Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar identify an anxiety in men due to how many women “would no longer stay in their traditional places” (2). Indeed, WWI was seen as a “social disruption . . . [that] help[ed] facilitate the liberation of women” (21). The 1920s and 1930s, Gilbert and Gubar reveal, did not provide women with an environment that allowed these new-found freedoms to flourish. Instead, the media representation of 1920s female movie stars and the “booming cosmetics industry” (24) of the time, meant that “a return to the artificial ideal of ‘feminity’ . . . was rapidly replacing the assertive ideas of feminism” (24). Both Nin and St. Vincent Millay experienced these cultural tug-of-wars in a period that Gilbert and Gubar call “feminism’s awkward age” (23), an era that critically shaped the authors’ creative responses and reflections. In each graphic narrative, the authors reveal some of the challenges they faced in this environment; their twentieth-century illustrators choose to emphasize some of these challenges.
Compare these challenges, attitudes, and ideals that both St. Vincent Millay and Nin –and their illustrators—explore, focusing on both the textual narrative and the images used to support or—in some cases—contradict or complicate the narrative. McCloud should provide some insight into analyzing the images; Gilbert and Gubar will provide a little more context for this era (Note especially Gilbert and Gubar’s allusion to the work of Henry Miller ). Make sure you dig below the surface to find themes or ideas (recall from McCloud, Chapter 7) that may be important to the author or illustrator. I have posted to Blackboard (under “Recommended Reading”) the excerpt from Gilbert and Gubar from which I quote. All the information you will need for a Works Cited entry can be found on the description on “Recommended Reading.”
2.Fransman and Davis, “Above Water” and Cho, “Night Time”
In her TEDx comic talk, Karrie Fransman identifies three elements that make comics powerful. As she itemizes these elements, she gives examples from some of the comics or graphic narratives that she has created. In particular, she refers to a project of which she is most proud—“Over, Under, Sideways, Down”—when identifying how “comics allow you to see other people’s worlds” (Fransman, 2:57). Fransman seems to be opening up “other people’s worlds” in her graphic narrative “Above Water,” in collaboration with Rob Davis.
Both Fransman and Cho explore a challenge or challenges that a young woman experiences while maturing. Is this the only similarity? Compare or contrast these two graphic narratives, focusing on both the textual narrative and the visual narrative. McCloud should provide some insight into analyzing the images; Fransman may also provide some insight. You will find a link to her TEDx comic talk on Blackboard under “Class slides” and under “Recommended Reading.” Be sure to check Purdue OWL MLA Works Cited: Electronic sources for how to create an entry for a YouTube video. Make sure you dig below the surface to find themes or ideas (recall from McCloud, Chapter 7) that may be important to the authors.
3.Compare OR contrast Cho, “Stars” and “Night Time”
In his interview with Chip Kidd, Michael Cho discusses how his studies at the Ontario College of Art influenced his work as a comics creator because, he reveals, “[W]hen I get an illustration assignment or when I’m working on an artistic project of any kind, that critical thinking that I was trained in art college kicks in and my first response is to question it from first principles: ‘What is this? What am I trying to express’” (Cho 42:00-43:45). In addition to this insight into his approach to what McCloud refers to as an idea, Cho reveals why he prefers two colors (44:30-45:35) and why he finds light so important to his work (45:55-46:00).
For a refresher on what mood is, and ideas for how to describe a mood that you sense in a story, go to LitCharts: Mood Definition. For a similar refresher on tone, go to LitCharts: Tone. Links to these helpful definitions can also be found on Blackboard under “Recommended Reading.”
Relying on parts of the interview for insight into Cho’s ideas and technical approaches and on McCloud for analyzing images and panels, compare OR contrast Cho’s “Stars” and “Night Time.” Make sure you dig below the surface to find themes or ideas (recall from McCloud, Chapter 7) that may be important to the author. Be sure to check Purdue OWL MLA Works Cited: Electronic sources for how to create an entry for a YouTube video. Make sure you dig below the surface to find themes or ideas (recall from McCloud, Chapter 7) that may be important to the authors.