Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Formal Blog

When I saw that we were going to be reading a comic book I was excited because I thought it would be a good break from our normal in depth highly complex readings that we have been doing. Unfortunately for me I had a wrong preconceived notion of the book. My previously held stereotype of comic books was a geek sitting in his basement reading a wild adventure comic or an old man sitting on the toilet reading the Sunday comics. Either way I never imagined myself reading a million page comic with a full plot line and intricacies. I read through the first half the book but when I got to class before break I realized that I had only read the words on the page and hadn’t taken into account all the time and thought that went in to all the other aspects of the story.

When I read the second half the book I read it much slower and analytically. I picked up on more of the small details that we discussed in class. The pictures portray most of the story and add a lot of depth to what the words are describing. I found myself struggling with the flow of the pages because I am not familiar with the format. Fortunately I picked up on it and also saw that some of the word bubbles come from people who are not in the box where they are written. Once I realized that I was able to start thinking like the characters and how they interact with each other. I also like how the author puts some words in bold to add emphasis to them. Also he uses only a few curse words which add more feeling to the instances that he does use them.

The section that sparked the most interest for me was when he found out that his father was in a car accident and was in the hospital. He goes to the hospital to see what has happened and see if there is anything he can do. Throughout the book I was confused by the multiple generations of Corrigans but this series brought it all together for me. There is a doctor that comes into the waiting room and delivers the prognosis that he has been in a car accident and will have to stay for a couple days. He describes some of the possible complications from the accident. One of them is that his organs could be failing and fill up with blood and burst causing internal bleeding. This sparks an image in his head of a plastic bag filling with blood and eventually bursting. Then you see a old limp body before the blood and one filled with blood. These images are not in a frame and seem to be in free form. This may mean that he is imagining the images and that they are not actually taking place. These images and thoughts must have been disturbing to him while he was in the room but the doctor did not seem to have any emotion.

Then there are a couple other events where he goes back to the house with his sister and she sets him up for the night. But then they go back to the hospital the following morning with fresh clothes for their father. They are greeted and told to go back to the waiting room and someone would be in to see them. They are both excited to see him again and give him the clothes. The doctor enters the room and delivers the news that he made it through the night but died in the morning. Both don’t know how to react initially and then the girl shoves Jim to the floor and he leaves the room and takes someone else’s taxi home. This series frustrated my because of the nonchalance of the doctor and people in the hospital. They deliver disturbing news so often that it becomes just another family to inform and then move on with their day. They do not sugar coat anything or make it sound better they just tell it straight and deliver the news.

Jim’s life seems to be confusing because he is trying to piece together who the colored girl is and how she is related. He is also trying to make amends with his father while keeping a close separate relationship with his mother. Although I probably will not be reading another comic for a while I was greatly intrigued by this one.

1 comment:

Adam Johns said...

I liked your general discussion of the experience of reading JC, although it had little to do with the assignment. The fact that you initially read only the words is interesting, but not surprising; we're taught, after all, that words are for adults and pictures are for children (something that Ware beats into our heads endlessly).

You picked a couple great images to discuss, but didn't seem to know exactly what to do with them. Yes, the blood-filled sack as human being is disturbing, and you're wisely focusing on details like the fact that it's out of frame - but then what? You could have done more here. Similarly, your discussion of his interaction with Amy remains a little too much on the surface.