Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Jimmy's World Isn't As Dark

It’s interesting to see in Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Kid On Earth, how in various pages, there are times where the frame is actually a stage with an audience looking at the comic as though it was a theatrical show. What’s more intriguing is how the audience is set to look as though they are in the 19th century, including the architecture of the theatre and their clothing. It’s almost as though the audience is looking into the future as the story of Jimmy Corrigan, is set well into the 20th Century.

There are several images that have similar feature like this. However, certain other images do the complete opposite where the story suddenly looks back on the past. In one specific image, in the process of Jimmy and a girl are running away from an Indian cowboy, they stumble upon ‘a rift in time’ where they look across a river. From the scene, it seemed as though Jimmy was taken away by the grand view of a large building under construction. All the settings, other than Jimmy and the girl, in this frame clearly have a 19th century feel to it, including the other people. For instance, near the building being constructed, there is a horse and buggy driving past the building while other residents around the area are all in coats, top hats, dresses, etc. Another interesting point to make about this image is that it has no frame, adding to the shock and awe that the reader feels from viewing this image.

These scenes of going back and forth are unique as they have no significant or direct effect to Jimmy’s journey and yet Jimmy still seemed touched in some sense from the way he looked at his surroundings. They also appear to be targeted to surprise the reader by showing something that appears both surreal but majestic, especially given the general darkness of the entire book.


Matt Carrick said...

First of all, sorry about posting this so late. I'll email Adam and let him know that it's my fault you didn't post a revision on Saturday.

But on to your post. Just in general terms I think you need to rethink what you're going for in your post. The beginning seems disjointed from where you end up. I think you need to decide on a clear argument and write it down. Even if you don't explicitly use it in the post, I think it would help to have it on paper and sitting in front of you as you revise.

Second, I think you need to reread the sections that you are discussing. You make a lot of vague references towards the beginning that you need to be more specific about. Also, the image of the stage is only invoked once. In a book where repeated symbols are extremely significant, it's important to keep in mind what is repeated and what's not.

It's also important to maintain the distinction between Jimmy's story which takes place in the 21st century, and James' story which takes place in the 20th. James is Jimmy's grandfather and this is his story as he tells it to Amy. So the scene you are referring to, looking across the river, is contemporary to James. While a scene like you are describing (gazing across time) would not be out of the ordinary for this book, it doesn't apply to this scene.

It seems that this post was written in a hurry to get it done on time. Lord knows I've been there more than a few times. Hell, I'm posting this on Sunday afternoon. But this gives you an opportunity to do some good heavy rewrites and re-post a much better paper than you started with. I myself am off to do that right now.

Adam Johns said...

This is rushed, short, and rooted too thoroughly in things we talked about in class. The "rift in time" thing is neat, and could have made for a good paper if discussed in depth, but there simply isn't enough here.