Author Archives: Jenine Rowe

Weekly Blog 11/20/09

This week I decided to try and understand my brothers and sister and little more by digging into the world of Halo. Granted, this was a comic versus the game they play, but I still feel like it would give me a chance to know the characters and worlds, etc. However, this issue took me by surprise because in many ways it analyzed the aspects of a person, philosophically.

The first page caught me completely off guard! It was full of deep thought that connected directly to the art of philosophy and the deep thoughts of life. It stated that even when we aren’t by ourselves, we are alone. It furthers the idea that people will always stab you in the back and therefore you can trust no one. This can be a huge issue in people lives where they aren’t able to physically trust anyone they interact with. I am surprised, yet delighted that this issue dives so deep into a large discussion that is often dealt with.

When the story initially began, it was a conversation between men of who was capable of doing more/being tougher, Spartans or trained marines. Naturally, as a Spartan student (though I know it’s not that kind of Spartan), I sided with the Spartans! I knew that they possess armor and major weapons. However, after reading the entire conversation, I looked deeper into the argument. The discussion showed that you can be whoever you want to be if you put your mind to it. You can reach any goals you set if you strive for it and do whatever it takes. I think this is a good subtle influence that this issue portrays.

Another image that is shown in this issue is the masculinity and brutality of males. All the males in this comic have huge muscles and seem to always be arguing with each other. They also are continuously drinking. This enforces the male stereotype of men be rugged and alcoholics. One statement said, “Apologies mean you’re uncertain and in our line of work that’ll get you killed. So we don’t apologize.” Statements like this completely show that the male stereotype is ok to follow because otherwise you are viewed as weak and targetable.

Along with this stereotype of men, the issue continues along a stereotypical line in that since it seems like a male type of comic, there is more violence with blood than all of the other comics I have read so far.

Weekly Blog 11/13/09

Like Spiderwoman, I wanted to visit a story that probably had a twist on an original tale. This week I found Cinderella in comic form! She was not the old tale of Cinderella, but rather she was an undercover spy who took control of her own life instead of being dictated by her stepmother and sisters.

The first aspect I want to focus on is the differences in the stories of the comic versus the movie/Disney story. The comic version features a strong, independent working woman that takes care of her own life and relies on herself. The Disney version, which influences children specifically, shows its viewers more of a helpless servant look for women. I know that there is also woman domination through the stepmother and stepsisters, but those women are also not independent because they rely on Cinderella’s help as well as other maids. Their characters could be showed to imply that dependence and maids are better for women then hard work themselves. However, the comic refutes this argument by allowing the character to dominate the world itself. Sadly though, in the comic the character of Cinderella loses her humility when she gained confidence. She is snotty, demanding, prissy and almost like a stepmother herself. So although the comic shows that women could/should be independent, it also shows that arrogance is a good thing, which it isn’t.

The color scheme for this issue is very interesting. For the most part the issue is tinted pink and never has any truly defined colors. I believe this could correlate to the beginning dialogue. Cinderella tells us that she is a secret spy and that she has tried many other occupations such as maid cleaning, being a queen, etc. It seems from this that she doesn’t have a clear view on life yet and everything is secretive and never defined. This might correlate to the artistic view because it may be reflecting her lack of definition in her life and her story.

Other than these few thoughts, I really enjoyed this issue! The dialogue was entertaining quite a few times and the plot left the readers with a cliff hanger, which I always must explore in the next issue!

Weekly Blog Nov 6

This week I decided to revisit the life of Archie and Veronica. In this issue Veronica gives birth to twins- Little Veronica and Little Archie. It was a quick overview of the process to get ready for the birth of the kids as well as a small portion of their first year or two of life up until a Christmas.

The main focus I have in this blog is contributed to two panels of the issue. Within these panels, Archie is reading a poem by Robert Frost to his kids. I found it so interesting how it portrayed his whole story throughout the 6 issue series, though this is part 3. I know it’s long but here is the part of the poem he read:

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; then took the other as just as fair, and having perhaps the better claim, because it was grassy and wanted wear; though as for that, the passing there had worn them really about the same, and both that morning equally lay in leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I marked the first for another day! Yet knowing way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

I find it so fascinating that the writer found this poem that completely lays out Archie’s situation as well as foreshadowing what is to come. I’m wondering if the author had found the poem before the 6 part series started and knew he wanted to use that concept and ended up forming the plot around the poem versus working the poem into the plot. The poem starts how the series started, with two roads and a single person (Archie) having to make a choice (between Veronica and Betty). He wants to choose both roads but obviously can’t, though he has considered both options many times. He ended up choosing the road that had “the better claim because it was grassy and wanted wear.” To me this symbolizes the high amount of wealth Veronica has with the idea of a bright green well kept grass and how Veronica wants everything her way. This was in opposition to the road that was “bent in the undergrowth”—meaning Betty.

The poem suggests that Archie knew the decision he made would not allow him to go back on it in order to take the other option. However, the last verse of the poem suggests a bit of foreshadowing of the next issue. “I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence.” This shows that Archie may be regretting his decision to marry Veronica instead of Betty. I didn’t catch this relation until I saw that the last panel that read “Next issue: Archie marries Betty!”

After Archie finishes the poem to his kids, he walks outside looking sad for the first time in the last 2 issues, expressing his confusion. He then stumbles upon Memory Lane again on his walk and decides to try the opposite path. I find it so limiting that when media portrays a character or person going through a conflict, they always assume that there are only two options. I feel like this is media’s way of making it seem like you can only have one thing over the other in life, which could make sense in some cases. However, in my personal conflicts I try to give myself the largest amount of options so if there is a way to compromise in the situation then I take advantage of it. Granted, I understand Archie can’t marry both Betty and Veronica, however, what if he chose another girl altogether and kept Betty and Veronica as his best friends? I can imagine that fans would be very upset, though I am still curious as to what the outcome would be.

Weekly Blog October 30

Continuing on my mission to discover different twists on original characters, I discovered Hulk-red style. I thought this would be a completely different story than the original Hulk, however, it turns out that it is the same Hulk except something happened to him that turned him red. It doesn’t say how or why he turned red, the plot just revealed a sense of confusion between wanting to be good and evil. This relates to the artistic aspect of comics. I always find it interesting that it artists usually portray good heroes as lighter colors versus evil characters are dark. The exploration of why light colors always mean good things and the opposite with dark is intriguing because most people believe light colors symbolize purity and innocence versus deceitful and rebellious.

However, this comic had many characters that, I believe, are commonly known as heroes, yet the entire issue was embodied in dark colors. There were two sets of heroes fighting each other, making readers question which set are the actual good guys. This could further make us inquire what entitles these characters to be considered heroes, especially if they are fighting against one another. I am curious to explore what could be the opposite meaning of light and dark colors. If a villain were to be drawn in light colors, someone could perceive this as being invincible or being all powerful. On the other hand, if a hero were colored in black or dark purple, I would feel that they were again powerful. Interestingly, I can’t figure out what else could be considered good out of a dark figure.

The plot is a fight that is started by the red Hulk and Domino because Domino finds out who the red Hulk really is. This can expand the idea that comics are portraying heroes in a different light in that they really can be evil and rebellious. The red Hulk is hiding something from us and the rest of the world, which makes us curious on whether or not he is worthy of being our hero.

Blog Friday October 23rd

This week I wanted to revisit something that I thought would be familiar to me, The Fantastic Four! Little did I know that starting on issue 571 wouldn’t be the best idea. I wasn’t ready for the fact that Mr. Fantastic and Sue Storm were already married and had kids! I liked this fact though because it related them to a “normal” family. The beginning you see them all at the breakfast table fighting with each other. Brothers picking on each other and Sue needed to talk to Reed about their problems. Whether it be a good or bad thing, readers can see this is and may be able to relate to their family. It could be a bad thing by admitting to the reader that parents have issues when maybe they are negligent to the problems. However, it may be a good thing if they understand that people have issues, but they could always find a way to make it better and become the superhero team that they are! I was very interested in the plot of this issue. I was very confused at first because a lot of the characters looked exactly like Reed. Then I read the beginning description of what happened before this issue and was able to understand that Reed was seeing himself in my different timelines. I thought it was very interesting how they tied science into the story (though it has always been there), but I believe the greater issue within the plot was dealing with the morality of a person and how they decide what is right and wrong. Reed is faced with a decision to either leave his family team or becoming one of the heads of a council. The alternatives leave him to question whether it is better or more worthy to make his family happy or to help the world in a larger scheme of things. It the middle of the issue, his morals are tested further by one of the councilmen. One of the councilmen basically destroys Dr. Doom to become a robot for his army that he has created. Reed thinks twice about this and knows something is wrong. However, before he can think about it, he is fast forwarded into the future. I questioned why I couldn’t know more about this issue, and I’m still not sure why. This would be a great question I would like answered if anyone has any thoughts. I was curious to find out that Reed chose the council over his family. Since the councilmen are made up of all different ages of Reed, I am wondering if they symbolism shows that he is selfish to choose himself over his family. He dives more into his work separating himself from them and leaving them behind so he can travel into the future and experience everything without them and only with himself. I am wondering how this will play out in the next issue.

Weekly Blog Oct 16

What struck my attention this week was a twist on the classics. Spider-woman is now making her way into the comic book world to compete with the ultimate Spiderman. I loved so many aspects of this comic.

The first was the fact that the industry is continuing to introduce a variety of heroes that will appeal to everyone. Spider-woman came to be in the same way Spiderman did, except she seems to relate herself to her audience in a more personal way (though I haven’t read the Spiderman comic yet). Almost the entire issue was her talking to the reader instead of other characters. We were in her thought process the whole time, which I appreciated so I could get to know her on a better level than how she reacts to other characters. She reveals her flaws to us in the very beginning by thinking about how she feels bad for Wolverine who is experimented on and hated because of his non-human qualities. She then relates this to herself saying that she has become more “freakish” and “the most screwed over person in the history of the universe.” This shows an obvious sense of self esteem issues. I don’t know if I appreciate the author showing a woman’s insecurities like this because it reflects a stereotype of women.

The second aspect that I really enjoyed was the artistic creativity. It had a mix of real pictures and cartoons. The pictures of only Spider-woman/Jessica’s face looked like a real girl, yet the colors contained affects that allowed it to be part of a comic. For example, her face is usually pictured with blues and purples with shadows drawn in yellow or light pink. It added something unique to this issue that I haven’t seen in any comic I have read so far. It added a darkness to the story as well as a secretive sense that made me feel like something could happen at any moment (like a scary movie). This was amazing to me to have that feeling through a book/comic. It takes a very skilled person to be able to create that sense through pictures alone.

On a different note, going back to the dialogue, I didn’t enjoy some of the wording used in this issue. Overall I loved the how we got to know Spider-woman, as I mentioned before, but I feel like the intensity of the plot and her situation is ruined when the author used words like “doohickey” when Jessica and this secret agent were in the middle of a serious conversation.

Other than that, I loved it! There are many more aspects that drew me into this comic that I hope I can further investigate in the next issue!

Weekly Blog Oct 9

For this week’s blog I ventured into the side of darkness and secrecy. I chose to read Sherlock Holmes! 🙂 The Sherlock Holmes I remember hearing about as a child was shown in a different light in issue 5. Instead of being the investigator of a crime, he was being investigated for being a murder! I thought this was a very excellent twist in the story of the well known detective. Because this issue was only number 5, I am so curious as to what the stories were before and what they will be after. This plot reminds me of the way writers began to show heros in a bad light. He had become the villain in this issue; however he ended up being innocent anyway.

From a writing/artistic perspective, I was a bit confused in a few ways. The dialogue of the story was the trial against Sherlock Holmes. At times the defense and/or prosecutor would go back in time to tell evidence of the story. The first few times I was thrown off because new characters were thrown into the mix without really being introduced. I had issues following what the evidence was trying to show and when the time period was. Also, instead of showing the past during the trial, the artist was showing another part of the present in the pictures while the dialogue was continuing with the trial. This was really irritating because I didn’t know what was really going on outside the court house because the text bubble was telling about what was going on INSIDE the court house. I didn’t think this was an effective tactic on the author’s part. I am not quite sure what his thought process was on this. The only thing I can think of would be for him to be able to bring another element into the story and have the reader try and be the detective trying to figure out what is going on.

Overall, this wasn’t my most favorite choice of comics yet. It was difficult to follow the story while other things were being subconsciously introduced.

Weekly Blog #3

This week I chose Army of Darkness: Ash Saves Obama! The first aspect that drew me to this floppy was the fact that it had President Obama. I was curious as to how the issue would present Obama, whether in a good or bad light. We had talked about political views being a possible problem for comics, according to the seal of approval, and so I wanted to see if this comic would have been denied a seal.

After all my excitement of wanting to see how Present Obama was portrayed, I rushed through the whole issue and had to go back thinking I must have missed it! It turned out that they only mentioned President Obama’s name and didn’t include him at all in the issue. After being bummed for a couple minutes, I realized I had been “punked” like many other readers might have been. I believe this was a tactic that was supposed to draw readers, like myself, into wanting to read about political or controversial views. It was a smart, yet sneaky plan to put it on the cover and not reveal anything in the actual issue. However, I do believe that President Obama will appear in the continuation of this story.

Overall, this story of Ash was intriguing to me. First of all, I was quite irritated with the dialogue throughout the whole comic. It seemed very cheesy and in a way making fun of comics. I enjoyed how Archie was a story that flowed really well and the dialogue seemed funny because it could actually happen. In this story of Ash, you see implications of swearing and talking back, and this just didn’t appeal to me.

Another thing I noticed in this issue was that Ash really wasn’t the main hero. It seemed that Maya was the head hero having to fight off all the zombies while Ash took on just one rock/metal beast. I think this was a subtle political interpretation in that women can do anything men can. However, they counteract this when the character Denny says to her, “Why? Because the truth hurts? That you’re a stupid little girl trying to make her way in a man’s world?” At this point I was just as mad as she seemed to be, and this fueled her emotions to dominate the zombies.

Overall I was expecting to see the political views of President Obama. However, I was flourished with other controversial arguments such as feminism, swear words, etc. Although I didn’t like the dialogue that came with this plot, the overall story of Ash seemed intriguing to read and think about.

Weekly Blog #2 Archie Marries Veronica: The Wedding Pt 2

This week I decided to continue the story of Archie. I choose the part 2 of his 6 part wedding bonanza. Part 2 was the actual wedding issue. It became official at the end with “I do!” from both Archie and Veronica.

Throughout this issue, I was still trying to get a feel for the story and the characters. They seem to be the personalities I predicted from last time. The whole marriage ceremony seemed to be a huge deal throughout the city of Riverdale and everything went exactly the way Veronica wanted it. What threw me off the most was how every other character in the town was always concerned about how Betty was feeling. They were very happy for Archie and Veronica, but it seems that they felt Archie was better suited for Betty. It’s interesting because within the 2 issues I have read, I already feel the same way they do. I feel sympathetic towards Betty since she was Archie’s first friend and it is really obvious that she has loved him throughout their whole relationship. She is a sweet, humble character who seems to be very worthy of Archie.

Along with this analysis, I feel inclined to ask the question, would I feel the same way about Veronica if Archie had chosen Betty? I am very curious as to what other readers would think if Veronica had the same personality she does, but Archie chose Betty over her. The readers might have seen Veronica in a different light, such as being hurt and saddened by her loss. I think that if this were the case, I would feel sympathetic toward Veronica, but I still don’t know if I would want her to have Archie over Betty. Now with this conclusion, I begin to question why I feel this way. It seems that readers are very biased due to the personalities of the characters. This is a direct reflection on real life as well. I believe this is what attracts me most to this comic, is the fact that is shows a real connection to reality from the mainstream references down to the personalities of characters in which you can connect to at least one person in your life.

As a design aspect for this issue, the artist had the same basic concept as the last issue except for the final words of the wedding, “I now pronounce you husband and wife!” This page was a full 2 page picture and the wedding with all the guests included. I feel like the designer chose this moment to make the scene a full page picture was to enable the reader to take in the reaction of everybody at the event. This is the biggest moment in a wedding, and the artist allowed us, as readers, to be a part of it. Looking at the picture in detail shows Betty crying, people cheering, a man looking like he doesn’t care, the parents being so proud, etc. As I continue to look at the specifics in the next two 1 page panels, I feel more and more like I’m there and able to share this with the characters. This goes back to the theory that we were talking about in class about how we can escape from reality into comics. I liked how this issue was laid out and of course I am now drawn into the series since there is a possibility of a baby in the next part!

Weekly Blog #1

For this week’s blog, I chose the floppy of Archie. Interestingly enough, I happened to be right on time for a 6 part piece of the story. I luckily grabbed part 1 of 6 and began reading. I was worried that since this was the 600th issue that I wouldn’t be able to understand what was going on. However, I caught the drift that Archie has a close group of friends consisting of Betty, Veronica, and JugHead. In this issue, Archie takes a walk down memory lane, but ends up looking into his future. He is graduating from college and needs to make big decisions in his life and he ends up proposing to Veronica.

After reading this issue, I have been trying to decipher each character’s personalities. Archie seems like the kind of guy who is friendly to everyone and tries to please everyone. Veronica gives off the impression that she is the popular girl in school who is a little full of herself and is rich enough to get everything she wants. Betty is the girl next door who is a childhood friend of Archie’s and had always dreamed she would end up with him. Archie’s friend JugHead is his best friend appears to feel lost in his own world sometimes, like everyone is leaving him behind. However, he provides the comfort to those who need it.

One thing that stood out to me in this comic was its references to popular things; however, they altered the names. A couple examples were Spiffany’s (Tiffany’s jewelry store), Fazebook (Facebook), and McDaniel’s (McDonald’s). I found this very funny and possibly an author’s attempt to make the comic relatable to its readers. I also think that it will be interesting for people in the future to look back on this comic and see these references and be able to know what was popular in the time the issue was written.

From an illustration point of view, the most interesting page to me was page 20. The page didn’t contain normal square panels and it wasn’t a full page illustration either. The content was arranged in 6 different circles, like bubbles. They weren’t bordered off anyway; in fact, they were very closely intact almost making them cluttered. The page’s content is a large phone chain going between Archie’s friends and family explaining his engagement. I think the author may have chosen this design so the calls seem more connected, like a true chain.

This was most of the prominent aspects I focused on for this first issue. I tried to find the things that would be natural for an Archie comic since I plan to follow through the 6 parts. I am now very excited for part 2!