Category Archives: Official Course Stuff

Announcement: Final Exam Questions

As promised, here are your final exam questions for Tuesday’s final.  Remember, you only pick one of these to write your essay on.  You can prepare ahead of time to your heart’s content, but you cannot bring any material into the class.  I’m looking for a thoughtful, detailed, intelligent, and interesting approach to how you address the question you choose.  So, here are the questions:

  1. The direct market is arguably one of the most important developments in the history of the comic book.  Explore the the factors that contributed to the development of the direct market, the impact that the direct market had on both the comic book industry and the medium of comics, and the future of the direct market.
  2. While most people think about comic books, they most often think about mainstream publishers and characters.  However, independent comic book “movement” has had as much of an impact on comic books as the mainstream industry.  Discuss the development of the independent comics scene.  Be sure to include a discussion of the influence that indie comics have had on mainstream comic industry.
  3. You simply cannot talk about the history of the modern comic book without talking about the Comics Code Authority.  Discuss and explore the events that led up to and shaped the foundation of the Comics Code Authority, the fallout (both in terms of the creative aspects of the of the industry and the business aspects of the industry), and the Modern Age revolution in comics as it relates to the Comics Code Authority.

If anyone has any questions, feel free to give me a shout.  I look forward to seeing everyone on Tuesday at 12:45.  Remember to bring a blue book and a pencil/pen (I don’t care which)

Announcement: Bonus Blog

so folks, as I promised, here is a bonus blog for you. It is worth the same as all of your other blogs – and will either make up for a blog you missed or give you a little extra boost in your grade.  It will be due by Sunday @ 5pm.  So, here is the question:

Choose one thing (creator, company, event, invention, trend, etc.) that you think has had the most important impact on the development of the modern comic book (industry, medium, etc.) – and explain why you think its had the biggest impact on the development of the modern comic book.  Be specific!  So, choosing “Marvel” definitely won’t cut it (unless you are talking about something specific about Marvel).

Happy blogging!

Wiki Information

As promised, here is the link for the course wiki:

http://hst110h.history.msu.edu/wiki

Also, as promised, here are three quick how-to instructional videos demonstrating the basic things you’ll need to do when working with the wiki: Creating an Account, Creating a Subsection, Adding Content to your Subsection

Be absolutely sure that you watch all the videos – they all have important info in them.  If anyone has any questions, you can either comment on this post (which is probably good because it means everyone else in the class benefits from you asking the question) or send me an email.

Final Project Presentation & The Question of the Schedule

As everyone knows, the schedule was thrown into complete dissaray when I got sick and had to cancel class.  Under normal circumstances, this wouldn’t be such a big deal.  However, because the nature of our schedule, I had to cut a lot of things that are very important to the class.  I’ve got to be honest, there are just some topics that I can’t give up.

So, I’m thinking of killing the presentation component of the final project.  This would free up three classes – which would allow me to cover the remaining content I want to cover.

This means two things.  First off – (obviously) you wouldn’t have to do a final presentation.  Second off (and this is more important) – your grade would be based solely on the project itself (as opposed to split between the project and the presentation).

We aren’t going to have any time tomorrow to talk about this (because we’ve got Ryan Stegman & Jason Howard coming in to do a guest lecture).  So, I wanted to get your opinion/feedback on this now.  Please stick your thoughts (you want to do it, you don’t want to do it, etc, etc, etc) in the comments section of this post.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get a get read on your opinions and make a final decision ASAP.  Its really important that everyone chimes in with their thoughts.

OGN Research Project List..

Ok folks, here are the teams.  I tried to keep everyone’s wished in mind when I drew the lists up.  It also worked out that there were a few 2-person groups and one 4-person group.  I’m hoping that doesn’t throw things off too terribly much.  We’ll take time in class next week for everyone to connect.

Maus

Blankets

Too Cool to Be Forgotten

League of Extraordinary Gentleman

From Hell

Y The Last Man

American Flagg!

Persepolis

DC: The New Frontier

Avengers Issue Two

Even though the first issue of Ultimate Avengers did not rock my  world, I still went and bought the second. I thought I would give the action heroes another chance, and I am glad that I did.

In the first issue I was frustrated by the fact that I did not understand the background stories of the characters. This issue however, mainly focused on the history of  Red Skull, who is supposed to be Captain America’s son. His story is that when he just a baby, the son  is taken from his mother (Captain America’s lover) under the  false pretense of maintaining the late Captain’s reputation.  The government tells the mother that her son will be put up for adoption with a nice American family. However, they take him out to a deserted research site and train him to be a better “superhero” than his father. Surprise, surprise he breaks out of the institute after going on a killing streak. Instead of becoming the ideal superhero, Captain America’s son becomes a terrible super villian.  I think that this story is really interesting because of the way it portrays the American government. Sneaky and manipulative, the government takes a woman’s child to run innumerable tests and convert what could have been a wonderful child into the  Red Skull. The focus is obviously on the advancement of American technology and weaponry, rather than basic American principals.

Also, like we talked about in class, the characters have human flaws and concerns. Captain America, who I always thought was invincible, the Superman of Marvel, has a break down after discovering the truth about his unknown son. He attacks his fellow Avenger and goes rouge. Before reading this issue, I would not have expected that kind of deep, real emotional trauma to occur to such a seemingly perfect character.

So, I am glad that I stuck through and read another ultimate avengers comic. What irked me before, a found I loved in this second issue. I now go back to the comic store frequently to check for the third issue.

Welcome to HST110h: History of the Modern Comic Book

I’d like to welcome everyone to HST110h – I’m excited about the class, and hope we have a fun semester.  There are a few things that you need to do before the end of the first week:

  • Sign up for a Twitter account (http://www.twitter.com) – if you don’t already have one yet.  Follow captain_primate.  If you aren’t already familiar with Twitter, check out the intero video in the Class Info section of the website
  • Sign up for a Gravatar account (http://gravatar.com/)
  • Subscribe to one (or more) of the comic book podcasts listed in the footer of the course website – my favorite is iFanboy
  • Once you receive your login for the course site, change your password and add your full name (and be sure to change how your name is displayed in posts (there is a handy little dropdown menu called “Display name publicly as”)
  • Start thinking about the book you are going to buy next Wednesday (remember, Wednesday is comic book day).  If you want to know what is slated to be released each week, check out Comixology (http://www.comixology.com)

If you’ve got any questions, please don’t hesitate to give me a shout via email or IM.