Blog Post #3

Reflecting back on what we discussed in class, the theme was the power of using graphic novels to display modern day news. When we think of news, we imagined news from mediums such as TV, radio, or the internet of a reporter and him/her reporting the news. Maybe an interview from the source here as well, but not much character to it. From the readings this week, the main takeaway for me was that the way cartoons is used for news gives news a different perspective, it gives the story for character, and it is much easier to digest. Maya Schenwar says (http://www.cjr.org/united_states_project/illustrated_press_chicago_comics_journalism.php), “A lot of the reasons for doing the comics has to do with the necessity of having [readers] engaged with individuals identified in the story”, comics tells a story, and like in any story, you become attached to characters. As http://www.cbr.com/comic-studies-documentary-comics/ reading says, New Journalism isn’t just about reporting facts, saturation reporting and that these documentary comics that have a blend of journalism and biography/memoir is what makes Joe Sacco’s readings and Persepolis so effective. Sacco builds up these characters, and their stories seems almost fictional, but no. Their stories is very real.
Comics has been viewed as childish, playful form of literature. It’s basically a picture book with words in it, how can someone take it seriously? “You may think reading comics is easy, and like me, you’ve probably been sneered at for reading such low-brow material, but, in fact, they require the reader to do a lot of work”(http://www.cbr.com/comic-studies-persepolis-and-fun-home/). I think that is how using news in comic format actually benefits in reporting the news. It puts the reader in a different mindset. When we read comics, we’re usually in a mindset that everything is going to be okay. From Garfield, to Marvel comics, everything goes back to normal eventually, and there’s a happy ending. In the book Persepolis reading, or Joe Sacco’s comics, there isn’t really a happy ending. And we’re just constantly reading until we get there, but it isn’t there. I think that is one of the ways it is effective. What also makes comic journalism so great is that the reader can interpret the story in many ways. Since it does uses many pictures, you can tell a lot from the story by just examining the picture. What I see in a certain picture, or part of the book may fascinate me, but not you necessarily. Which what makes Persepolis so interesting.  Yes, it is a graphic novel, however it isn’t very “graphic” at all. The faces aren’t very detailed, and the book is all in black in white. So how does it capture the reader? The way the story progresses is just enough to make you think. It makes you think “within the lines”, or in this case, within the boxes. You get the point straight forward from the picture, but the text may hold a deeper meaning. And sometimes it is the other way around.

Lastly, comics is also a type of media where it doesn’t take much to do or make. Really all it takes is having pencil and paper, and you can create a cartoon. It also helps if you can draw, but for Joe Sacco’s and Marjane Satrapi’s case, actual picture taking wasn’t safe/available. This is a type of medium where it is safer, because people are very skeptic of cameras in this day or age, and you can still captivate people with an effective drawing.

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