Saturday, December 12, 2009

Presentation Response

My Thoughts

I think I did well when presenting my perspective an elements of fiction that I found within Watchmen. It was very revealing to hear that all of my hard work put into preparing my presentation, payed off. One of the strengths within my presentation had to be my confidence and my passion hidden behind the topic of discussion. I have always been interested in the analysis of literature, as I plan to minor within English studies while at university. This gave me extra motivation when deciphering aspects within my topic. I believed that my tone was very clear and my eye contact with the audience was frequently used.

There were some things that I need to improve on when presenting. While presenting my topic of discussion, I tried to limit my "umms" and "likes" as much as possible. Despite my efforts, I managed to say umm about 3 to 4 times. Another thing I noticed, not only within my group, but within every group's seminar was the lack of class involvement. When presenting a topic to the audience during a seminar, your goal is to teach the audience about your topic. Adding class discussions on various aspects of your topic ensures that the audience understands and is paying attention to your presentation. This adds motivation to the audience, as it is very boring when sitting in front of a group of presenters that read off valid points with no feeling or emotion behind it. The idea of some form of class discussion would have been added and is definitely suggested to other groups for this purpose.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gallery Walk

Page 1:
1. Graphic Novel Focus: The Holocaust, Jews escaping Nazi power

2. Characters Visible: Mice (Jews), Cats (Nazis), Mr. Spiegelman

3. Language: a bit of slang due to the fact that characters are portrayed with a slight accent.

4. Boxes: 6 boxes, many different sizes, smaller boxes if more are to be put in

5. Page Read: left to right

6. Visual: This is very hard to follow because of the lack of color as it is not very pleasing to the eye. The drawings are great, but could use more color.

7. Words add a visual impact, the words help paint a scenario in the readers head based upon the image given and the text given to elaborate the situation shown within the particular picture.

8. Yes, as I am really interested in World War II history and this is based on a major event within World War II.

Page 2:
1. Graphic Novel Focus: Child Soldiers. War in Iraq

2. Characters Visible: Child Soldiers, Shahab, Ms. Nasrime

3. Language: very formal and informative to readers

4. Boxes: 6 - 8 boxes depending on the size

5. Page Read: left to right

6. Visual: This is very hard to follow because of the lack of color as it is not very pleasing to the eye. The drawings are great, but could use more color.

7. Words add a visual impact, the words help paint a scenario in the readers head based upon the image given and the text given to elaborate the situation shown within the particular picture.

8. Yes,it is important for readers to learn hars realities going on around the world right now.

Page 3:
1. Graphic Novel Focus: The Watchmen, murder scene

2. Characters Visible: Detective, Rorschach (protester)

3. Language: informal, small sentences and statements

4. Boxes: 7, box bigger at bottom to fit larger image.

5. Page Read: left to right

6. Visual: Very easy to follow because color supports visualization.

7. Words add a visual impact, the words help paint a scenario in the readers head based upon the image given and the text given to elaborate the situation shown within the particular picture. Color also helps identify areas of intrerest (ex. blood).

8. Yes, it s very entertaining and enjoyable for a fictional account.

Page 4:

1. Graphic Novel Focus: 300, Spartans against the Persians

2. Characters Visible: King Leonidas, Greek Spartans

3. Language: very small statements, action words, onomatopoeia

4. Boxes: 8 boxes depending on the size

5. Page Read: left to right

6. Visual: This is very hard to follow because boxes are very small.

7. Words add a visual impact, the words help paint a scenario in the readers head based upon the image given and the text given to elaborate the situation shown within the particular picture.

8. No, as it is too hard to follow based on its size.

Page 5:
1. Graphic Novel Focus: Creating a Robotic Boy

2. Characters Visible: Astro Boy, Tobio

3. Language: very small statements, informal

4. Boxes: 5 boxes, not same shape

5. Page Read: down

6. Visual: This is very hard to follow because of the lack of color as it is not very pleasing to the eye. The drawings are great, but could use more color.

7. Words add a visual impact, the words help paint a scenario in the readers head based upon the image given and the text given to elaborate the situation shown within the particular picture.

8. No, too animated and cartoon like.

Article Response

But it's just a comic book, right?

I agree with the author of this article, simply because everyone seems to misjudge graphic novels and mistaken them for comic books. It amazes me how people tend not to label a graphic novel as a piece of literature because the text within most of them contain many aspects that can be found in a regular novel (ex. plot, climax, character development, setting, etc). The pictures are there to help paint a picture within a readers mind, in which many readers do not have that source of visual aid when reading a regular novel. The graphics also help readers further understand the charachters, giving the readers a physical visualization of what the character looks like in conjunction to how their personality is shown on the text. It is an excellent way to read a novel, and many readers should not over judge this wonderful type of literature.

Graphic Novel Unit

Watchmen: Comparison to Film

When comparing the graphic novel Watchmen to the film, there is only one major difference that is distinguished between the two. In the graphic novel, Ozymandias (Adrian Veidt) plots to change the course of history by creating a giant squid that attacks New York City to fake an alien attack. This leads all the nations of Earth to cease their hostilities and unite at the height of the cold war.

In the film Veidt unleashes a series of attacks designed to mirror the energy beams created by Dr. Manhattan. This may seem a lot more reasonable, but ruins the great similarities between both of the movies. It almost seems like they did not want to go over budget by creating a large squid like creature to destroy all of New York City.

Everything within the film was very similar when comparing it to that of the graphic novel. All of the actors/actresses hired looked very identical to the characters shown within the novel, and costumes were also very accurate. Dialoguer was also taken from the novel and used as a script for the film itself. Some events may have been left out or altered, but this is because it would be too time consuming to leave all scenes the same length as the graphic novel applies.

Graphic Novel Unit

Watchmen: Theme

There are many themes within Alan Moore's Watchmen, both with social and literary components. One of the themes located within the novel can be known as archetypes. Each character within the graphic novel can be classified as a particular archetype:

The Anima and the Animus:
The relationship between Laurie and Dan represents both the male and female half of the anima and the animus. As both halves are searching for love and companionship (finding your other half), the eventually fall in love and are connected to each other on an emotional level.

The Hero:
Rorschach can be classified as the "Rogue" Hero, as he is not portrayed as an innocent being with much to learn. Rorschach's goal is to make sure that justice is served and uses any meens necessary to get what he wants. He is very intelligent and cunning, which differentiates from a standard hero as they typically play it safe and have musch to learn.

The Quest/Call for Adventure:
Rorschach is faced with the task of uncovering the killer responsible for killing Edward Blake. To do so, he must go on the journey to find clues that will lead Rorschach to the killer.

The Wizard:
The idea of magical powers is evident within the film when analyzing Dr. Manhattan, as he can teleport from place to place, reconstruct atoms, and he also has the ability to change his height at a drastic level. His skin tone and way of dress also leans more towards that of a wizard.

The Shadow:
Towards the end of the novel, Rorschach and Night Owl soon discover that Ozymandias is responsible for the death of the Comedian and much of the havoc that has been spread throughout New York. In order for this to stop Rorschach must defeat the Shadow.

These are just some of many archetypes that can be found throughout the graphic novel.

Graphic Novel Unit

Watchmen: Visual Style

Visuals within Watchmen contain many graphic displays that are intended for a mature audience. The use of mild nudity and excessive amounts of blood within each caption box may be a little too much to handle. When dealing with the illustration of boxes within the graphic novel, the illustrator uses a large amount of detail within the color scheme to outline important facial features and environmental surroundings. Despite the large amount of comment bubbles, the text stands out nicely and key points are in bold if the readers have trouble understanding what information is important to know. The illustrator had the ability to create a large amount of different emotions amongst the faces of characters, making it more interesting to read when analyzing a character's facial expressions. The layout of the novel is still in standard format, with changes based on the chapter is presented. This also allows readers to develop an interest in a particular character based upon on their rights.

Graphic Novel Unit

Watchmen: Writing Style

When analyzing the writing styles of both Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, present within Watchmen, it is identified that this writing style is unique from any other graphic novel. There are several ways to distinguish the way the text is being presented to readers, one of them being the support of visuals with a dialogue versus actual text that can be found within a regular novel. The purpose of this text is to provide the reader with extra details of events that have taken place within the previous chapter. This typically contains a detailed character biography or police documentation, building a sense of believability that characters within the graphic novel actually exist. Each character has there own unique dialogue based upon their character description. For example, Rorschach, the shady, quiet character, often condenses his sentences down to one word while Ozymandias, the smartest man in the world,generally has much to say based upon the current situation. This unique dialogue also helps make the characters more believable and allows readers to view the emotions and feelings one character might express.

Graphic Novel Unit

Watchmen: Characters

Here is a summary of some of the main characters within Watchmen. Many of the characters are affiliated with one another and were also members of the Watchmen group, in charge of keeping the city of Manhattan, New York safe from villains and illegal activity prior to 1985. After going into retirement for quite some time, they are forced to reunite due to the planned murder of one of the masked crime fighters, the Comedian, formally known as Edward Blake. Here is a list of the main characters that were involved within the graphic novel:

Formally known as Joesph Kovacs, this member of the Watchmen is seen throughout the novel as a sneaky, cunning individual with two alternate personalities. Being abused by his alcoholic mother at a young age and becoming a witness to many hostilities as a child, Kovacs felt that it was his destiny to stand up against crime an villainy found within New York City. After obtaining a job as an unskilled manual worker in the garment industry, Kovacs found his true identity at the age of sixteen. It was here where he discovered a fabric that was tossed aside by a customer, said to be pressure sensitive and fluid based. Kovacs designed a mask from this fabric and from this point on developed the alias of "Rorschach", the cunning crime fighter that never sleeps until justice is served on the streets of Manhattan.

There are many major sections within the novel that are told within Rorschach's prospective. This is done by portraying each caption as a part of his journal. Rorschach also uses his alternate identity as as source of comfort for himself. He feels the need to always be masked to lock away his past life. This can be seen throughout the graphic novel when Rorschach refers to his mask as his "face".

The Comedian:
Formally known as Edward Blake and the oldest member within the Watchmen, the Comedian was a member of a former costumed hero group known as the Minutemen. The Comedian truly believed that life was one big joke and lived it facing a harsh reality. While in the Minutemen began working for the government and fell under the corruption of temptation, having treated criminals with a great amount of abuse and almost raping a fellow member of the Minutemen group. After a few long years in retirement, Edward Blake was murdered in 1985, setting the plot for the novel.

Dr. Manhattan:
Formally known as John Osterman, Dr. Manhattan was forced by his father to invest in getting a degree in Atomic Science. After accepting a job at Gila Flats, a scientific research center, John is trapped within a machine that separates objects from their intrinsic fields. As a result, John gains immense power and has the ability to teleport anywhere in the world. The government uses Dr.Manhattan as a tool of war, but soon finds himself joining the Watchmen and becomes attached to a female by the name of Laurie.

The Silk Spectre:
Formally known as Laurie Jupiter, Laurie is the daughter of Sallie Jupiter, an original masked crime fighter from the Minutemen. Growing up in the footsteps of her mother, Laurie is highly attached to John but their relationship begins to turn throughout the novel. Laurie reunites with the rest of the Watchmen to help solve the mystery behind the death of multiple costumed heroes.

The Night Owl:
Formally known as Dan Dreiberg, Dreiberg's father was a banker who left him a large inheritance, which he used to design and build his crime-fighting gear. Hollis Mason, Nite Owl, was his hero and when he retired, Dan wrote to Mason, asking if he could carry on the Night Owl legacy. Upon looking at his gear, Mason was too impressed to refuse him, so Dan started out in the 1960s. From then on, the two men became friends. Dan develops strong feelings for Laurie within the novel, and joins Rorschach to help him uncover the murder mystery of the Comedian.

Another former member of the Watchmen, group, Adrian Veidt has been deemed the smartest man in the world.It is his intelligence that creates a large amount of schemes thought the novel, causing the death of the Comedian and many others by the end of the novel. He is the true mastermind behind all of the committed crime in which the remaining Watchmen are sent to discover.

Graphic Novel Unit

Watchmen: The Plot

The Watchmen, a fictional account set in an alternate view of the United States in 1985, tells the tale of a fallen group of costumed heroes and their days spent in retirement. While the United States is at a confrontation with the Soviet Union of Russia, Rorschach (real name: Joesph Kovacs), a masked member of the Watchmen, discovers that a fellow member of the group of costumed heroes has been brutally murdered. Edward Blake, formally known as the Comedian, was photographed outside of his apartment entrance, after being beaten to death and thrown out of his apartment window. After investigating the crime scene, Rorschach finds himself with a hunch that the murder was planned by someone from his past and the Comedian is just one of the planned murders on all of the members within the Watchmen. After reuniting with the Silk Spectre, the Night Owl, Dr. Manhattan, and Ozymandias, Rorschach soon discovers that the villain lurks within his own group of accomplices. Only time will tell, as a gigantic creature is waiting to destroy half of New York, ending the Cold War between the Americans and the Russians, causing both of them to unite under suspicion of an Alien attack.