Manjoo 1-3

I’m really, really trying to understand Manjoo for what he seems to be wanting to get at and not what he’s saying at the surface level. I’m struggling, though, because while he’s presenting a lot of issues with information dispersal and synthesization in American society right now, he’s not stating where these issues originate, or how to go about fixing them.

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Wysocki’s “The Sticky Embrace of Beauty”

“My very (learned) idea of what is beautiful, of what is well-formed, is dangerous for women and any aestheticized Others.” (Wysocki, 168)

Much like Laura Mulvey critiques the male gaze and objectification of women in “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,” and Barbara Kruger critiques the position of women in capitalistic systems, Wysocki takes the principles of design, advertising and neutrality to task. In Wysocki’s essay, she speaks to the idea of social construction in advertising, and that even the things we view as neutral — for example, “good design principles” — are by no means not steeped in its social surrounding.

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McCloud 7-9

I’m posting this late because I didn’t pick up on the importance of McCloud’s last section until class and couldn’t, for the life of me, think of anything worthwhile to say, and then, after class, I needed more time to think about it.

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McCloud 4-6

Oh man, McCloud’s chapter on time in comics was wildly interesting. The first thing I thought of was how they say that six years in our time is equivalent to one year in Marvel comic time, nevermind all the reboots and retcons. Along with this, his idea of what text placement in a panel means with respect to time was something I think I’d subconsciously realized as a reader, but definitely wouldn’t be able to vocalize had he not laid it out on the page the way he did.

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overly enthusiastic about comics 2k-forever

There is a lot to talk about in regards to Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, particularly in regards to the role of the reader in comics. From basically the outset, McCloud makes it clear that the role of the reader is far more active than what we might think of readers being, especially when it comes to comics, an art form that’s still so stigmatized that we, as a culture, have decided that comic that doesn’t have superheroes or fantasy is more aptly called a “graphic novel” (see: Maus, Guy Delisle’s Pyongyang, Persepolis or Citizen 13660, all comic books, but all frequently billed as graphic novels instead). It’s also interesting that McCloud shows how collaborative the efforts of comic books are between the artists/writers, but also the creators/consumers.

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Wysocki and Bernhardt

These readings felt like a continuation of the study of style I got from Advanced Writing last semester, though put much more succinctly and pointfully than anything we did there. The study of the style of a piece, where style means how a piece was placed on the page in relation to its font, its diagrams and images, and the idea that all these things belonged to certain choices and genres of writing was not a new idea.

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FisherCooper

Both of these readings brought forth some new ideas that I found rather fascinating, either that I hadn’t considered, or had only considered/learned about in passing but never with concentrated focus like that of these articles, or, even better, didn’t yet have names for.

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