Graphic Novels

While reading The Power and Range of the Graphic Novel-Memoir and ‘They Planted Hatred in Our Hearts’ we really got to understand from other peoples perspective that writing in comic form has an ability to show what is happening or happened in other visual forms other than on television. While you will be getting drawings of what happened and the drawings will be drawn in the way one person saw what happened, you might be seeing things that you normally wouldn’t see since picture or videos wouldn’t have been able to take a photo or video of it.

Having journalism in comic form isn’t something that a great majority of the population have read or maybe even heard of. It is becoming more and more popular for people to read. It doesn’t only have super heroes and villains, it has comics that are journalist comics that focus on the social issues that aren’t only current day issues, but issues in the past.

In Persepolis it was a memoir, so we were able to see and learn about how it was to live in that country at that time. Also being able to “grow-up” with her as the book went on was valuable. Since most stories that are covered by journalists aren’t able to follow the story for such an extended amount of time, that in Persepolis they were able to. Something else that we were able to see in this type of medium is that people were able to learn where her opinions, thoughts, and viewpoints came from. Instead of just entering into her life at a point and there being reference to a view point and not realizing where that opinion was made and why she choose that view point.

Something else that is every unique to comics is that the artist is able to make the faces of the people as abstract or as life-like and they feel like would best represent the comic. Having a more abstract face makes it so that the readers would be able to put themselves in their shoes and experience what they are going through in the comic. This was done in Persepolis, where Satrapi draws the pictures for the book Persepolis. Having the faces be abstract, it makes the reader feel like they can be Marjane when she was younger and experience what she was experiencing. Rather than just go along with her in the story. While on the other hand, having a more realistic faces make the comic feel more realistic.

In the comic Journalism, Joe Sacco has the drawings of the people very realistic. In doing so, he was able to make the reader of the comic pay attention to what the people looked like as the war happened. I personally think that having the faces realistic, it made people look at the photos and really think about what happened during the wars. The readers are able to numb or block out the faces as easily, as if they drawings of the people were more abstract. Having the faces be more realistic might even make readers think that the drawings of the people look familiar to someone that they know.


One thought on “Graphic Novels

  1. You bring up a good point about Sacco’s work. By rendering the people he meets as realistically as possible, he creates almost a photograph of them, and we can really see them, see their suffering, see their emotions. And I think this is important. We might not empathize with them as much if we only saw an abstract face. In Persepolis, Satrapi purposefully made the images abstract so that they could represent any little girl living in a dictatorship. It becomes less about being Arab, and more about living under a dictator. And that means that while the actual facts vary from dictatorship to dictatorship, we can understand how any young girl would feel. She even says that in the behind the scenes show when they ask her why she kept the film an animated film rather than a live action film.



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