Week 11: Life Is Strange

This week was an interesting turn in the course, as we moved away from the typical reading of comic novels to playing an interactive game called Life is Strange. I thought this was an awesome idea to implement in the class by professor Miletic, as I am a big fan of video games and I thought this added another fun aspect to this course.

I must say that I definitely enjoyed the game Life is Strange. I find the episodic and interactive nature of the game very interesting, but my favourite part is the idea that the decisions you make in the game alter subsequent aspects of the game. I find most video games can become somewhat boring when the player must follow a linear story line with no freedom. This game reminds me of those novels where you can pick your own destiny and have to jump from different parts of the book to create your own story line.

I found one of the questions from this weeks groups presenting to be very interesting. The discussion focused on whether Max’s powers have helped or impeded her development as an individual. I believe her power’s impeded both her emotional and psychological development as an individual. Being able to constantly rewind time, and redo actions without having to take responsibility for them does not allow an individual to form a proper sense of responsibility and overall does not let you form your identity as a more mature individual. I think if it were not for Max’s powers, she would have grown as an individual much quicker and may have avoided some of the unfortunate events that were waiting for her.

Week 10: Shade, The Changing Girl

Within the last two weeks we’ve switched gears in this course and began to read comic books that are very different from the superhero norm, to say the least. With reading week and our midterm essay due, We have read a number of comic novels without posting subsequent blog posts. I chose to write this weeks blog post on Shade, The Changing Girl.

I have several conflicting thoughts about this comic novel, some of them are positive and some of them are negative. Ill start of with what I enjoyed about this comic novel. By far my favourite aspect of this comic novel was the psychedelic artwork. I found it extremely captivating and for some reason gave me a Ricky and Morty vibe (which is the 2nd best show on TV, behind Game of Thrones, in my opinion). I found myself constantly having to refocus on the text because my eyes would wonder off along the panels looking at the artwork. This comic felt like Doom Patrol on steroids in terms of the artwork and style. From a visualistic perspective, this comic novel definitely ranks near the top of my small-but-growing list of comic novels.

Now, onto the things that I did not enjoy about this comic. First of all, as I am reading more and more comic novels in this course, I am finding that Superhero novels with god-like protagonists and extravagant plot lines are more in tune with my interests, as opposed to somewhat mundane comics such as Shade The Changing Girl or Ghost World. To be honest, I do not find the idea of exploring adolescents and transitioning into an adult to be a very compelling story in comic novels. I read comic novels to see some crazy and exciting superhero’s defeating interesting villains.

I think my criticism of this comic stems mostly from a personal preference in the type of comics I read rather than a critical analysis of the message being sent by the author. I would handedly pick comics such as All-Star Superman or Batman instead of novels such as Ghost World or Shade The Changing Girl.

Thoughts on Doom Patrol

This week we read Doom Patrol, which also happened to be my presentation topic. I found this comic novel to be a refreshing read and thoroughly enjoyed attempting to put together and understand the plot of this book.

I must admit, I took me some time to fully comprehend and understand what Dannyland is and how it relates to the story. Once I understood the plot, the experience of reading this comic took a completely different route than I first thought it would take.

One of my favourite things about this comic is the idea concept of a comic within a comic. Although confusing at first, I found Casey’s origin to be very interesting and very wacky in nature. The idea of the protagonist not being a real person and being based off a comic book within the comic novel is very intriguing to me. I really enjoyed how Casey is based off a superhero in Dannyland, but in the real world she is a normal person who fills a superhero role (Ambulance driver savings people).

Another part of the comic I found extremely fascinating is the illustration of super powers as being afflictions rather than blessings. This is seen with several of the characters, such as Negative man (who feeds off negative energy), Crazy Jane (suffers from multiple personality disorder), and Robot Man (who suffers from being stuck in a lifeless body and cant feel emotions). This idea was very refreshing and gave me a new point of view on superheros.

I believe the afflictions as powers bit offers a bit of a contrast between this comic and other common comic novels. The portrayal of powers as afflictions is something very different, while the choice to keep them and do good, or the self-sacrifice, associated with such powers is relatively common concept in comic novels .

Thoughts and Opinions On Planetary

This week we read the first volume of Planetary and I must say, this comic is definitely one of the stranger ones that I have read. It was some what hard to follow at first, and I found myself having to revisit each issue to make sure I got the main idea, or clarify some things that I may have missed.

My favourite part of this novel was Elijah Snow. I loved the mystique and secrecy regarding this character. Not to mention I thought his powers were super cool,  being able to create extreme cold and extract heat. I found this characters intentions, actions, and morals to be extremely refreshing compared to typical comic book heros. Typically, most superhero make their intentions, beliefs, and morals to be very clear. As the case with Superman, everyone knows he wants to do good, protect the weak, and make sure justice is served. With Elijah Snow, that is not so clear, and this adds to my interest in him. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel and attempting to deduce what Elijah Snow is thinking, why he is doing what he is doing, and his thought process.

I also enjoyed the blur this novel offers between the Hero and Anti-hero genre. I had to think long and hard, even do some online research to see what other people were thinking when it comes to Elijah Snow and whether or not he is considered a hero. I personally believe he is an anti-hero, mainly because he seems to lack many of the common attributes given to heros. He does not seem to have a drive and wanting to do justice simply to do justice, but to suit his own means.

Deep Dive into Black Panther

This week’s readings and discussions focused on the comic Black Panther. Despite Black Panther not being as god-like as some other Superhero’s I know (which I typically like more), I must admit that this comic has been the most enjoyable read so far in the term, for several reasons.

Firstly, I found the comic to have a very interesting story line, more so than the previous comics we read. In my personal opinion, I really enjoy politics. I found that this comic implemented a very interesting level of politics into its story, covering the aspects of monarchy and the inevitable push for revolution by those who have been let down by the monarch. I found this aspect of the comic quite refreshing and very enjoyable as its focus aligned very clearly with my interests.

Secondly, in my opinion this comic was filled with action, battles, and interesting dialogue that I look for in a comic. The battle scenes, especially when T’Challa called in help from his allies (Cage, Misty, Eden etc.), were very entertaining and kept me on my toes. I thought that the writing style complemented the artwork very well, which kept me reading this comic. The previous few comic we read, I would read it over several days, but with this comic I couldn’t keep myself from taking a break and binged the comic in one sitting.

Finally, I was very fond of the protagonist, T’Challa. I enjoyed that the author showed different aspects of this character, both his positive and negative attributes. I find that in some comics (like Superman), only the positive aspects of the main character are focused on, while the negative aspects are glossed over. I throughly enjoyed reading and identifying with the struggles T’Challa is facing when he seeks counsel from his inner circle, and the struggle of going with his gut feelings versus the advice of others. I also enjoyed reading of T’Challa’s struggle with who he is destined to be by blood versus who he is as a person. He has difficulty being the King he has been destined to be by blood, while he truly sees himself as a scientist. I found this aspect of him trying to learn more about himself and become one with who he truly is extremely fascinating.

All in all, I found this comic extremely entertaining and would definitely recommend it to my peers.

Thoughts and Opinions on Ms. Marvel

This week we read and discussed the graphic novel of Ms. Marvel. This comic revolves around a young muslim teenager, Kamala Khan, who gains superpowers by being exposed to a Terrigen mist. As it turns out, Kamala is not actually a human, but rather an Inhuman. One of the most refreshing aspects of this comic is the fact that the protagonist is not your typical superhero (White, strong male), but rather a individual that belongs to a minority group.

When reading this comic, I was comparing it to the comic we read the previous week; All-Star Superman. I found this comic much more entertaining and interesting for several reasons. The main reason I liked Ms. Marvel more than All-Star Superman was that I felt that the issues (of Ms. Marvel) we read were more cohesive than those of All-Star Superman. Every issue of Ms. Marvel felt like it was building towards the plot of the Inventor. All-Star Superman felt much more disorganized and felt like there was never a very good flow to the plot. Another reason I really enjoyed Ms. Marvel is that it felt more laid-back, playful, and funny compared to All-Star Superman. I definitely felt that Ms. Marvel is more geared towards a younger audience, and the artwork and dialogue in the comic felt more realistic than All-Star Superman.

In class we discussed people’s opinions on superheros that are either more relatable or less relatable. I find that Superhero comic books about heros who are god-like are much more entertaining than those that are more relatable to the everyday person (such as Ms. Marvel).

Thought’s On All-Star Superman

This week we read and discussed the material in All-Star Superman Issues #1-6. As I was reading this comic book, several things stood out to me. Firstly, I found it slightly difficult to follow the plot within the comic book. To me, the unfolding of the story felt somewhat rushed and I found myself struggling at times to keep up, having to go back a few panels to re-orient myself. I am not sure if this is simply how plots are covered in comic books, given that this is my first time reading an actual comic. I guess that I will have to adjust my expectations and grasp the “art” of reading a comic book correctly. This may take sometime since basically everything I have read in the last four years has been school related (i.e. textbooks and literature reviews).

When I finally read the required readings, I was very surprised in the way that Superman was humanized in the story. In story arc, Superman, an omnipotent being that has the power to destroy our planet in a single instance, struggles with many of the issues everyday people struggle with. When faced with the reality that he is dying, one that everybody has to deal with at one point or another, Superman begins to focus on the things that truly matter for him. In one instance, Clark Kent (masquerading as superman), exposes his true identity to his love interest, Louis Lane. I found this act to be an extremely effective means of humanizing Superman’s character as this is what many people may due when faced with the prospect of death. The divulging of someone’s true feelings towards another person is an excellent way of helping the reader identify with the godlike figure of Superman.

The Beginning Of A Journey

My name is Vladimir Osadchyi and I recently enrolled in ENGL108A. Welcome to my blog! This is my first experience with starting a blog and I am very excited. My favourite superhero is Batman because I think he has all the qualities of a superhero with a slight visual appearance of a villain. The mixture of both sides is what attracts me to him.

 

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