Posts Tagged ‘drawing’

As part of our DigiLit class, we were tasked with a 30 day endeavor involving the Internet-lauded Daily Create challenges. We were also (rather helpfully) given the qualifier that we didn’t necessarily have to do the ones posted that particular day, we could choose whichever ones we liked, we just had to do a month’s worth of them.

I may or may not have procrastinated on these. So, they’ll be arriving in 3 groups totaling 30 at the end. Each Daily Create will also have the link to the page from whence it came. This second one will feature the categories Audio¬†and Drawing.

Audio:

Drawing:

A Movie in Two Panels: 

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A Flag for my Very Own Country:

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Anti-Keep Calm Poster:

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A “Special” Letter:

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Face a Fear:

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Cellular:

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Canto

“Comic books and graphic novels are a great medium. It’s incredibly underused.” – Darren Aronofsky

Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to formally welcome you into my domain! This week in ENG438, we have cast off the cape in favor of two graphic novels that have nothing to do with Kryptonite, billionaire-playboy-genius-philanthropists, or (mostly) nefarious villains. Nope, this week we’re tackling young children in gang violence and the tortured artist’s attempts to break out of her shell – no superheroics required! The first of the two (that I read, anyway) being Yummy: the Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri & Randy DuBurke, and the other being Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge. I enjoyed both of these novels very much, which will come in handy seeing as how I’m putting together a syllabus for a graphic novels course!

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Graphic as in novels. Not explicit material. No one wants to see you do that.

Yummy: the Last Days of a Southside Shorty

Yummy will do something many conventional novels you’re force-fed will not: morally struggle. Yummy entails the story of an 11 year old boy from Chicago named Robert who is given the nickname “Yummy” because of a pension for sweets. Yummy’s father is in jail, and his mother is just short of batshit crazy, so obviously, Yummy doesn’t have much in the way of family. His talent for petty crime and lack of any kind of stability in life means that when he is offered the chance to join a gang, the closest thing he’s had to a family, he snatches up the chance. And things go sour from here. This (mostly true) story is actually told from the perspective of a fictional classmate of Yummy’s named Roger, whose brother also happens to be in the same gang Yummy is caught up in.

Yummy, in an attempt to move up in rank, goes to get rid of some members of a rival gang playing a game in the street – and instead, succeeds in eliminating an innocent girl. Thus, a manhunt begins for him. The ultimate culmination is not a happy ending, but I won’t spoil it for you. What Yummy does best (besides be wonderfully and realistically drawn) is make you feel torn. You want to hate the criminal that took an innocent life, held up innocent people, and would not reform. But then you see panels of this same criminal sitting with a teddy bear in front of Saturday morning cartoons. The issue here is not black and white (as the panels are), but something deeper. This is an issue that our narrator, Roger, deals with himself. Do we feel bad for Yummy? Do we scorn him for what he has done? What could have been done differently? Sure, he’s a murderer, but he’s also only a kid. Unfortunately, Yummy’s story isn’t fictional. And it isn’t the only one of its kind. This is a story that will make you appreciate your loved ones.

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Results after googling “Southside Chicago”

Page by Paige

It took me a little while to get into Page by Paige. I couldn’t really relate to the whole “small town kid moving to the big city” thing – mostly because I was a big city kid who moved to a small town, and it was when I was 5. And we lived in the suburbs. Not a lot of adjusting to do, but anyway! Page by Paige is the story of one Paige Turner (her parents are writers) moving to New York from.. I can’t remember for the life of me where. Somewhere where they actually have yards and porches instead of stoops and towering skyscrapers! Paige is an introverted teenager with a pension for drawing who wants people to notice her and wants desperately to be a people person.. but can’t seem to get over her social anxiety. Will people like her? Will they think she’s weird? Are they just being nice because they feel sorry for her? Paige is worried about fitting in – a problem every teenager has faced since the beginning of time.

Paige is also the tortured artist type. Through her sketchbook, she creates images of how she really is on the inside. The drawings range from really intricate and sometimes shocking to the sweet simplicty of a flower blooming. In the beginning, Page by Paige was not really roping me in. I’m not sure why. I enjoy the art style, I enjoy Paige as a character, and I enjoy the lack of any horrible tragedy occurring (for once). I think I couldn’t really relate to Paige’s reasons for being such an introvert until the book began to get going. Paige wonders why people act happy when they know things aren’t okay. She wonders about the “masks” that people wear – why they shut out others or act one way when they really feel another. Eventually, she realizes that this is just part of day-to-day life. The important thing is finding people who you don’t have to wear a mask for.

Said no teenager ever.

Both of the graphic novels we read this week tackled real-world, albeit very different problems effectively. And they did it without being 600 page, sprawling, wordy, boring and presumptuous-as-hell “classics”. I would recommend both Yummy and Page by Paige to anyone who’s interested in graphic novels, but thinks superheroes are lame. As for convincing nay-sayers to pick up a graphic novel for the first time, my best recommendation would be to find one that tailors to their interests. There are no shortage of graphic novels to choose from. It’s just about finding the one.

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