Wednesday, November 14, 2007

It’s funny, reading Doug’s blog reminded me that I too was a huge fan of comic books when I was a kid. Actually, it might not have been a comic book per se. It was more like a kid’s magazine that featured weekly installments of some major story that centered around Aladdin, the main character of the magazine and its title (not in any way related to Disney’s Aladdin or Arabian Nights’ Aladdin by the way). When I was reading Doug’s blog, I remembered my fascination with drawing the character. I somehow convinced myself that if I could draw him, I would be able to control the character too. I could make him go on better adventures, have better friends, since they were often mean, and look even more stylish, since I sometimes thought that the artists took too many liberties with his hair. I could mold him into my own image; he’d become my own creation. I know; a tad bit narcissistic there, but I was only 10. I thought I owned the world! But solipsism isn’t something new.
Earlier in Understanding Comics, McCloud makes the point that “we humans are a self-centered race” (32) since “we see ourselves in everything” (33). This could be related to the comic book character, especially McCloud’s, as we have already discussed in class on Tuesday. He becomes part of us because we see our selves in him. But I think our crowning achievement does not lie with our identification with an image, but rather our identification with our words that identify with our image. I think for first time I realized my emphasis on words. McCloud makes this great point about how words introduce the concept of time in the comics.
Since words are made of sounds, and sounds are the only things that could exist in time, this highlights the immortality of words. I think this is especially significant for me or maybe all of us as English majors. As for myself, I tend to pride myself on the things I read or read before. I still brag about reading this book over another book. My favorite book to brag about is Pride and Prejudice of course. This undoubtedly leads to another thought. Can some words be more “immortal” than others? Is it an accessibility issue? Or does it solely depend on the reader? I think a book’s immortality is divided between the writer and the reader. Obviously, the writer has to be skilled with words to have an impact of the reader. Then, the reader can attribute more meaning to them by adding his or her own interpretations of them. Interestingly enough, McCloud makes the point that the comic book artist and the reader are accomplices in any work of art.

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