Is This the End? —final paper thesis for Eng 226: Comics

Thesis: Blankets by Craig Thompson and Black Hole by Charles Burns depict how stigma hinders sexual maturity, and a realization of sensuality (aka higher sexuality).

Bascially, I want to write a paper about adolescence and it’s response/affect on sexuality. To support it, I’ll be using Blankets by Craig Thompson and Black Hole by Charles Burns.

(supporting evidence & basic structure after read more)

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ORIGINAL WORK–“The Arrival [of Souls]” by Shaun Tan: Inspired by Wuther Crue’s “Ordeal by Cheque”

Absolutely itching to do this…

The big idea behind “Ordeal by Cheque” is to fabricate one’s own story. Graphic novels can often do the same thing by allowing a reader to insert themselves into the novel (as explained in Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud).

So, just for fun, I will insert a story into The Arrival by Shaun Tan.

“The Arrival (of Souls)” – AKA Book of Life*


*where dead people are recorded

The Arrival into the Underworld


The mysterious man is fleeing genocide. Corruption has crept into his world and so, to escape the choking grasp of oppression, he commits suicide.

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Comparing Colouring in “Boxers” and “Saints” by Gene Luen Yang

Why Though?…092513_boxersandsaints


Most of this comic is in a sepia tone. This may be for one of two reasons:

(1) Appeal to Modesty: Christianity prides itself  on modesty–for the most part, or at least with the women it does. So a story told from a female perspective, by a Christian would reasonable be more sparsely coloured. By making everything a sort of greyish-sepia instead of colourful, it not only stresses the principle of modesty, but also highlights the key component of the story–divinity.  Read More

Similarities between Saints & Swordmen in “Saints” by Gene Luen Yang

Due to his Catholic background, perhaps author Gene Luen Yang felt obligated to give a second opinion to the Catholics instead of outright just demonizing them in his previous novel, Boxers. 

“As expected, the invader will think it rude for the invaded to retaliate—although that is reasonably what is supposed to happen.”

Striking Contradiction

This page struck me as odd..or more comical.

boxers and saints 2 115

“Foreign invaders seized our lands…”

“Claimed [the land] for their own!”

And the war has “restored to us [the French] what is rightfully ours.”

Hypocrisy never ceases to amaze me. Read More

More Dual Nature in “Boxers” by Gene Luen Yang

Going back to duality…

The Emperor & The Priest

For some reason, there is a shortage of bearded men in this novel. I wonder if it is not coincidence that the priest on page 15, and Little Boa’s warrior incarnation on page 115 look similar.

Beyond their beardedness, both characters are prominent figures in their own movements. Little Boa is in many ways, a disciple of Kung Fu, although this is not exclusively “Christian” language, it does lend some food for thought. 


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From the Mouths of Lions: Analyzing “Boxers” by Gene Luen Yang

“Until the Lion’s tell their own stories, the tales will always favour the hunters.”                     (African proverb)

Tu Di Gong (little idol)

boxers_sg_01Tu Di Gong, the local earth god, is Boa’s beloved figure from his childhood. Not only is the idol a cultural figure, but perhaps a representation of the Emperor who would essentially have just been a figure head under British rule. Regardless, Little Boa adores the idol, adores the Opera, adores Chinese culture. The reverence of this figure is also a foreshadowing of Boa taking on superstition and becoming an icon himself.



Dual Nature

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I’m Proud to be an American…?: Last Post for “March: Book One” by John Lewis

If you search the picture of “an African,” “an Asian,” “a European,” similar images come up. For Africans: black and sometimes scantily clad people, for Asians: more East Asian looking people than Filipinos or Indians, and for Europeans: almost exclusively white.

But something interesting happens with Americans. There is not a single picture of an American–at least not a homogenized, or individual picture. Search “Americans” and pictures of whole groups pop up with white, black, and brown (Asian, Hispanics, Arabs, etc.) in the mix. That speaks to the American ideal that all races can be part of this country irrespective of race.

“Page 77 helps one realize that Racism, Poverty, and War have worn on white people too.”

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Blood on the Leaves: “March: Book One” by John Lewis (2/3)

“Blood on the Leaves,” is an old song about lynching. Nina Simone’s rendition is my favourite, regardless, it conjures up certain images. Gory, brutal, horrible images. Bodies strung up, blood dripping on the leaves naturally–as if it was just the dew that sets in in the morning.  Racism is sometimes like that, it seems to come naturally and its evidences are strung up for those who notice, to see it.


Common symptoms of Racism

  1. Segregation
  2. White Progress

As long as unarmed black men, teenagers, and young men are being shot in the streets the lack” of lynchings is still not quite progress in my opinion.

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Slaughter of the Innocence: “March: Book One” by John Lewis (1/3)

Are heroes born or made?

“March” by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell centers around the life of civil rights icon John Lewis. As with most racially involved literature, a few things need to be mentioned.


Black & White Imagery

The use of black and white is interesting too. Lewis’ face becomes darker in his more intense moments.


It’s almost as if his darkness gives him power, intensity, focus. I found it interesting on page 27 (above), that he was completely blacked out but the writing on him was white. Maybe it’s symbolic of the Bible being the “white man’s word,” or it is meant to replicate a chalk-board (due to the font style). Either way,  it will interesting to explore the art style–but as usual I’m drawing a blank.

Religious Imagery [Chickens]

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