Monday, December 21, 2009

Final Reflection of the Semester

To say that having been in this course was an enriching experience would be a severe understatement. Before entering Graphic Novels, I had never truly opened a graphic novel before. Sure, I had frolicked with some comics as a child; Batman was my favorite, and Spiderman’s climbing prowess was quite impressive, as well. However, I was blown away by the different works we studied from the start. Beginning with Shaun Tan’s The Arrival, I realized that graphic novels did not necessarily include superheroes or excessive amounts of onomatopoeia (this seemingly na├»ve revelation is justified, as I had no prior experience in this area of study). I found appreciation even in Ghost World, my least favorite comic (for its constant use of profanity and overpowering sense of teenage angst), because it implemented different camera lengths and conveyed powerful messages. I learned not only to analyze works from the perspective of an author, but with the eyes of an artist; not only with the desire to create a page, but with an undying enthusiasm for a single panel. Watchmen was the crown jewel of the course; its intricate illustrations and various moral dilemmas made it very difficult not to fall immediately in love with the novel. My personal favorite was the work studied in my Literature Circle group. Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis captivated my interest because it detailed the path of an intelligent and independent girl who tastes life’s numerous hardships at a tender age and point in Iran’s history. Overall, this course has opened my eyes to the wide variety of media and has caused for me to synthesize my past knowledge with a newfound appreciation for the visual arts.

-Amishi Bajaj

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