Author: sebroach

The Importance of Character Design

When you pick up and begin to read a prose book, the characters in the story are inherently formless. The first time you run into a character, you only have a few distinct descriptors to hold onto–”a tall redhead,” “a stern-looking man.” As you continue to read and the character takes more action in the story, more little pieces of… Read more →

Reflection #4: Vacation Time is Really Cool

I don’t really have any more eloquent way to state this, but Donald Ault’s essay “Visual Narrative in ‘Vacation Time’” opened my eyes to what comics can do in a way nothing else we’ve read this semester has. Not even Krazy Kat or Watchmen changed my view of comics this much. Maybe that’s overstating it. It’s not that I had… Read more →

Watchmen, Akira, and the Shadow of Nuclear Power

This week in class, Professor Whalen drew a brief parallel between Watchmen and Akira, being two definitive comics works we’d recently studied. I hadn’t ever thought of comparing the two before, though other people in the class have, but I realized that the two comics have some interesting similarities, despite being written in different cultures. Particularly, I was interested in… Read more →

Self-Deprecating and Autobiographical R. Crumb

In the 1960s and 70s, independent artists and small publishing companies began producing satirical, adult-oriented, sometimes obscene comics. These became known as “underground comix,” and were often sold in head shops, along with other pieces of 60s and 70s counterculture. Though underground comix are an area of comics history that our class won’t be touching on, they’re very important to… Read more →

Who’s the Hero of Watchmen?

[SPOILER WARNING, I’ll be talking about many of the story’s twists!] This was the first time I’ve read Watchmen, and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it! The story is complex and the characters are very human, and faced with life-altering decisions. Some of those decisions are ones we can understand, even if we haven’t been through them ourselves–should… Read more →

The Treachery of Images in Krazy Kat

When I was a kid, I read lots of newspaper comic strips, in big anthologies, and I got so familiar with the tropes and formulas that even a second-grader like me could replicate them in my own crudely drawn comics. It’s understandable that after consistently following a formula of two (or more, if it’s a Sunday strip) panels of setup,… Read more →