Monday, December 12, 2016

For Tuesday: Miller, Batman: Year One

For Tuesday's class, be sure to read Batman: Year One and respond to the 4 questions of the Comic Template Response (see post below). Frank Miller, who wrote the comic, is one of the influential comics writers of the present era, having basically reinvented Batman in this comic and in his iconic The Dark Knight Returns, which is about a middle-aged Batman who returns to fight crime after retirement. Miller is also famous for his Sin City series, and has been involved in adapting many comics for the screen. Along with Alan Moore, he is perhaps the man most responsible for the way superheroes are portrayed in movies today--as tortured, complex, dark, and dangerous. Here is a recent interview with Miller for those interested in learning more about his ideas about Batman:

Remember, read carefully and pay attention to the following:

* Look at the frames: when do they depart from the standard 'square' format? When do they lengthen to become rectangles? Are there instances when the characters go outside the frames? If so, why? 

* Consider the pace of the narrative: when does it seem fast or slow? How is this achieved? Is it just the frame size? Are there other factors?

* How do the words become art? Why is Gordon's narration against a yellow background? Why is Batman's narration in cursive? 

* How do the words and images work together in the comic? When do they seem to do more than simply illustrate each other? 

* How are the characters "cartoons"--or metaphors that represent emotions, ideas, and symbols? What is each character supposed to represent for the reader based on how each one is drawn/inked/colored? 

* Consider, too, what aspects would be difficult to translate to film. What makes this comic uniquely a graphic novel or comic?

* IS this a novel? Since this was originally 4 separate comics, does it still read like a "periodical"? Or is it a bona fide "graphic" novel? 

ALSO: You can publish your response as a "Comment" below, though I wouldn't mind a hard copy all the same. :) 

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