Tuesday, June 20, 2017

For Thursday/Friday: Wilson, Ms. Marvel

For Thursday/Friday, read G.Willow Wilson's Ms. Marvel, Vol.1 and respond with the Comics Response template. For more information about the author and the book, here's a recent interview with Wilson that discusses her vision for Kamala Khan, as well as her own background in comics. In part of the interview, she discusses her first encounter with comics as a kid (probably not an ideal one!):

"Probably my first crush was Wolverine, from the X-Men. When I was a kid, I at some point was given this ten-page PSA anti-smoking comic in health class. Y'know, someone thinking, "This is how to reach kids!" It was incredibly dumb. It was about this high school track star who takes up smoking, so [X-Men heroes] Storm and Wolverine show up to set him on the right path. It took me years to realize how ironic it is to have chain-smoking Wolverine in an anti-smoking comic. He was like, [growls] "Don't smoke, bub!"

Read the full interview here: http://www.vulture.com/2014/03/g-willow-wilson-ms-marvel-kamala-khan-interview.html

1 comment:

  1. Cassie Arnold
    The illustrations in Ms. Marvel are definitely cartoony. This book for sure, as far as illustrations are concerned, is more in line with tradition cartoon comics that I was expecting at the beginning of this class. The people in the comic, besides Kamala and her family are all very exaggerated looking. They have extra long faces or a facial feature that really stands out, making Kamala the most realistic looking. So I would call the illustration type in this graphic novel traditional, based solely on my limited experience with comic in the past

    I believe this comic is a great addition to the genre of graphic novels because of the culture within in. It’s unique in the plot of course, but also in that the character is a young woman of Middle Eastern decent. I think it’s a big deal because this book was published in October of 2014, a time when in this country and globally, Middle Eastern culture was and is still not highly praised.
    Though as far as the plot and the illustrations go, they are what would be lost if the book were translated into a novel or short story. There is simply no way a simple description of the events would be able to deliver as much to the reader as the graphic novel. The characters besides Kamala and her family are all so quirky looking, with bold expressions and reactions that if they had to be described like a novel traditionally would, the novel would take forever to read and it would distract from the plot. I think the scene when Kamala confronts the goofy character Doyle is a good example of how the illustrations and text work well together. Doyle looks like a bad guy, and we knew he was going to be, but I found it hilarious that his shirt read “IMA BAD GUY”, and fun like that would be missed if it were not a graphic novel.

    This comic was filled with ethical dilemmas, not just the ethics of being a super hero, but also the ethics of being an individual. Kamala comes from a family that is deeply rooted in their cultural traditions. She however is not from the Middle East; she grew up in Jersey City, and seems to identify with that cultural more than her parents culture. So that’s hard. When she was confronted by the gang of super heroes they called her out accusing her of being ashamed of her culture, when really ass she wanted to be was who she felt she was. I liked this about this comic. It defended her cultural, and individualism all in the same breathe. Like, Don’t be ashamed of who you are, but also be brave enough to be yourself and who you want to be as a person. Coming from a family of extremely religious republicans, and growing into a non-religious liberal, I can appreciate the conflict Kamala was faced with.
    Kamala’s ethics as a super hero I believe were pretty simple. She saw bad things happen, and she would try to help. I don’t believe she crossed any lines as a hero. The villains in this comic seem to be exclusively violent men, who are real villians of earth, so again pretty standard.


    I believe the most important point in this comic was pages 16 and 17, when the super heroes confronted Kamala. I previously discussed how she had to work though her battle with disrespecting her family’s cultural and finding her own way though life. It was a moment where she declared who she wanted to be. Where she explain that she was not embarrassed or ashamed of her heritage, but that she was also her own woman, and she lived in a place where she was able to do that. I feel like its important to note that in the Middle East women are not treated equal and are not given opportunities to be free to make their own choices, or seek opportunities. So for this young woman to declare that she wants to be powerful and bold and dictate her own path, is a very significant symbol both religiously, and culturally, and I dig it!!!!