I really enjoyed the change of pace this week compared to our first few. Where we started off looking at some big-name, action-packed superhero comics, we’re now moving away from that fantasy world and towards one where we can be the superheroes. I love the everyday hero unit because we get to see how “normal” people and our “normal” lives are actually quite exceptional in all kinds of ways. Nobody’s life is really ordinary, and all of us can find something to relate to in these comics.
First, we looked at Ghost World. Man, that was depressing. It reminded me a lot of my own life and moving away from my life at home, coming to university and leaving behind my old self. In general it just kinda made me sad, but I loved the art style (minimal and iconic, but extremely expressive and powerful) and the writing. Great read.
Hawkeye was the highlight for me this week. I’d had a couple of opportunities to grab trades of this comic but passed it up because I wasn’t very interested in Hawkeye at the time. However, after reading even just this one issue, I’m hooked. I’ve always thought Hawkeye was by far the most relatable/personable of the Avengers, and I thought this comic (not #19 specifically, but as a whole) was really funny and entertaining because it really emphasizes this aspect of the character. I’m most familiar with the version from the movies, and scenes like the one from Age of Ultron where Hawkeye has to jog to catch up with everyone not only make the movies seem more realistic but also allow the audience to attach to/insert themselves into the world. I thought the art style was absolutely brilliant, with bold linework and minimal, generally monotone colour palettes somehow breathing a ton of life into the pages.
Finally, Dr. Gibbons’ presentation on disability was very interesting. For me, the topic is something that I had some level of awareness of but never put much thought into. I enjoyed learning about ASL, and the discussion of the Hawkeye issue was really cool. The list of disability tropes in media was probably the most interesting part to me, because it got me thinking about all of the different examples I could apply to the list – the one that came to me pretty much immediately was the movie Unbreakable, with Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson, which fits into the “disabled = bad, able = good” category. The plot of the movie is essentially just that Willis’ character can’t be injured, he’s just invincible, and Jackson’s character is extremely frail and easily injured – one character cannot be disabled, and one character basically epitomizes disability. The movie explores how Willis’ character discovers and realizes his powers after a train crash and becomes a superhero, a good guy, while we find out that Jackson’s character is actually the bad guy. I just thought that this movie in particular captures what Dr. Gibbons was talking about quite well.
Alrighty, thanks for reading everyone, hope your end-of-term schedules aren’t too messy! Good luck on all your stuff.