The future of literacy, graphic narratives!

We read a couple weeks ago we read an article by Gunther Kress that explained how literacy is changing in the modern age. Maus is a great example of that. Spiegelman could have opted to the traditional way of sharing stories and just write it in a novel. Instead he decided to do a comic book out of it. He was able to share his story and let the reader have a visual to show exactly what he wanted us to understand. He was able to accomplish the same thing that many other people have, he just did through a different medium.

I believe that whats makes his story so vivid and real is the fact that the way he shared his story is really unique. Many other people have written memoirs, and novels over what happened in the holocaust. Spiegelman’s story could have easily been just one more added to that list, but his comic book makes it stand out from the rest. I’ve never been much for comic books, in fact this is the first comic book that I read completely. I know that a couple years from now I am still going to remember Maus because of the unique experience I had reading it.

Maus proves that graphic narratives are gaining more popularity and respect. When I first bought Maus i thought I had purchased the wrong book. I didn’t think I would be reading comic books in College. That was my first reaction when I saw that it was a comic book. Now that I have read it I understand that graphic narratives are also effective and could become more popular if more people realized how effective they can be. I agree with Kress when he says that literacy is being transformed. I believe it’s being transformed for the better.


2 thoughts on “The future of literacy, graphic narratives!

  1. Like you, I had never read a comic book. And, neither did I expect to read one in college. Comics have never been of great interest to me. But, after reading Maus, I believe the graphic narrative format provides an excellent alternative to the traditional novel, especially in the academic realm. Its format of words and images is not only easy to read, but also easy to understand. In Introduction: Graphic Narrative, Chute and DeKoven explain that a graphic narrative “calls a reader’s attention visually and spatially to the act, process, and duration of interpretation.” They go on to note that graphic narrative “is an important part of the rich extra-semantic information a reader receives.” According to Bing Dictionary, the definition of semantic is, “relating to meaning or the differences between meanings of words or symbols.” For me, what all this means is that the graphic narrative, by using both words and images (symbols), provides greater relevance and more meaning to what the reader perceives and understands. If reading a graphic narrative allows the student to gain greater understanding of the subject matter, then it would be more advantageous for the whole learning environment. It seems therefore, for future curriculum, that serious academic consideration should be given to the graphic narrative.

  2. I completely agree with you! Reading Maus was such a new yet fun experience. Spiegelman’s book is a great example of cross-discursive which was described in the article written by Chute. I also agree with you that Spiegelman was able to accomplish the same things many authors who write about the Holocaust accomplish. Though he uses a different medium, Spiegelman is able to successfully tell a horrific personal story about the Holocaust. His work is different from the rest because he uses graphics, which help explain the story in more depth. Another characteristic that makes his work different and successful is the use of animals instead of real humans. Such characteristic lessens the suspenseful mood created by the personal experiences. I also agree with you that literacy is being transformed for the best. In my opinion, writing and images combined do a better job than writing alone or images alone.

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