Pulp Nonfiction



Chute, Hillary, and Marianne DeKoven. “Introduction: Graphic Narrative.” MFS: Modern Fiction Studies. 52.4 (2006): 767-782. Print. <http://ccscottcheney.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/chute-dekoven.pdf >

           As authors Hillary Chute and Marianne DeKoven would have us believe, comics aren’t entirely the super-heroic, action packed adventures or the short semantic shenanigans of Archie and the gang that we thought they were. Having originated with a series of interrelated paintings by an eighteenth century artist named William Hogarth, this changing depiction of a person, as commenter Sean Shesgreen wrote, “’represents a dramatic moment chosen for its consequential nature’”(Chute and DeKoven 769). Chute and DeKoven continue to delineate the differences between the graphic narrative, as it is more correctly called, and most of other forms of pictorial media. The authors use objective examples such as the Abu Ghraib prison photo versus the Muhammad comic posted in a Danish newspaper to show that sometimes drawn pictures can evoke just as much emotion as can a photograph.

           There is a photo mentioned just above talking about prison violence in Abu Ghraib. They use this example to demonstrate that words sometimes cannot do the same justice that pictures can. The authors go further to show that drawn images can have the same effect by using a provocative, satirical comic involving the Muslim prophet Muhammad printed in Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper. I agree that a drawn image can evoke just as much emotion as a photograph. I would even go further to say that in certain cases, a drawn image can induce a greater emotional response because they have the ability to enter the surreal; photographs, without significant editing, cannot accomplish this.  

           I have never given serious credit to the graphic novel. It has always been some kind of stop motion movie that has just never captured my attention. However when the author mentioned Maus By Art Spiegelman, it took a second to wrap my mind around a serious comic. In Maus, the author uses the predator/prey relationship of cat and mouse applied to the Nazis and Jews, respectively, of World War II, and uses it to shed light on his father’s experiences in Auschwitz. It was the first in the field of serious comics and still remains an acclaimed graphic narrative to this day.



One thought on “Pulp Nonfiction

  1. Nice work, I really enjoyed the book cover you found for Maus, Ironically it kinda helps prove your (Chute and DeKoven’s) point. I read this article too, but it was sadly void of any pictures to go along with the points they were making. I couldn’t fully grasp exactly why people were getting upset over the pictures in the Maus. Now, even with just the cover of the book, and its fairly simply cartoon image there is a lot more I can understand about it. I was inspired to go look up on Google what was inside, and I once again learned even more about the power pictures play in fully conveying the emotion of a text.
    I do wish you had mentioned cross-discursive in your text and given it a definition. in that case it would have almost been nearly the perfect review for the quiz we will be having on this text today;-)
    -Steven A.

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