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Comic Books and First-year Writing: Moving Beyond Literary Analysis Michael Pemberton Georgia Southern University Student Success in First Year Composition.

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Presentation on theme: "Comic Books and First-year Writing: Moving Beyond Literary Analysis Michael Pemberton Georgia Southern University Student Success in First Year Composition."— Presentation transcript:

1 Comic Books and First-year Writing: Moving Beyond Literary Analysis Michael Pemberton Georgia Southern University Student Success in First Year Composition Statesboro, GA 2/6/09

2 Gene Luen Yang

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6 Analyzing the Structure of American Born Chinese What textual and graphic features signal a shift in chapters and/or narratives? 1.) White pages with graphic icons: 2.) Distinct breaks in narrative structure; new topics, characters, and conventions

7 3.) Chinese characters at the top of each page that signal which protagonist is the focus = = =

8 Dear Professor Pemberton, Thank you so much for your support of my work. I'm honored that you are teaching American Born Chinese in your classes. The three characters at the top of the pages signify the three different storylines. They're written in an old form of Chinese. Most modern Chinese folks wouldn't be able to read them. I actually had them done by a chop carver I found in San Francisco Chinatown. The first is a single character pronounced "Sun." It's the Monkey King's surname. The second is a character pronounced "Jin, " the name of the second storyline's main character and my Chinese name. The third is two characters that are a rough transliteration of "Chin-Kee." They mean "Worship of the West." My mom helped me with that one. Gene

9 What signals a shift of focus or tone within chapters? 1.) Double frames (pp ) A childrens fable

10 2.) A change in color scheme (pp , 82-83, ) In the presence of Tze-Yo-Tzuh In the 490 Bakery Cafe

11 3.) Ragged color fill in panels (pp ) An unreal, emotionally stunning experience

12 4.) Panel corners (pp , ) A dreamA story about the past

13 5.) Laughter and clapping on the borders (Chin-kee chapters) Watching a sitcom – laughing at the discomfort of others

14 6.) Skewed panel shapes (pp )

15 Transformers (26-27, 39, 217) Repeated scenes and images (framing)

16 Chinese herbalist (27-29, )

17 Cloud as steed/permed hair (11, 98 ff.)

18 Monkey King rejected for being different. Jin rejected at school for being different. Danny embarrassed by Chin-Kees behavior Monkey King makes himself look different to fit in. Jin gets a perm to fit in. Chin-Kee interferes with Dannys fitting in. Monkey King accepts who he is. Jin resists accepting who he is. Danny attacks Chin-Kee; Chin-kee transforms into the Monkey King; Danny transforms into Jin

19 Some connections between the structure of American Born Chinese and academic writing A central point (thesis) thats developed by exploring several subtopics One possible thesis in ABC: Accepting and being comfortable with who you are Told through the experiences of the Monkey King, Jin, Wei- Chen, Danny, and Chin-Kee A clear, logical structure and organization In ABC: Three distinct sections told in three chapters each

20 Repetition of key words and images that make connections to other parts of the text (coherence) ABC does this primarily through characters and images: Transformers, the Chinese herbalist, cloud/lightning images Signals (such as subheadings) that announce a shift in topic ABC uses several such signals: Icons between sections, Chinese characters on each page, panel borders

21 An introduction that sets the stage; a conclusion that ties together the points made and suggests future possibilities Section One: introduces characters and major themes Conclusion: All major characters appear in final chapter; thematic conflicts resolved; Jin and Wei-Chen reestablish their friendship.


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