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Violent Cases

Violent Cases

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Violent Cases

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  1. Violent Cases Or, How to Recognize Postmodern Comics

  2. Defining Comics “Juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer” (Scott McCloudUnderstanding Comics 20). Image source: Dartmouth College Center for the Humanities

  3. Understanding Comics as a Form Comics depend on closure Image source: Violent Cases

  4. Understanding Comics as a Form:Transitions • Moment-to-moment: transition between brief moments of time • Action-to-action: transition from one part of an action to another • Subject-to-subject: transition between figures or parts of setting within a single scene • Scene-to-scene: transition across significant distances of space and time • Aspect-to-aspect: transition that provides “a wandering eye on different aspects of a place, idea or mood” (72) • Non-sequitur: transition that involves no explicitly logical relationship between panels Source: Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, 70-72

  5. Question What transitions in Violent Cases fall outside the types defined by McCloud? Image source: Violent Cases

  6. Other Options for Reading Panels • “The [panel] constitutes the basic syntactic unit of the comic strip. Placed in a discrete sequence these [panels] form a grammatical block analogous to a conventional sentence (changing the sequence of frames changes the meaning of the total strip). However, unlike words, [panels] can interact in more complex syntactical forms: superimposition, interlocking and transmuting frames (where speech bubbles become the [panel] and vice versa, or where a group of [panels] form a window into a complete scene)” (McCaffery and Nichol, Rational Geomancy: Kids of the Book-Machine , 129. Quoted on The Electronic Labyrinth). • The question of graphic weight and bleed

  7. Gaiman on Violent Cases “The stuff that happened in the beginning of Violent Caseshappened to me. . . . The building blocks were either true or fictional lies, which feel like they’re true. I thought, I’m going to tell it in my voice and use actual things that happened and talk about what it is to be three and be a child who has no power. It’s a children’s book for adults.” “Kid Goth,” The New Yorker25 Jan. 2010 Image source: Violent Cases Image source: New York Magazine

  8. Intertextuality: The Films • The Kennel Murder Case (1933, dir. Michael Curtiz; starring William Powell and Mary Astor). Powell plays detective Philo Vance in this mystery/thriller. • The Maltese Falcon (1941, dir. John Huston; starring Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre). Adapted from Dashiell Hammett’s novel. Detective Sam Spade gets involved in the hunt for a valuable statue.

  9. Intertextuality: The Films • The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934, dir. Alfred Hitchcock; starring Leslie Banks, Edna Best, and Peter Lorre). Ordinary man and wife caught up in conspiracy (remake with James Stewart and Doris Day in 1956) • No Way Out (1950, dir. Joseph Mankiewicz; starring Richard Widmark, Linda Darnell, and Sidney Poitier): Drama/Noir in which gas station robbing Biddle brothers are taken to prison hospital ward, where one refuses treatment from a black resident. When one brother dies under the resident’s care, the other considers it murder and wants revenge. Situation develops into prison race riot. • The Public Enemy (1931, dir. William Wellman; starring James Cagney and Jean Harlow). Rise and fall of a vicious gangster.

  10. Intertextuality: The Films • The Roaring Twenties (1939, dir. Raoul Walsh, starring James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart). A WWI vet (Cagney) returns home to find no job prospects and no future. Consequently he returns to crime. • Shadow of the Thin Man (1941) and Song of the Thin Man (1947). Both starring William Powell and Myrna Loy as sleuths Nick and Nora Charles. Based on Dashiell Hammett’s characters in The Thin Man. High-society sleuthing, but Hammett’s original text is much more in the hard-boiled detective tradition. • They Died with Their Boots On (1941, dir. Raoul Walsh, starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland). Film biography of Custer that follows him from West Point to Little Big Horn.

  11. Intertextuality: The Films • Things to Come (1936, dir. William Cameron Menzies; screenplay H.G. Wells). Story of 100 years of war, plague, and reconstruction. Excerpt from IMDB Plot Summary: “In the year 2035, on the eve of man's first flight to the moon, a popular uprising against progress (which some people claim has caused the wars of the past) gains support and becomes violent.”

  12. Intertextuality: The Films • Mon Oncle (1958, dir. Jacques Tati). Monsieur Hulot and his nephew have adventures in charming “old” Paris while the child’s parents negotiate modern architecture and technology in their contemporary home. Image source: The Criterion Collection

  13. Intertextuality: The Films • Whisky Galore! (1949): From IMDB Plot Summary: “Based on a true story. The name of the real ship, that sunk Feb 5 1941 . . . was S/S Politician. Having left Liverpool two days earlier, heading for Jamaica, it sank outside Eriskay, The Outer Hebrides, Scotland, in bad weather, containing 250,000 bottles of whisky. The locals gathered as many bottles as they could, before the proper authorities arrived, and even today, bottles are found in the sand or in the sea every other year.” • Wine of Youth (1924, dir. King Vidor). Lynn and Hal vie for the hand of flapper Mary, who questions whether she wants to marry.