Thursday, December 1, 2011

Detailed Project Proposal- Expression: McCloud and Vertigo

1. Proposed Research:

For the final project, I am researching the topic of expressionism in regards to Scott McCloud’s, “Understanding Comics” and Lynd Ward’s “Vertigo.” I plan to use the definition of expressionism, including McCloud’s, and then demonstrate and prove how “Vertigo” is an expressionist work of art.

More specifically, I first plan to discuss expressionism, according to academic sources as well as McCloud’s definitions. I will conclude that section by highlighting synaesthetics and explaining what it means, how it works, and why it is important.

Secondly, I will apply the definitions of expressionism to “Vertigo” by analyzing specific Ward illustrations and explaining the expressionistic characteristics. I will also make specific connections between McCloud and “Vertigo.” Here, I will begin to confirm my thesis.

Lastly, I will refer back to synaesthetics by applying its definition to “Vertigo,” and showing how Ward incorporates synaesthetics. This will also confirm my thesis.

Each paragraph will incorporate information from academic sources in order to support my thesis.

- Exact Sources (thus far):

1.) “Expressionism.” Bloomsbury Guide to Human Thought. London: Bloomsbury Publishing Ltd, 1993. Credo Reference. Web.

- This academic source examines all forms of expressionism. Several paragraphs specifically deal with expressionist art, which is extremely helpful and interesting when interpreting “Vertigo.”

2.) Heller, Steven. "Silent Pictures." The New York Times Book Review 10 October 2010: 16(L). Academic OneFile. Web.

- This academic source is an analyzation of Lynd Ward. It has very insightful information regarding Ward’s expressionistic art.

3.) Manning, Alan D. “Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art.” Professional Communication, IEEE Transactions on, On page(s): 66-69, Volume: 41 Issue: 1, March 1998

- This is also an academic source, but instead deals with McCloud and his definition of expressionism. It is very educational and beneficial by explaining in explicit detail McCloud’s ideas.

4.) McCloud, Scott. “Understanding Comics.” Harper, 2000

5.) Ward, Lynd. “Vertigo.” Dover: 2009

2. Clear Argument or Thesis:

My overall argument is that McCloud’s definition of expressionism applies to Ward’s “Vertigo.” Given the complexity of the definition of expressionism, I am having a difficult time creating a thesis statement. My current thesis statement is: ‘By investigating the fundamentals of expressionism, including Scott McCloud’s definition, it is evident that Lynd Ward’s “Vertigo” is representative of expressionistic characteristics.’ Although this may be a working thesis statement, I feel as if it may be too general. Furthermore, I am unsure if I should referenence the specific examples of “Vertigo” that I will be discussing in the essay.

3. Outline:

I. Introduction

-Brief description of expressionism

-Introduce "Understanding Comics" and "Vertigo" and explain interest in the relationship between the two, and the relationship to expressionism

-Thesis Statement: By investigating the fundamentals of expressionism, including Scott McCloud's definition, it is evident that Lynd Ward's "Vertigo" is representative of expressionistic characteristics (Subject to change)

-Sources used: "Expressionism." ; McCloud, Scott. ; Ward, Lynd.

II. Body Paragraph I: Definition of Expressionism

- Explain definition of expressionism

-Explain McCloud's definition and characteristics of expressionism

-Explain synaesthetics

-What it means

-How it works

-Why it is important

-Sources used: "Expressionism." ; McCloud, Scott. ; Manning, Alan D.

III. Body Paragraph 2: Application of Expressionism to "Vertigo"

-Explain how expressionism applies to "Vertigo"

-Analyze specific ward illustrations that are expressionistic

-Make specific connections between McCloud and "Vertigo"

-Use specific examples from both texts

-Confirmation of thesis

-Sources used: "Expressionism." ; Heller, Steven. ; McCloud, Scott. ; Ward, Lynd.

IV. Body Paragraph 3: "Vertigo and Synaesthetics

-Specifically explain how "Vertigo" demonstrates synaesthetics

-Use specific examples from McCloud and "Vertigo"

-Further confirmation of thesis

-Sources used: Heller, Steven. ; McCloud, Scott. ; Ward, Lynd.

V. Conclusion

-Summarize main points

-Restate thesis

1 comment:

  1. I like the direction, although I feel like you've jumped into the outline far too early. Why? Because I don't think that you want to *stop* by arguing that Vertigo is a work of expressionism. I think you want to push a little farther. Why does it matter that it's a work of expressionism? How should that understand our interpretation of it? For instance, we might ask what value we get by putting *Vertigo* into the same family tree as *The Last Laugh* or *The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari*

    I'd also be more than fine with a more research-oriented piece, which would explore, say, Expressionist works that influenced Ward (e.g., it might be possible to prove that his time in Germany led to a particular expressionist influence). But I think that your sources, while not totally illegitimate or anything, won't lead to any great insights - so you need to either do more substantive research (either into Ward or into Expressionism), or you need to do more to think through why expressionism matters in our understanding of Ward.

    That might have seemed somewhat critical, but I'm more than fine with this topic - I just think you need to clarify *why* you're doing it for it to work.