Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Jimmy Corrigan, it's Time to Read a Comic Book

I have to say, after all these books I read from our class; I realized that comic books are not only for children actually. Jimmy Corrigan The Smartest Kid on Earth, is another comic book wrote for adult. To be honest, I do not like the protagonist --- Jimmy. He just looked like a loser, miserable middle-age, and self-contemptuous man when I first time saw him. I kind of realized that the instructions part is actually very important for us. It is the place we can know lots of things about the topic of a book. It is much better to read a book after read the instructions. I can bring the questions and purposes into the book and try to find my own answer. Compared to directly read the book, after read the instructions part we can prepare pretty well to deal with any situation no matter what the book wrote about.

In the Instructions part, there is an exam. Those questions are interesting in some way. First of all, he do not want women answer these questions. After that he started to ask questions about childhood, the relationship between son and father those kind of thing. Those seem like tips for us to understand his book. “When you started to realize that maybe your childhood was over, you: a. cried. b. watched in horror as everyone around you became attractive, while you stayed small, pale and offensive. c. continued to read comic books. d. tried to lift weights. e. stopped looking others in the eye.” It is one of the examples of his questions list. When I saw the exam, I put my own answer first actually. After I finished those questions, there is a connection built between me and Jimmy. The author wants us to feel what Jimmy feel. So he needs a reason to make us put ourselves into the story, not watch the story from a god’s vision. I think the exam did a really good job for me. I change my mind about Jimmy Corrigan. I started to consider about why jimmy got such a tragic life. Missing father in Jimmy’s childhood maybe is a really important reason.

Otherwise, the technical explanation of the language, developing skills part in the instructions I want to discuss. It is a test before the exam. The questions sounds silly, “Do you see a) two boxes printed in the midst of text filled with a confusing arrangement of outlined shapes that are utterly incomprehensible, or b) two boxes printed in the midst of text on a page with tiny pictures of mice and a cat head inside them?” Sounds pretty stupid questions, but actually some people ignored these pictures. There are a series questions about these two pictures. The way you analysis these pictures can reflect the idea inside your mind. I have to say Chris Ware is a brilliant cartoonist even we only read the instructions. He provides so many possibilities to understand cartoon. Maybe this is a comic book talked about sad story, but I think there still lots of good details can make us laugh for sure. The point is how we think about it. In the first coupe pages, Jimmy saw a superman jumped from a skyscraper and died. It is a 100% tragedy. It also symbolized some kind of American superhero dream died. But after I saw the instructions part, I find a new answer for the superman died. In everyone’s life, we all have the time we hope we are the superman and wish we can save our own lives. But actually superman does not exist. We cannot just become a cartoon character to save ourselves. People are all belong to ordinary in the end, no matter who you are. So the superman jumped and died, and we see what the reality is.


  1. I struggle to find any kind of argument in this essay. You do a decent job at commenting on parts of the introduction but you really do not relate them to the text. How do you get a better understanding of the text? I want to see you include a specific scene and tear it apart for what it means based off of information from the introduction. You mention the superman scene at the very end and I think you could expand on that and use it to form an argument instead of a statement of what you think is a fact. In a revision, I would elongate that and remove the first paragraph, as it doesn't help your essay. "In everyone’s life, we all have the time we hope we are the superman and wish we can save our own lives." How did you come up with this claim? If you support this with the instructions you're on a good start for your revision. I should be able to tell what you are arguing from the beginning.

  2. Kellyn is correct. There is no argument here, beyond (maybe) that they help us sympathize with Jimmy Corrigan - and that seems dubious, since you don't explain how they even connect with him. What we mostly have here are long quotations, bits of summary and empty statements (about what a great cartoonist Ware is, for instance). What we need, first and foremost, is an idea. Even if you struggle some to express it, your past essays have had clear ideas - that's absent here.

    Note: as one important mechanical note, try to trim down on words which don't mean anything. "I have to say" should never be used in any writing. Nor is there much room to use "actually" productively. These words and phrases are just filler - concentrate first on being clear and direct, second on being correct, and don't fell like it's a good idea to add material which doesn't have a true purpose.