Friday, December 19, 2008

So long, farewell, Auf wiedersehen, goodbye

Hello all, this is Tristan and I just wanted to add a quick little note.

This has been an great semester. From an ass kicking Batman to a son relating his father's incredible story we've had some fine talks about some fine books. Learning isn't always necessarily fun but I had a great time with this class and I hope you all have as well.

Oh, one last thing before I go. If you are looking for something interesting to read over break and you have some spare cash, go to this fine site where you'll find the 10 volumes of the series Transmetropolitan. In this line of stories we see Spider Jerusalem, a gonzo journalist who rages at the world and all it's injustices. Unfortunately for him this is a ways in the future and with so much media and advanced technologies at discount prices no one cares to listen. It starts with Spider being called back to civilization, having spent the last 5 years on top of a mountain as a hermit, to complete a book contract that he's been nice enough to put off. His money is gone and with the threat of a major lawsuit he decides to move back to the City to be closer to all the things he hates so that he can take his old life back. As the story goes on he begins reporting on the upcoming election and has a few interesting things to say about voting:

"You want to know about voting. I'm here to tell you about voting. Imagine you're locked in a huge underground night-club filled with sinners, whores, freaks and unnameable things that rape pitbulls for fun. And you ain't allowed out until you all vote on what you're going to do tonight. You like to put your feet up and watch "Republican Party Reservation". They like to have sex with normal people using knives, guns, and brand new sexual organs you did not even know existed. So you vote for television, and everyone else, as far as your eye can see, votes to fuck you with switchblades. That's voting. You're welcome." ~Spider Jerusalem

Admidst all the illicit substances and gratuitous swearing hilarity ensues and much entertainment will be experienced by all so please, if you have any taste at all, read these books (There are 10 volumes in all, just go out and find the first, borrow it or buy it or read the first comic of the first volume here).

I'll leave you with this quote from Naomi Armitage "Jesus saves, Allah forgives, but Cthulu thinks you'd make a tasty sandwich."

"I leave and heave a sigh and say goodnight"
*this and the title of the post from the Sound of Music.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thanks from Nathan

Thank you for holding this class Dr. Clemente this class was a great way to learn about good literature in a new medium. This class made me happy! Now I will never forget the definition of sequential art, I have a whole new appreciation of batman, I remember more clearly about what happened in the former yugoslavia area( safe area gorazde) and I have a bettter understanding of the Holocaust and that is something coming from a history buff.


We didn't get to cover much manga in class because the book store didn't get barefoot gin in stock. Manga is a very entertaining art form. The art is very different from america type art in some cases because of the big eyes and in other cases just because of the influences of society. You can see the differences between the two I posted not that it is a very wide ranging sample to draw a conclusion from it still isn't a bad one. Manga is also read backwards from what we are used to reading because they normally read right to left over there which does make the reading experience more interesting if you are used to reading it left to right it is funny when you get confused sometimes.


Maus was a great novel that showed us how a man survived the holocaust. It is inspiring to see a survivor, despite all of that Surviving doesn't necessarily mean heroic. Vladek survived yes and he was an amazing and a lucky person to do that. He was resourceful, intelligent, cunning, and lucky all are admirable traits. I admire him for what he was able to do and for the fact that through his son he was able to relay history to us for a point and time that he was an eyewitness. He may be a hero in our hearts for surving hardship and his ablility to persevere but the method of doing this not what normally comes to mind as heroic.

A history

Maus was powerful stuff. The thing is cruelty of that nature isn't a new thing. In a lot of cases there were not anywhere near that many people, mostly because in the past there may not have been that many people around in some cases. Take a look at the Spanish Inquisition for example this kind of blunt hatred against people is depressing. It even continues today not quite on the scale of the holocaust but genocide still exsits.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Splitting the atom and the power it's given us

While reading Fallout by Ottaviani, Johnston, Lieber, Locke, Mireault and Parker I got to thinking about a few things. One question I asked myself is "Exactly how much do we take things like nuclear energy and the process of getting that energy for granted?"

You've got to think about just how big
a deal this really is and was. When the
Manhattan Project got under way
splitting the atom and getting that covetted
chain reaction seemed an imposibility.
Everything ran on diesel and gasoline and
one bomb was never enough.

Then along came a few brilliant scientists
who wanted to do their part to help humanity along
as well as help a nation that stood against the likes
of Hitler.

After much hard work these men created something that was simultaneously an amazing source of energy and one of the most destructive things the Earth had ever seen.

Because of the works started in the 1930's we now have submarines that are powered by nuclear reactors, power plants that don't burn an ounce of coal and explosive devices that have the potential to ignite the very atmosphere of this planet.

When you stop to think about it, it's really quite impressive what has blossomed out of the Manhattan Project. When you get right down to it, all the government really wanted out of it was a new weapon that they might throw against their enemies. What they got was an unpredictable future where everyone has the same big gun pointed at everyone else just waiting for the right moment...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


During the class discussion of Safe Area Gorazde, some people seemed almost offended by the "Silly Girls," and their obsession with the Levi's 501s, comparing it to people who choose to pay attention to the trivial aspects of life today instead of caring about the failing economy and current war.

Newsflash: We (the people who like the trivial pursuits) are perfectly aware of the current situation. There really isn't any way to completely ignore it.

However, there really isn't a point in brooding about the unpleasant aspects of the world when there is life to be lived. Cowering in a corner, rocking back and forth like lost children does no one any good. To be able to ignore what is going on in the world, if only for a moment, is the only way to not have a nervous breakdown every time I leave the house.

In a way, I respect those girls. To still find a way to hold on to normalcy, even in the face of the horrors around them, shows a sort of level-headed attitude that should be admired, not looked down on.