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Tag Archives: grad school

Grant Morrison: Super Gods (and mostly my thesis…)

Grant Morrison’s new book Super Gods is coming out in a few weeks. I realized that I had not yet posted my Master’s thesis on this site dedicated to the work of Morrison. It was a long process, but it is something I’m rather proud of. I’m particularly excited to read this book (send me an advanced copy to review, please…) in order to see how Morrison’s own view reflect the conclusions I drew from his work. Morrison is always most convincing when he speaks for himself, though.

So, here goes.

Superheroes and Shamanism: Magic and Participation in the Comics of Grant Morrison

Comic creator Grant Morrison is an adamant practitioner of magic, and in particular, the creation of sigils. A sigil is the infusion of abstract symbols with the goal to make manifest the creator’s particular desire. This thesis will discuss how Grant Morrison infuses his writing with his particular beliefs in an attempt to bridge the gap between fictional stories and reality. Morrison openly discusses the shamanic events in his life and writes about superheroes undertaking similar metaphysical journeys. As Morrison’s magic and the medium of comics allow the reader to become more easily “lost” within a fictional world, the relationship of fiction and the reader becomes increasingly malleable. This relationship of fiction and reality may seem abstract, but the comics support the connection by including the concept of textualization – where the reader associates himself or herself with the protagonist, becoming part of the narrative. The post-structural nature of Morrison’s work allows for a unique relationship between the author, diegetic worlds and readers. The stories become participatory events, engaging the reader and the comic community. Readers participate with his texts on extremely personal and intricate levels, and through their group analysis, they discover new interpretations and secrets within the comic panels. The purpose of Morrison’s comics develops as his relationship with magic grows. Readers experience his early experimentations with creating magical narratives and see them change to constructed fictional world for readers to journey into, where they are able to take on the heroic qualities of Superman.

http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=bgsu1302288940  Download it here.

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I promised my students some general ideas for their paper proposals…

I made all of the ideas focus around the cartoon “The Venture Brothers” on Adult Swim, just to avoid any conflicts with any of their potential topics. The course is “Introduction to Popular Culture,” and focuses on many different analytical approaches to cultural studies.

The Office of Secret Intelligence and the Guild of Calamitous Intent– Repressive and Ideological State Apparatus in The Venture Brothers

The Persuasion of Society and the Creation of the Villain – Rusty Venture as Bad Guy and Dr. Killinger as Hegemony.

Dr. Girlfriend and the Gender Binary – Desired Beauty, A Husky Voice, and Moves that Kill

The Failures of Masculinity – Realism and Variety in the Representation of Man in the Cast of The Venture Brothers

The Military Industrial Complex in Cartoons – The Ethics of Science with the Dr. Venture Brothers and the Battle for Military Contracts

Shoreleave and The Alchemist – Representations of Homosexual Men in The Venture Brothers

Quality is Key – How The Venture Brothers Rejects Adult Swim’s Mass Production and the Industry of Culture

The Politics of Baldness – Hair and Success in the Manifestations of Dr. Rusty Venture

“That isn’t a lunchbox” – The Goth Authenticity of Triana and Kim on The Venture Brothers

Some of them could use snappier titles, but I’ll settle. Maybe some day I will write one of these.

Happy Birthday, 4chan!

4chan.org is seven years old today. In honor of this, I’m putting a paper/presentation I did at the Graphic Engagement conference online. I will probably notice problems with it the second it is posted.

I was encouraged to share it by a lot of the people at that conference, and 20 minutes of talking and Power Point slides only allows for so much. So, this is the more complete .pdf version.

Another reason, I suppose, is because of a comment on a BleedingCool article (hello again, Rich), which devalued what is a really strong and interesting community.

…Out of pure evil, there is always the rare, occasional result that is of a positive benefit to all. Or, to put it another way, even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then.

The community there is far more rich and complicated than that.

This is a bit of a weak post, so just read the paper instead.

Anyway: /Co/operation and /Co/munity in /Co/mics: 4chan’s Hypercrisis and Anonymous Authenticity