GUISE GUISE GUISE
LOOKIT WHAT I FOUND:
Kunyosing, Kom. “The Interrelation of Ethnicity, Iconicity, and Form in American Comics.” Dissertation, 2011.
This dissertation analyzes issues of race, ethnicity, and identity in American comics and visual culture, and identifies important areas for alternative means to cultural authority located at the intersections of verbal and visual representation. The symbolic qualities that communicate ethnicity and give ethnicity meaning in American culture are illuminated in new ways when studied within the context of the highly symbolic medium of comics. Creators of comics are able to utilize iconic qualities, among other unique formal qualities of the medium, to construct new visual narratives around ethnicity and identity, which require new and multidisciplinary perspectives for comprehending their communicative complexity. This dissertation synthesizes cultural and critical analysis in combination with formal analysis in an effort to further advance the understanding of comics and their social implications in regard to race and ethnic identity. Much like film scholars in the 1960s, comics scholars in the United States currently are in the process of establishing a core of methodological and theoretical approaches, including Lacanian theories of the image, the comic mapping of symbolic order, the recognition of self in undetailed faces, comics closure, and the implications of the comics gutter. Drawing upon these ideas and additional perspectives offered by scholars of film and literary studies, such as the relationship between ethnicity and the symbolic, the scopophilic gaze, and filmic suture, I analyze the following visual texts: Henry Kiyama’s The Four Immigrants Manga, Gene Yang’s American Born Chinese, and Anna Deavere Smith’s Twilight: Los Angeles. The dissertation also performs a multimedia analysis of the current ascendency of geek culture, its relationship to the comics medium, and the geek protagonist as an expression of simulated ethnicity. Ultimately, the unique insights offered by the study of comics concerning principles of ethnic iconicity and identity have far reaching implications for scholars of visual and verbal culture in other mediums as well.
You can find the whole PDF here!!
For anybody’s reference:
UCR’s Eaton SF Collection is a special collection and you can’t check diddly out of there, so you have to read it there. Lots of good books, including lots of good criticism, are locked up that way.
Fortunately, Black Supherheroes: Milestone Comics And Their Fans is not one of those hapless books.
So I was browsing the academic databases for articles that could help me talk about how hard it is to, firstly, find Asians in comics, and secondly, actually see the drawn stuff as Asians because, you know, I didn’t read Jubilee or Psylocke as Asian (or as in Psylocke’s case, Asian-bodied) until very recently. Because there’s something about East Asians (specifically East Asians) where most comic artists styles don’t really help me read their Asian-ness visually; I need other cues to do so. It probably doesn’t help that I’m not into the major American comic pubs——have never been a fan of “let’s keeping buying this title every single month because drama keeps happening” and preferred the tidiness of novels. When you only read through your brother’s Wizard magazines every so often and maybe pick out a comic book to read once in a while because he’s paranoid about other people handling them since he re-sells them, it becomes difficult to get into comics and even harder to give a shit about the people in it.
So I guess I will spend the rest of my day Googling blogposts that talk about Asians in comics that might help me talk about this visual recognition of East Asians? Any recs?
ETA: OK I guess I should add that my paper is on Secret Identities: An Asian-American Superhero Anthology and I’m writing about how segments run with certain stereotypical narratives and how others use the stereotypes to tell a different story. So I want to firstly place the narratives in the American cultural milieu, and then talk about how race is encoded in these narratives.
Finished reading Mohsin Hamid’s How To Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. Less cold and more satisfying than The White Tiger, but I’m kind of tired of this sort of bildungsroman poor-boy-becomes-rich-corrupt-man stories exploring some Third World country’s sad underbelly. Is it too soon to say that?
I just finished reading Arvind Adiga’s The White Tiger. We’re supposed to discuss it in a class on neoliberal aesthetics. The class is composed of mostly white people, only 3 POC.
This can only end in either tears or me getting some alcohol afterward.
really enjoying the Zhi guai! i think Grace Lin adapted one of them for an episode in her book Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
and I def recall a body-switch episode in Monkey.-. the Emperor had foreknowledge of his sister’s death and at the same time some merchant’s wife also died, before she was due to, so the officials of Hell were like, oop, well the Princess is due to die anyway, so let’s put this woman’s soul into her body! And so the Princess dropped dead, and the Emperor was like, knew this was gonna happen but then the Princess revives! and is confused! and I recall her saying, “my house has nice blue tiles, not jaundiced yellow ones like these!’ and even as a child I was really shocked because omg lady you just dissed the Royal Interior Decoration!!! but the Emperor was totally cool with it and sent her home to her husband (who was also confused, like why was the Emperor marrying his sister to him? and why does the Princess sound like his dead wife?) and yeah, lol
reading some zhiguai for this week’s class on speculative fiction canons
specifically “strange stories from a Chinese studio” by Pu Sung Ling
the very first story is about a man who had already taken his first degree, or first exams? the translator was all like “i won’t hesitate to use Western equivalents!” in explaining why the character has a “bachelor’s degree”
and apparently the three levels are 1) cultivated talent 2) raised man 3) promoted scholar
and i yelled BUT WHY WOULDNT YOU USE THE ACTUAL TERMS THEY SOUND SO MUCH COOLER
i have cultivated talent in english, and am a raised woman in cultural studies and critical theory
and now i aim to become a promoted scholar in comparative literature
that sounds hella better than “PhD”
reading deleuze’s “rhizome versus trees” right now
should not have been gardening earlier because now i can’t take this thing seriously
reading articles about steve jobs and the mac aesthetic
remembering how much deadwhitedude dicksucking went on after he died
~~ooh the apple it made us more huuumaannnnn~~
~it’s so beautiful it reminds us that the future is glowy and friendlyyyyy~~
fuck that Apple didn’t come up with the dual-screen ereader, Spring Design did.