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Graphic Novels and Close Reading

start of unit on Persepolis
by

Kaitlyn Keller

on 1 October 2013

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Transcript of Graphic Novels and Close Reading

Close-Reading a Graphic Novel
What does it mean to do a close-reading?
Close-reading
The cat rubbed up against her knee. He was black all over, deep silky black, and his eyes, pointing down toward his nose, were bluish green. The light made them shine like blue ice. Pecola rubbed the cat's head; he whined, his tongue flicking with pleasure. The blue eyes in the black face held her.
Junior, curious at not hearing her sobs, opened the door, and saw her squatting down rubbing the cat's back. He saw the cat stretching its head and flattening its eyes. He had seen that expression many times as the animal responded to his mother's touch.
"Gimme my cat!" His voice broke. With a movement both awkward and sure he snatched the cat by one of its hind legs and began to swing it around his head in a circle.

(The Bluest Eye, p.90-91)
What is a graphic novel?
What does close reading look like with a graphic novel?
sequential art
similar to comics
usually a self-contained story
it's a medium, not a genre
the smallest unit of the comic representing one scene
gutter: the space between the panels;
represents change in time/space
as readers, we use our imagination to make two different images into one idea
bleed: a panel that runs off the edge of the page
can create a feeling of timeless space
larger panels can show longer amounts of time
Thinking like a film-maker
whose point of view are you seeing?
where is the "camera" located?

what does this say about how you view the characters?

The cat rubbed up against her knee. He was black all over, deep silky black, and his eyes, pointing down toward his nose, were bluish green. The light made them shine like blue ice. Pecola rubbed the cat's head; he whined, his tongue flicking with pleasure. The blue eyes in the black face held her.
Junior, curious at not hearing her sobs, opened the door, and saw her squatting down rubbing the cat's back. He saw the cat stretching its head and flattening its eyes. He had seen that expression many times as the animal responded to his mother's touch.
"Gimme my cat!" His voice broke. With a movement both awkward and sure he snatched the cat by one of its hind legs and began to swing it around his head in a circle.

(The Bluest Eye, p.90-91)
nothing new...
Egypt, 1300 BC
"A Harlot's Progres" 1731
Some Terms to Know
panel [frame]
gutter
bleed
captions
thought balloons
speech bubbles
parallel to images OR
add meaning to images OR
complicate images
background
gives clues about characters' feelings/
inner state
Picture one time in your life when you rebelled against your parents, friends, school, community, etc.
what characters are thinking
what characters are saying
size
the size of characters or objects can add to the meaning of the panel
On a blank piece of paper, draw a panel about this moment of rebellion.
Use the shape of the panel, the size of its contents, captions, thought/speech bubbles, backgrounds, or elements of film to illustrate your experience.
the "line up"
high contrast
viewing the subject from above/below
close-up
from the perspective of a main character
MISSION: To understand what a graphic novel is and become close-readers of graphic novels
elements of film
p. 61
p. 11
p. 41
p. 52
p.14-15
p. 54
p. 55
p. 70-71
Full transcript