I have never read a comic on my own will… not once.
In grade school, during history class we had to dissect political cartoons/comics. It was all people degrading and offending each other. One time I had a project where I had to make my own comic strip…it was a pain in the butt to do. I’ve always had a stereotype that comics…are not serious. They exist to express sarcasm, fantasy, or to offend.

Through Art Spiegelman’s Maus I changed my view on comics/graphic narratives.
In the beginning, it was hard to read. I’ve never read comics, so I wasn’t even sure what order I was supposed to read the boxes! I caught myself not looking a the images, and just zooming through the text. It was so frustrating! But as I got the hang of it, it became such a fun experience. Looking at actual sketches of the hideouts, concentration camps, and maps of journeys, gave me a deeper understanding of the Holocaust.

The pictures, and the conversations between Art and his father, make the book so much more real. It’s not just another Holocaust book school is making us read, that goes on for pages and pages. Those books are not as relatable. To someone who does not enjoy reading, those thick Holocaust books are just another textbook. But Maus, is so easy to read, and I can see, not just imagine, what happend.

I think Art is genius for coming up with the idea to make such a serious topic into a graphic narrative/comic. There must have been a lot of controversy when he first invented his idea. He probably even fought with his own thoughts. “What if people don’t take my story seriously?” “What if people look down upon me for making such a emotional story into a comic?” However, Art was able to overcome society and his thoughts, and introduce a “serious comic” to the world of literature.

I admire Art… I’m really thankful that he wrote this graphic narrative, and I really enjoyed it. Best “school forced” book I’ve ever read 🙂

Taken & Decorated  by Celli Ra

Taken & Decorated by Celli Ra


Murder Simulators

This generation has been shaken by violent cases of child murderers that is hard for our minds to comprehend, or to accept. How can a naive child or young adult commit such a crime? Where do they get the idea? Where do they learn it from? Sure, some say that our world has just become corrupted, and that because all men are evil, violence is bound to happen. But how can we explain kids killing their parents, classmates, and society? There is no way to fully understand why kids of this generation have become so interested in violence, gun violence, and crime; however, there is one factor that has been a strong contributor.

In Practical Argument: A Text and Anthology by Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell, John Leo writes that “Piolets train on flight simulators, drivers on driving simulators, and now we have our children on murder simulators.” This murder simulator that Leo refers to are violent video games. Those video games that used to exist to kill fictional “monsters” and “evil characters,” rapidly are becoming more and more adapted to real life. Some videogames even have the ability to just shoot innocent civilians and police officers for no reason. These violent videogames train children into thinking that killing is a casual and nonchalant game.

Violent videogames are fine when they keep the line between fantasy and reality. In fact, those videogames can help a child release his/or her stress; or, help him release inner violence in a safe way. However, as more and more violent videogames cross the line of fantasy and step into a real world with real people and realistic sound effects, the player’s conscience becomes more adapted to killing, and becomes more willing to kill.

We have to keep in mind that children’s minds are young and developing. They learn at a fast rate, and they soak in information and knowledge like a sponge. Introducing these violent videogames to them is basically saying “hey, its okay to kill police officers and your neighbors…” Their consciences are too young to decipher what is right from wrong. They will follow after what is provided to them before their eyes.

Going back to Leo’s statement: “Piolets train on flight simulators, drivers on driving simulators, and now we have our children on murder simulators.” Let us strongly oppose putting kids on murder simulators. Those kids are the future of the next generation, and the world we will be living in. The Connecticut shooting, is not someone else’s tragic story. It can happen in our town if kids continue to be trained in violence, and the last thing we want is another tragedy.