I love comics. Specifically, I love comic strips, political comics, web-comics and dense memoir comics. Most of the time, this means short form comics: stand alone strips or short runs of no more that six, four panel comics.
I haven’t liked comic books since I was a teenager. I’m working my way back into the swing of the big comic houses, but their stories are typically short on content and very predictable (often nice ink, though). I said this a couple of years ago when I delivered pizza for Dominos and nearly came to blows with a couple of the high-school kids who worked there. I get it: Dead Pool is the new messiah or at least the new Spider Man, Bat Man and Wolverine, but that still does not make Dead Pool a good comic book (to me).
I really like indie comics. Quite often there is a lot going on and they verge on being literate. This is why I like web comics.
So how do I study comics while attending Utah Valley University? None of the classes I’ll be taking have anything to do with comics. I have to take five new creative writing classes. Three will be about poetry, because I love writing poetry and that’s my emphasis. Two of the poetry classes will be focused on production and craft and one will be based on theory. The resolution to my problem might mean shoehorning comics into poetry and what not. That could work, but not always and the instructor might not buy into it. One of my new classes with be about play-writing, so there might be a chance there. The last theory class will probably be about writing fiction, so again there might be a chance there. There might be another solution, however, a better solution.
My senior seminar is meant to package my entire college experience into a packet for grad-school applications. A big part will be my research paper which right now is about Kafka and is really long. And I like it, but does it have anything to do with comic studies? Yes and no. It has everything to do with Franz Kafka, The Trial and reader textual interpretation. I’ve included no comics. I could have. I own a very nice comic version of Kafka’s The Trial, but it ultimately did not fit into the final paper.
I won’t be graduating for two years. That gives me time to redo the research and rewrite the paper into comic form. That won’t be too hard, but it will be time consuming.
(The comic shown here is a Franz Kafka portrait above something he said that I like.)