Comic source: Neil Gaiman, Sandman (1989) The goal of your essay is to offer an

Comic source:
Neil Gaiman, Sandman (1989)
The goal of your essay is to offer an interpretation of the comic you choose. As you know, an interpretation pinpoints a key THEME (or themes) and deciphers the MESSAGE the narrative sends about that theme by analyzing the author’s most important choices.
In this case, the choices you will be analyzing are the authors use of the basic ELEMENTS of storytelling, including visual storytelling. Basically, I want you to demonstrate how the particular themes and message of the story emerge from the deliberate construction and sequence of:
shifts in the narratorial perspective
panels (elements of art and design, relationships between image and text)
panel sequences (layout, transitions)
motifs (repetitions and variations)
Your job is not merely to describe these choices or to summarize the plot. Instead, I want you to identify which of the author’s decisions about how to present their world, story, characters (both narratively and visually) are most meaningful, and then interpret what they mean.
You may have noticed that the instructions to this assignment are a lot like the last one, with the visual elements added. This is because this essay is meant to build upon the work you’ve already done. There is one big difference, however. Whereas in the last essay I asked you to cover all four elements, in this essay I want you to focus on the elements you think are most important to the themes and message you’ve discovered. In other words, I want you to pick and choose.
Moreover, I want you to remember that comics are still largely not taken seriously as literature (especially serial comics), so I think it would be great if, perhaps in the conclusion of your essay (and/or the intro), you could take a moment to highlight the literary quality and value of your chosen comic using the definitions and criteria what you learned in the first unit. This will tie together all the work you’ve done so far this semester.
As you’re reading and brainstorming, I want you to look back at the essential questions for analyzing each element. However, your essay should NOT be a just a collection of answers to these questions.
Your essay should include a clear thesis statement that unifies your essay. The thesis should specify the elements, theme(s), and message you’ve identified, as well as your particular argument about how they work.
The essay itself should consist of a series of interpretive claims based on the details of the text, i.e. the specific narrative and visual decisions your author makes in the panels, pages, and scenes in which your chosen elements appear.
You need to support your interpretive claims with details from the story, preferably quotations (although not overly long quotations) and/or “clips” of panels or sequences from the comic, so that you can analyze the specific language and visuals of the text. You should not speak in generalities, but rather cite and describe specific moments in the text (page and panel numbers).
As much as possible, use the analytical language we’ve developed (conflict/resolution, transition, pattern, indirect characterization, contrast, motif, etc.)

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Neil Gaiman, Sandman (1989)
The goal of your essay is to offer an appeared first on Skilled Papers.