Am I a Demon?

One Hundred Demon by Lynda Barry  demonstrate to the reader all the demons that the author is created by, meaning these demons put together is what makes her persona. I believe that the “demons” are a representation of her memories and her life experience; since we are who we are because of the experience that we have lived in our life, and Barry is telling us that she is created by these demons, can we come to the conclusion of making a statement that the author is a demon her self?

Barry explains to us every demon by giving us a little story of how she created them. The fist demons that we get to have a look at is the “head lice”. As we go more into the story we can see that for every demon she has a special name for each one. Most of the demons are “bad” demons as she categorized them as bad or good, but we only have the opportunity to see only one good demon (memory of her playing with her friend as a kid). So since we get to see more bad demon from her can we automatically say that she is also a bad demon herself she had more bad memories than good?

Example Field Trip Write-Up on “Paper as a Vehicle for History and Memory”

Paper as a Vehicle for History and Memory

On Friday March 3rd, I attended the “Paper as a Vehicle for History and Memory” event, hosted at the Center for Book Arts on W 27th Street. It started at 6:30 pm and was supposed to run until 8 pm, but ran late till approximately 8:45 as there were multiple panelists scheduled to speak and each had dense content. The purpose of the event was to introduce the 2017 History of Art Series which focuses on Paper and Material Culture. As their flier describes, this year they will “investigate the history of paper and papermaking, how papermaking can change society, and how paper itself has “haptic” qualities which affect our experience and understanding.” The event was different from what I was expecting, as it was a very casual and sociable environment. When I first arrived, the greeters requested a suggested donation of $5-10, and then directed all of the guests to some of the galleries. These galleries showcased assorted paper samples, with different quotes and writing pieces. Once the panel began, 4 speakers were introduced as well as the topics on which they would be speaking. John Bidwell, a curator at the Morgan Library, presented on “Hand Papermaking in England,” by walking us through the history of 5 different papermaking factories that once existed. Lisa Gitelman, NYU Media Historian, discussed “Paper in Motion: Circulation and Authentication,” with an emphasis on the fact that documents do not need to be paper, but can be anything. Alexandra Soteriou, Papermaking historian, presented, “Behind the Sheet: Paper as Cultural DNA,” with a focus on India and Central Asia. Finally, Donald Farnsworth, Director of Magnolia Editions, presented on “Studio Production of Large Format 16th Century Paper for Contemporary Artists,” chronicling the process he took to recreate a piece of paper similar to one on which Michelangelo drew.

Alexandra Soreriou’s presentation was most effective in showing me the difficulty of making paper, as she described her discoveries from years spent researching the papermaking process in India and Central Asia. While in India, she found the ruins of traditional papermaking structures which had been said to no longer exist, as well as descendants of such papermakers. Families who were involved in papermaking would take the last name “Kagzi,” coming from the word for “paper” in Persian. I never realized that papermaking was a process that was so important to a group of people, that they identified with it through the name they passed on through generations. This consistent last name enabled Soreriou to track the lineage of papermakers in India and Central Asian countries and introduced her to hundreds of former papermakers and village record keepers who were able to help her chart the migration of papermakers from China to India. In addition, finding such members of papermaking communities gave Soreriou the ability to learn more about the importance of the trade in papermaking communities. Fathers would teach their sons to make paper, as it was a tightly guarded skill in those communities which made their livelihood from the craft. The papermaking villages, known as Kagzipuras, allowed everyone to get involved in the papermaking process, even the women who did not directly work to make the paper. It was quite surprising to hear that a task that we never think about on a daily basis, represented the entire life of a single group of people. As Alexandra Soreriou explained, it was common for 500-1,000 sheets to be made per day in those papermaking villages, and it was back breaking work for those directly involved. Every community that took part in papermaking, did so with some small differences. For example, in some Hindu and Buddhist communities, the women could also make the sheets, and in other villages, translucent paper was made using snake skin. Such differences also gave way to the opportunity to analyze the environment in which the paper was made, by determining what materials were used. In some cases, the paper was coated in arsenic to protect it against insects while in others, the new sheets were made out of recycled old ones due to the poor economy in the village. I have never truly appreciated the importance of a single piece of paper, and the uniqueness of the different forms paper comes in. Hearing about the detailed processes that go into making paper made it clear to me that we take the use of every single sheet for granted, and each sheet we throw out once represented the back breaking work of a papermaker in a Kagzipura.

I can use the information I learned at this event to help me in our book making project by viewing it from a very different perspective. I can take into account what Lisa Gitelman explained, and choose to create my book on a material that is not paper, being that it can still represent the same idea that paper represents. Another way I can use this event to impact my book is by broadening my view of how I will make my book unique by choosing paper that goes beyond a plain white sheet, such as the way paper differed in neighboring Kagzipuras. While I have not yet decided how I will approach the “Book about a Book” project, this event has given me a different perspective of the actual physical components that make up a book.

The next event which I plan to attend is Part 2 of the “2017 History of Art Series,” titled “Paper as Social Practice, Engagement, and Intervention.”  I look forward to being able to learn about paper in the bookmaking process as a continuation of this first event I attended. The next event is on March 17th from 6:30-8 pm, also at the Center for Books Arts. I expect the admission to be similar to this last event, in that there will likely be a suggested donation of approximately $5-10. Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend Part 3 of this series, therefore the third event that I plan to attend is “Images of Value: The Artwork Behind U.S. Security Engraving 1830s-1980s” at the Grolier Cub at some point in April, although I do not yet know what my schedule will look like. The Grolier Club is free for admission and is open from 10 am to 5 pm, Monday-Saturday, so I will plan to visit at some time in that range.

 

Graphic Novel Wkshp. – Bring Three Panel Graphic Strip Idea

For next Wednesday you should come to class with an idea of what you want to represent in your three panel graphic.   Think about a narrative with a beginning, middle, and end.  Having a beginning, middle, and end doesn’t necessarily mean you  have to squish a novel’s worth of action into three panel.  You can think about a scene or a moment.

Your moment, scene, panel should in some way engage the book which  your group is working on for the final book project. Think about the assignment as fan fiction in a a graphic art form.   So, for example, you might revise a scene in your primary text, or maybe you add an additional scene, or change the end or beginning.  Or perhaps your panel is something like a prequel, or the beginning of a spin off.  You can also insert  other characters from other stories, from  history, or your own life into the story.

While I hope you find the experience fun, you should also keep in mind how revision and adding and mixing can actually be a powerful way to make a point about  what a text is doing or about it’s limitations and possibilities.   Remember how in ABC the image of Chin-kee is a visual allusion and revision of the 1882 political cartoon in a way that calls forth so as to challenge and put pressure on the racist imagination at work in that image and how that racism persists even into the 20th and 21st century imagination of the Chinese/Asian other.  You might consider how your own graphic illustrations might engage something in the book you’re focusing on in such a way that helps make an argument or emphasize your interpretation of a key part of the novel.   Your group might decide to use some of the graphic illustrations in the final project.

one hundred bullies, phobias, and fears

Barry faces her own demons when she first starts to illustrate her graphic novel. The illustration with demons that say “This is pointless!”,”what in the hell are you doing?!”, “Time Waster!”, ” Where’s this gonna get you?!”, What a waste of paper!!”, shows the demons of low self-esteem. Lynda was inspired and motivated by the painted hand scroll. She attempted to draw as well but her own self-doubt tried to discourage her. She made the choice to keep drawing. Soon she transformed these demons that stopped her from drawing into a way of mapping out and working out the different problems in her life. The creation of the graphic novel was therapeutic for her in my opinion. When Lynda started to invite the demons she faced her fears.

The entity of demons are used to in reference to things that bother and weaken us. There are phrases like “inner or personal demons”, or “demon in the bottle” when talking about alcoholism. Lynda Barry adds to this use of the word demon to mean things that plague many children. Children deal with bullies or abusive parents. Children also struggle with anxiety, depression, and stress. Young children that are not properly supported usually have low self-esteem and little to no confidence. this lack of belief in ones abilities and potential maybe the worst demon of all. All the self help seminars and karate lessons cannot save you from this. Turning to alcohol and drugs is a sign of defeat from these inner demons. Confidence, self respect , and a tenacious attitude that says “of course you can’ are fantastic to have, however finding this inner power is very difficult. These demons will fly around you choking you, not letting you take a free step in the direction of your choice. They will trap you and tighten around you like a boa constrictor. These demons grab you and push you into frozen waters. When these demons come for you, you must ask yourself if you are willing to let go of happiness? Do you give them control because that is the reality, you are giving them control. It only seems that they are taking it.  You must ask yourself if you will let yourself drown.

 

 

 

The Interplay of Head Lice and Demons

In “One Hundred Demons,” the author uses “demons” to refer to a wide variety of childhood and adulthood plagues. Specifically in the segment about head lice, she takes “demons” to refer to the head lice but also to refer to her ex-boyfriend. Demons, therefore, take on multiple meanings: they can be muses, dark delights, pests, literal pests, and people who are unkind. As the author draws the demons from Japanese culture, she is giving her own Filipino American spin on the idea of one hundred demons.

Regarding the panel above, the author depicts her giving head lice to her ex-boyfriend and how he nags at her in retaliation. In this panel, the “demons” take on an ironic twist. Instead of the head lice being the expected antagonist, the “demon” is actually her ex-boyfriend. The head lice is actually a way to connect with her first love, the Professor. Then, the author delivers another twist: the head lice is the “demon” because her ex-boyfriend is a head lice! There is a lot of interplay between the idea of a head lice a neutral evil, and her ex-boyfriend’s shared characteristics of being a neutral evil, as shown by how he is nagging at her while they both have head lice, “You keep talking about things that have nothing to do with me! You talk talk talk…” The chattering of his lips is almost like the scuttling movement of head lice on their heads. The author makes light of both of these neutral evils by relating it back to how she was in the good graces of her first love due to head lice and white people head lice (her ex-boyfriend).

Loss of childhood innocence

I think that the  author used an Asian painting exercise called “One Hundred Demons” is filled with rich visual images. I observed from cover to cover, the graphic novel is filled with bright watercolors. Because each chapter has different colored background, even the side of book are a rainbow of colors. I think the story is divided into different stories based on life experience that reflecting back on her loss of childhood innocence, family relationships, oppression, coming age, neglect and abuse. Each of those story is about a hardship she death with in her life. For instance, in the chapter, “Dance” she explains that almost everyone in her family danced with great pleasure. Then a casually cruel comment from an admired neighbor made her self-conscious enough to stop. In “Resilience” she explores the mistaken belief of some adults that young children who have experienced a trauma will somehow forget and move past it. For example Barry’s loss of innocence reveals her experimentation with boys, alcohol, drugs, lying and stealing, and suggests sexual abuse. Dancing was part of household culture growing up she was interested in hula dancing, and no concerned about appearance.  Here Barry allows speech balloons to fill in the gaps to which she mentions in her main text, with heart-wrenching effect. A more lighthearted story deals with the unique smells that permeate homes. Most of each story is told in text blocks at the top of the panel, while speech balloons convey specific details and characterizations. Barry’s artwork is almost childlike, and the uncomfortable of her drawings works well with the emotional tone her tales evoke. In the last few pages, at the end of the book may have some readers thinking, “That’s it?” The ending of the book leaves readers with a lot of questions and an urge to reflect on their own childhood experiences. I think she demonstrates the technique used for the original exercise and encourages readers to draw from their own experiences.

A Child’s Inner Demon

 

The graphic novel “One Hundred Demons,” illuminates many of the difficulties young people face in life. Whether it be overcoming toxic relationships with people around you or stepping into roles of newfound responsibility, Lynda Barry gives a unique perspective on what “demons,” both internal and external, one might face.

The main character appears to be a depressed young girl, trying to overcome social isolation. She struggles to build relationships with other children around her and loses many of the important relationships she does manage to build. Two specific lines exemplify her “broken” emotional state and the way that she struggles to cope with her increasingly grim view of the world. By using the “archealogical dig” method in this close reading, readers can find this meaning behind the literal words written on the page.

The text found on page 70 of the graphic novel, emphasizes the internal demon which young adults may face on their way to reaching maturity. The line, “Remembering not to remember fractures you, but what is the alternative?” uses a variety of literary devices to make such a point. The oxymoron found in “remembering not to remember” brings attention to the difficulty, and quite literally, the impossibility of the task. The young girl can’t help but remember the emotionally damaging events of her social interactions at school and this only worsens her internal conflict. The hyperbole found in “fractures you,” emphasizes this emotional damage caused by attempts to forget, while not able to actually physically break the girl. The rhetorical question found in, “what is the alternative,” seems to almost plead with the readers to find some other way to make the “dark ghosts vanish.” She can’t escape her demons all together by trying to ignore them, but accepting them would only send her further into a depressed state. From this one line alone, we understand the pain of the young girl in the graphic novel, trying to overcome the social obstacles in a difficult childhood.

Further into the text, yet another line brings attention to this internal struggle in stating, “This ability to exist in pieces is what some adults call resilience. And I suppose in some way it is a kind of resilience, a horrible resilience.” Again we see the use of certain literary devices to emphasize the internal conflict the main character faces in the graphic novel. “The ability to exist in pieces” is not physically feasible, but in this case the author is using another hyperbole to represent an emotional rather than physical state. The girl has broken herself down in an attempt to overcome her internal conflict, and now lives in different shells of her former whole self. The repetition of the word “resilience” allows it to go from being a positively denotated term, to one that connotates a negative emotional state from the inability to “remember not to remember.” Her emotional wellbeing is further at risk from this resilience with which she dwells on her difficulty in forming social connections with the people around her.

Elements of this theme can be seen in “The Little Prince,” through the emphasis on different perspectives of the world between children and adults. Children such as the prince see the world beyond the surface, through creativity and ingenuity. In the eyes of an unhindered child, a box could represent a sheep and a hat could represent a snake eating an elephant. Meaning lies in the eyes of the beholder in this case. On the other hand, when such an openminded perspective of the world is shut down from a young age, we lose the ability to see the world in the pure light of a child. The pilot had given up on representing the snake eating an elephant, when those around him could not see past the image of a hat. In the case of the graphic novel, the young girl had all of the positivity of a typical eager child, but it slowly deteriorated as she grew up and encountered certain aspects of the harsh world. She slipped into depression as she was grew older, and lost the view of the world which she once had.

 

Life As We Know It

In One Hundred demons, Barry illustrates moments in her life that we’re most impactful to her. In “My First Job”, she gives her experience in the real world and her struggle to have a purpose there. “Rippy, when do I get paid… he said talk to you”. What makes this interesting to me is the normalcy in it. Meaning, the struggle to have a voice in a place where you might seem strange in. Also, the names Rippy and Scamy gives the tone of the situation and also part of the outcome.

 

Invisibility vs. Existence? The reasons behind his invisibility

Ralph Ellison conveys an important message at the beginning of the prolog, from the fourth to the fifth paragraph, that the main character ‘invisible man’ does exist, but he is not visible. His invisibility is caused by people’s failures in identifying their own fallacies which made them not be able to acknowledge the invisible man’s existence.

This conclusion arrived after proving the invisible man’s existence and invisibility during a fight between him and a tall blond man. Ellison carefully hinted readers of the invisible man’s physical existence by describing his actions: “I bumped into”, “I sprang at him”, “seized”, “butted him again and again”, and “kicked him repeatedly” and so forth, which indeed caused the tall blond man “profusely bleeding”. But the invisible man all of a sudden gave upon his revenge when he already got out his knife and was almost about slit the white man’s throat. Why? The invisible man abruptly realized that the white man firmly believed that the invisible man does not at all exist, because the white man still refused to see the invisible man even he was beaten up to the point of death. When facing the threat of death, a rational man can still hold onto his belief must mean that he is deadly convinced by his belief, no matter if it is out of rationality. Just like people who devoted their lives to serve Nazi during WWII, even if the consequence of them holding onto their beliefs, later on, are proved to be catastrophic to the human race, they were unshakeable toward their convictions. There is no point in arguing with a person when he doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of the argument itself. What are you arguing about? Thereby, the invisible man developed a deep sense of shamaness and disgust—that he can change people’s mind. He even felt “amused” by his innocent fancies and the efforts of proving his visibility to people who do not recognize his existence in the first place. But the every fact proves that he does EXIST, it is not the invisible man himself, but the people who made him INVISIBLE. What a brilliant way to name the real criminals of the invisible violence.