For this final assignment, you will choose one of the following titles to work with.
After reading the graphic memoir and doing some historical research, you will develop materials that highlight one of the characters from the graphic memoir. Essentially, you'll be "packing a bag" for that character, and reflecting briefly on why you chose the items you did to put in their bag.
You will “pack a bag” for one of the characters in the memoir. This might be the
protagonist, or one of the other characters. The bag should be similar to the type of bag this
character would carry – it might be a suitcase, a backpack, or some other type of bag, but the
items in the bag need to be displayed. Choose items for the bag that represent who your
character is, and what they might literally or metaphorically carry with them.
For instance, if you were packing a bag for John Lewis, it might be a backpack like he carried during the first marches he took part in, and it might contain an apple, a toothbrush, a bible and a book (the items he describes himself in the graphic novel when he's prepared to go to jail). Then, you would write about why you chose these items and what they meant to the author. (citing the text)
Finally, you will take a photo of the bag you've packed and write a brief (no longer than 2 pages, double spaced) reflection on why you chose the items you did. Be sure to quote and cite the author of the graphic novel you choose.
I've included a link to the end of the film White Oleander, to give you some idea what your bag might look like.
Titles: Choose one
A Bag of Marbles by Joseph Joffo (PZ7.7 K74 Bag 2013)
In 1941, ten-year-old Joseph Joffo and his older brother, Maurice, must hide their Jewish heritage and undertake a long and dangerous journey from Nazi-occupied Paris to reach their other brothers in the free zone.
A Fire Story by Brian Fies
Early morning on Monday, October 9, 2017, wildfires burned through Northern California, resulting in 44 fatalities. In addition, 6,200 homes and 8,900 structures and were destroyed. Author Brian Fies’s firsthand account of this tragic event is an honest, unflinching depiction of his personal experiences, including losing his house and every possession he and his wife had that didn’t fit into the back of their car. In the days that followed, as the fires continued to burn through the area, Brian hastily pulled together A Fire Story and posted it online—it immediately went viral. He is now expanding his original webcomic to include environmental insight and the fire stories of his neighbors and others in his community. A Fire Story
is an honest account of the wildfires that left homes destroyed, families broken, and a community determined to rebuild.
Barefoot Gen: a Cartoon Story of Hiroshima by Keiji Nakazawa
(PN6790.J33 N3313 2004 v.1 & 2)
An all-new, unabridged translation of Keiji Nakazawa's account of the Hiroshima bombing and its aftermath, drawn from his own experiences. In this memoir, six-year-old Gen has lived practically his entire life in the shadow of war, yet he is not prepared for the horrors which follow. The graphic novel provides an honest and emotional portrayal of the various struggles of his family and other survivors against overwhelming odds. Introductory essays add additional information.
Flocks by L. Nichols (PN6727.N488 Z46 2018)
This book charts the author's experiences of growing up in a Christian household and community, realizing she's gay and her subsequent struggle to reconcile her faith with her sexuality.
Funhome by Alison Bechdel
A fresh and brilliantly told memoir from a cult favorite comic artist, marked by gothic twists, a family funeral home, sexual angst, and great books. Meet Alison's father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family's Victorian home, a third-generation funeral home director, a high school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with his male students and a family babysitter. Through narrative that is alternately heartbreaking and fiercely funny, we are drawn into a daughter's complex yearning for her father. And yet, apart from assigned stints dusting caskets at the family-owned "fun home," as Alison and her brothers call it, the relationship achieves its most intimate expression through the shared code of books. When Alison comes out as homosexual herself in late adolescence, the denouement is swift,
graphic -- and redemptive.
Lighter than my Shadow by Katie Green (RC552.E18 G737 2017)
A graphic memoir of eating disorders, abuse and recovery. Lighter Than My Shadow is a hand-drawn story of struggle and recovery, a trip into the black heart of a taboo illness; an exposure of those who are so weak as to prey on the weak, and an inspiration to anybody who believes in the human power to endure towards happiness.
The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam by Ann Marie Fleming (GV1545.L66 F54 2007)
A full-color graphic memoir inspired by the award-winning documentary-and the life and mystery of China's greatest magician. Who was Long Tack Sam? He was born in 1885. He ran away from Shangdung Province to join the circus. He was an acrobat. A magician. A comic. An impresario. A restaurateur. A theater owner. A world traveler. An East-West ambassador. A mentor to Orson Welles. He was considered the greatest act in the history of vaudeville. In this gorgeous graphic memoir, his great-granddaughter, the artist and filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming, resurrects his fascinating life for the rest of the world. It's an exhilarating testament to a forgotten man. And every picture is true.
Maus by Art Spiegelman (D810.J4 S643 2011)
"On the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of its first publication, here is the definitive edition of the book acclaimed as "the most affecting and successful narrative ever done about the Holocaust" (Wall Street Journal) and "the first masterpiece in comic book history" (The New Yorker). The Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus tells the story of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and his son, acartoonist coming to terms with his father's story. Maus approaches the unspeakable through the diminutive. Its form, the cartoon (the Nazis are cats, the Jews mice), shocks us out of any lingering sense of familiarity and succeeds in "drawing us closer to the bleak heart of the Holocaust" (The New YorkTimes). Maus is a haunting tale within a tale. Vladek's harrowing story of survival is woven into the
author's account of his tortured relationship with his aging father. Against the backdrop of guilt brought by survival, they stage a normal life of small arguments and unhappy visits. This astonishing retelling of our century's grisliest news is a story of survival, not only of Vladek but of the children who survive even the survivors. Maus studies the bloody pawprints of history and tracks its meaning for all of us."
Stitches: a Memoir by David Small (PN6727.S54465 S75 2009)
Finalist for the 2009 National Book Award and finalist for two 2010 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards: the prize-winning children's author depicts a childhood from hell in this searing yet redemptive graphic memoir. One day David Small awoke from a supposedly harmless operation to discover that he had been transformed into a virtual mute. A vocal cord removed, his throat slashed and stitched together like a bloody boot, the fourteen-year-old boy had not been told that he had cancer and was expected to die. In Stitches, Small, the award-winning children's illustrator and author, re-creates this terrifying event in a life story that might have been imagined by Kafka. As the images painfully tumble out, one by one, we gain a ringside seat at a gothic family drama where David, a highly anxious yet supremely talented child, all too often became the unwitting object of his parents' buried frustration and rage. Believing that they were trying to do their best, David's parents did just the reverse. Edward Small, a Detroit physician who vented
his own anger by hitting a punching bag, was convinced that he could cure his young son's respiratory problems with heavy doses of radiation, possibly causing David's cancer. Elizabeth, David's mother, tyrannically stingy and excessively scolding, ran the Small household under a cone of silence where emotions, especially her own, were hidden. Depicting this coming-of-age story with dazzling, kaleidoscopic images that turn nightmare into fairy tale, Small tells us of his journey from sickly child to
cancer patient, to the troubled teen whose risky decision to run away from home at sixteen, with nothing more than the dream of becoming an artist, will resonate as the ultimate survival statement. A silent movie masquerading as a book, Stitches renders a broken world suddenly seamless and beautiful again.