This cartoon was written by Chris Kok published on "Bokbluster" on August 29, 2013. In fact, this cartoon was triggered by the performance of twerking by Mylie Cyrus on Video Music Awards. Besides, with the escalating popularity of technology, it is not uncommon to see everyone owns electronic devices such as smart-phones, notebooks or tablets. As a result, technology may invade our daily life and bring adverse impacts on humans.
The setting of the picture is probably the lounge of a house. There are three people. They are likely to be the daughter and the parents. It is observed that they are using their own digital devices. The mother is saying "I miss the old days when you asked how to program the VCR." while the father is asking his daughter "What is twerking?"
As far as I am concerned, there are mainly three messages behind this cartoon.
Firstly, electronic devices have already permeated in our life. Traditionally, home is a place for family members to relax through chit-chatting, watching TV or having dinner gathering. However, from the figure, family members would prefer focusing on their appliances for entertainment instead of keeping up family harmony.
In addition, parents, which are a metaphor of middle-aged people, are far behind the latest trend. This argument is based on the dialogue among them. VCR, the abbreviation of videocassette recorder, is an electromechanical device originated in 1960. At the same time, the author also made use of the surprising dancing performance of Mile Cryus fours days ago. The term, "TWERKING", was introduced to Americans after the MTV show. This word describes a person who is dancing in a provocative and sexual manner with one's hip thrusting and stance squatting low. Obviously, the father does not know the meaning of this new term so he raises the question. In other words, in addition to what the mother says, middle-agers are still adapting the fast-pace era.
More importantly, technology undermines human's relationship stealthily. This can be interpreted from behavior of the daughter. According to the picture, she only pays attention to her phone despite of her father's question. Besides, she is sitting at the edge of the sofa with her back facing her parents, which indicates that she intends to ignore her parents because of the smartphone. To a larger extent, this may weaken the bonding between individuals.
To conclude, the cartoon tries to present the negative influences to our daily life brought by technology. Inversely, in my opinions, technology is beneficial to us as long as it is utilized in a wise way.
Week 1 - An analysis of three tales
A story which was drawn by Matt Madden was placed in different settings. It is to illustrate that there are many ways to tell a story by comics. I find three pieces particularly interesting which worth discussion in depth.
The first one is entitled "Template", which is the original version. It begins with a man using his laptop in a room. Suddenly, he goes to the kitchen to look for something. On the way, a person from upstairs asks him what time it is. He replies that it is 1315. The man, then, forgets what he intended to look for after opening the refrigerator.
As far as I am concerned, this story has no significant messages. This is because similar things happen in daily life frequently. The story is probably the experiences of the author who attempts to arouse audiences' sympathetic responses to things that people may forget what they are thinking after being distracted by others.
The second version is named "Emanata". In fact, it is the same as "Template" despite that additional symbols and words such as "GRAB" or the question mark in the last frame of comics.
Although the author slightly edit the cartoon, audiences can interpret the story much more easily because of two reasons. Firstly, the signs have symbolic meanings. For instances, the light bulb indicates that a bright idea suddenly occurs. Therefore, instead of guessing what the intention of the man who stands up is, audiences can deduce that he thinks of something unexpectedly. Secondly, symbols emphasize the tone or the emotion of a person. For example, in the 6th frame, there are three hearts next to the word bubbles, which shows that the person on the second floor replies gently and softly. In light of this, symbols have a vital role in comics regarding the comprehension of a story.
The last edition is christened "Overheard in a Bar". This version is different from the "Template" in respect to both texts and images. The story takes place in a bar and a man is telling exactly the same story as "Template" to his friend.
This comics reveals two important things of cartoons. First and foremost, first person narrative is appealing than third person narrative. Moreover, it indirectly presents that although the main content appeared in Cartoon 2 and Cartoon 3 is the same, there are numerous ways in telling a story. Artists can create their own style of comics based on their creativity. It is indispensable since creativity is the core value of arts.
To me, cartoon 2 is my favorite one. The reason is that I like the simple symbols which can imply abundant messages instead of drawing exactly what they are. Despite its similarity with cartoon 1, cartoon 2 encourages audiences to meditate, which makes it much more fascinating.
In conclusion, symbols and settings are two variable elements in comics which can completely alter the perception of a story by people. Cartoonists can fully utilize their creativity to create a masterpiece through various ways of telling a story.
Source: http://www.exercisesinstyle.com/exercises/ *
* Remarks: All versions have the same link