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Saturday, April 14, 2012

LBFA: Friendly Neighborhood

Saturday, April 14, 2012 Posted by Unknown , , No comments

From Let's Be Friends Again

Let's Be Friends Again has come up a few times on my blog so if you haven't read their entire collection of comic related comics, please go do it!

I felt compelled to share this particular strip because it does two things really well. One, it provides excellent commentary on a case that's sweeping the nation. And, two, it demonstrates how important comics are as a medium of conveying a message.

There's no doubt that using words to provide commentary is already a powerful and important way of communicating, but when those words are paired with powerful images to create a narrative that works with the art, the message of the text is able to take on a new, more powerful form.

Using the above strip as our example, we see Miles Morales, who probably represents Trayvon Martin and/or any African American male, in the center of the comic. To his left and right are two panels that show Miles/Trayvon in two different costumes. On the left, he is Spider-Man. An iconic hero, A do gooder, and all around great guy. On the left, we see a nondescript character in a hoodie. Like the Spider-Man outfit, the hoodie costume reveals nothing about the person underneath it. Both costumes hide gender, race, sexuality, personality, intent, etc. By placing Miles/Trayvon in the middle of the two panels, the creators are able to draw the connection between do-gooder, boy, and hoodie. In doing so, the writers challenging America and Zimmerman's perception of the man in the hoodie, and more importantly, the African American male. Why is it that Zimmerman chose to fire on a hooded, African American boy when he knew nothing about Trayvon other than the color of his skin and the type of clothes he chose to wear?

In the end, a powerful claim is made through the combined use of words and art: as a society, we cannot judge a person by his costume, clothing, or color of their skin. Anyone can be Spider-Man. Anyone can be a good person. And, anyone can be an "A,B student who majored in cheerfulness".