In class, we got to see exhibits from the Northwest Alternative Comics exhibition. One of the comics that stood out to me was one by David Lasky, called “If You Were a Superhero…” in the larger book titled Manifesto Items #4. In this alternative comic, Lasky asks his viewer to consider what they would be like if they were a superhero. One of the reasons why this work stood out to me is that I think many people have wondered what it would be like to be a superhero. I think that Lasky is intentionally using these specific questions like “What would you call yourself?” and “Would you reveal your secret identity to me?” paired with images in additive combinations to make the reader critically think about kind of superhero they would wish to be. . Interestingly though, this is one comic where almost no closure is required from the reader. This is because there is no consistent characters or story lines from the images. Instead, what replaces closure in the reader’s mind is the answers that they have from each question. With each subsequent panel, the question posed to the reader becomes more and more serious. In the final panel, Lasky asks his reader, “Would you use your powers to make a better world?” This is done intentionally to get the reader thinking about the most basic level of being a superhero, to a much more serious level. Given that this is a part of an alternative comics collection, Lasky is using his voice to suggest that superheroes have more substance to them than what they wear and what their name is. If this is what Lasky is choosing to make his readers feel, then I think this work is mostly a defense of the comics medium. I believe that this is meant to show people that all comics can focus on difficult subject matter, just as much as light-hearted humor.
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