Week 11 Zombie2

Juice bar at the stadium. Nora’s back story, with a little bit on Perry. It outlines more of why Julie is warming up to R so quickly, even if he killed Perry, her ex.

Perry was a bit of a dead beat boyfriend who cheated on her. Not great odds. Even so the film’s version of having R tell Julie about him killing Perry so soon in the story would not be so feasible.

Movie focuses on R, not Perry. AKA Perry is a whisper, an after image in the film. What? R just likes Julie cause reasons? Perry helped bridge Julie and R together. Something more is needed that the film lacks.

Also, it is fast paced.

In the story of Warm Bodies, the zombie world and the human world have some similar amounts of culture. One way this is displayed is through R’s telling of both zombie and human school.

Although the school scenes are only in the book, they flesh out the setting dynamics in the human world within the zombie world and vice versa. Since R is the protagonist at the beginning of Warm Bodies, zombie culture is allowed to spread in the story Morion wrote. Normally, the setting or culture of zombies is a mob of moaning, groaning, and zoned out zombies. R, however, describes zombie school for the child zombies. Morion set it up with one live person with several pint-sized zombies, with supervising adult zombies by the side. When the zombie kids attack incorrectly, their teacher yells, “‘Wrong!’ their teacher roars. ‘Get . . . throat!’ … He and his assistant lumber into the arena and tackle the man, forcing him to the ground. The teacher kills him and stands up … pointing to the body”
(Morion 35). Besides the gore of being a zombie, it is an ordinary how-to-zombie class for zombies against humans. In the human version, R sees a number of how-to-kill zombie classes for humans, one being a zombie pitted against a human aided with a shotgun and armor (Morion 123). Both instructors yell at their students to attack the human or zombie in a similar fashion. It is both for survival, humans to defend against zombies and for zombies to eat brains. It is a part of the setting in the book that humanizes zombies. In the film, having the school and church omitted from the zombie life returns them to the stereotypical zombie dumb shuffle. The movie shortened the school training to the short training video Julie and Perry’s group see before heading into the city. This training video only enforces the humans are trained to better hunt zombies, in a zombie movie. In most zombie fiction, zombies are to be hunted; Warm Bodies is a nice change of pace. All the film gives the zombies for culture is what zombies already are in fiction, and the little stuff dropped by the boneys.


Work Cited

Marion, Isaac. Warm Bodies: A Novel. Atria Books. 2011 Kindle Edition.

Week10 Mental Overview & Analysis

Thought vs. Reality: a look at inner stigma (of sorts)


Stigma enacts itself internally within works like “American Splendor” and “Marbles”, by Ellen Forney, as well as possibly “Warm Bodies”.


Within both of American Splendor and Marbles are examples of pictorial embodiment. This term is displayed and defined in chapter 2 of “Autobiograpgical Comics”, by Elisabeth El Refaie, a Mississippi University professor. El Rafaie, after quoting someone, sums up pictorial embodiment as the “process engaging with one’s own identity through multiple self-portraits”(51). In “American Splendor” this is readily evident through the many artists that draw Havery Peekar and with the actor playing Havery with the real Havery Peekar narrating or just talking on screen. This is different in “Marbles”, for the story of Forney is told, drawn, and represented by herself. This is a more physical way of displaying pictorial embodiment, through the use of different people or, in Forney’s case, just one person. Both have a similar way of display, in some cases Peekar is displayed as dark with stinky lines drawn off of him, and in others, more clean cut. These two different artists saw him as a different person, thus displaying pictorial embodiment through other’s point of view.

With Forney, pictorial embodiment is more personal. Through out the graphic novel, Froney represents herself through detailed or simpler means. But on page 172, there is an illustration of Forney’s head, containing multiple aspects of her life, life with bi-polar among other aspects. It is like a life pie, split into about five parts, in her head. Like El Refaie on “multiplications of authorial self,” for “there is no such thing as the one, true, coherent, and constant self”(53). This is more apparent with Peekar with his many artists drawing him in different ways. With Forney, she uses her mood rather than different people to depict parts of her self. For instance when Forney is panicking over the appearance of another depressive episode, she depicts her head filled with frantic rats, on page 69. This is brought on by her bi-polar disorder, but the depiction is also a good example of El Refaie’s dys-appearence. El Rafaie defines it as something dysfunctional about the self changes one’s thoughts on overall self (61). For instance, a person with cancer will treat them differently after getting it, like they went from normal to Frankenstein, without physically changing appearance. When Forney is first diagnosed with bi-polar, she illustrates a dark monster as a “hulking mental disorder” saying “‘me in charge'”(27). Just by being diagnosed, Forney changes herself with the addition of a disorder she just learned the existence of. This addition of the disorder monster is a dys-appearence. An example from American Splendor would be the cancer Harvey Peekar discovers right after his wife leaves him.


I wish to research the dys-appearence and mirror stage that is used in El Refaie’s chapter in Autobiographical Comics about Picturing Embodied Selves. This will be applied to Marbles, by Ellen Forney, more so than on the film American Splendor. There are many great examples of mirror stage in Marbles. In the early portion of the book, or graphic memoir, Forney was just diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder, she looked in an actual mirror. At the end of the book, she talks to a younger version of herself, the person at the start of the memoir. There are also examples in American Splendor, like the jellybean scene, about half an hour in.

However there are some good dys-appearence  examples in Marbles.  For instance the disorder monster attacking her on page 27.

Week9 Zombies

“Warm bodies” is a combination of pop culture zombie horror mixed in with classic elements of a romantic comedy. Through out the novel, R yearns to be living again. Like those diagnosed with AIDS or are aware of being HIV positive, R is between real death and real life. He wants life, life he gets at the end of the novel with Julie. I am not sure where I am going with this.
The zombie genre is not a new one, it’s been around for ages. Zombies are often the cause of a plague. Stephanie Boluk and Wylie Lenz start off the analysis with the comedy “The Alchemist,” a Victorian London plague at center stage(130). The plague, as Boluk and Wylie define, pairs its spread with capitalism spread(131). With all the talk about how money is more important and how rich people compromise ethics, compromise that hurts others, infecting them, this is a good metaphor Boluk and Wylie bring to the zombie table. A clearer example of this can be seen in pieces of media about AIDS or other pandemics. For instance in the film, “Angels in America,” Prior was a zombie of AIDS, declared dead before real death, when all his close friends and loved ones visited him less and less. Any person who became infected and was remotely connected to infected were excluded.

Week 7 Mental 1

Knowing someone who is bi-polar, one knows the ups, downs, and what is done effectively better than most. Ellen Forney, in her graphic memoir and though her interview with Amy Gall, reflects on bi-polar diagnosis and the latter, her book. What struck me is that all people have a style that does not truly make them an outsider. Reading her interview is surreal, because she sounds like most people. That is if most people talked about their graphic memoir on going through a bi-polar diagnosis. Most often, people think it is just the up (Manic) and down (Depression) emotional cycle for bi-polars. For Forney, being bi-polar, would be more of a curse than a gift. But what she does better, is the fact that she is impulsive. Take for instance, when she smoked pot to release sexual tension in the memoir. Not the best example, but she took a risk and it worked. Some people are too scared to possibly mess up. The drugs she was taking, including the occasional pot, all interacted with each other. It is difficult to say whether or not a disorder brings more pros or cons… Can be both a curse and a gift. Because being impulsive is a double edged sword, on the one hand you can act more freely with less fear, but in the other, impulsiveness can cause more mistakes. Forney has a list of pros and cons in being herself and being bi-polar. The mood changing cycle that comes with being bi-polar is a glaring con. On the other hand, through the memoir, Forney is able to manage it. The portion of the book when she does a montage of some of her friendship with Greek girl is a good example of such. They went to parties and such when Forney was in the manic part of her cycle and watching movies or being more quiet in her more depressive part of her cycle. Her disability has limitations. Often times, the limitations are untimely or inconvenient. For example, when I’m her long depressive phase in the book, she had to meet an author or artist she admired. A part of her was happy about it, but being in the depressive stated prevented most of the happiness to reach her thoughts.

One of the things she talks about in the interview with Amy Gall, is how the art and writing are linked. Forney says “words and pictures that go together in a very adjoined way, where the pictures are really illustrating the words” (Gall 13). A similar way happens in the memoir. The words of her figuring out her status, and then the pictures either solidify or paint a different or stronger message. Like the part of the book when she goes to a show about a schizophrenic person.

Work Cited

Forney, Ellen. Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: A Graphic Memoir. New York: Gotham, 2012. Print.

Gall, Amy. “Ellen Forney: Losing One’s Marbles.” Lambda Literary. Lambda Literary, 16 Dec. 2012. Web. 27 Feb. 2015

Week 6 AIDS/HIV 3

AIDS has a handful of metaphors that are applied to it in the study of literature. Susan Sontag analyses AIDS in relation to cancer and a little bit to other epidemic misfortunes. It is like the movies and series with creatures from the deep, or aliens that are a possible death threat to humanity. Humans, in both these regards, react the same way. They kill it or isolate it, as much as humanely possible.

In Angels in America, Roy’s hospital charts say he has liver cancer. Belize, like any self-respecting nurse, tells Roy’s doctor he must be lost, wrong floor. The doctor insists and Belize backs down. The idea of covering up the AIDS was Roy’s. He did a typical human thing. According to all the stigma articles, before clear understanding is a state of sheer panic. Like the some of the United State’s reaction to the Ebola outbreak in Africa. We did not know enough, thus all people infected was marked with stigma. In film works such as “Angels in America” and “And the Band Played On”, stigma hit much faster than understanding and diagnosis. All people thought to have AIDS were isolated. It is having the affect of some people passing for healthy. Sontag states “People are losing their jobs when it is learned that they are HIV-positive” despite that being illegal (155). Even through AIDS and HIV do not truly affect appearance (as it does with race issues) it has a way of branding someone as unwanted and useless. In resisting this stigma, it moves faster to both self and others nearby. That is in Roy’s case. He rejects that he has AIDS. The self stigma he has shows as he talks to Belize in the hospital when first admitted. For one, Roy places himself higher than Belize, with a variety of insults. However, when Belize starts to leave the room, Roy gives out some compliments. Granted the compliments are surrounded by insults, but the stigma reaches in him to reveal a form of isolation. The character would defend and say that his isolation was from his divorce or from the impending disbarment of being a lawyer. He would say anything, but the diagnosis of AIDS. Unlike Roy, Prior was already filled with some stigma by being gay, and having AIDS was not so much increasing it. The stigma of AIDS is associated with homosexuals, in the United States. AIDS was slowly killing him physically. Whereas for Roy, it was physically and socially.

During some tough times when Prior is really sick, he has some visits from his previous Prior lives and the American Angel. Prior tells these dreams, at least the major visit of the angel, to Belize. Skeptical, Belize turns the dreams into a mental reasoning of dealing with Louis leaving. Just as in Prior’s retelling of his “wet dream” that God had left the angels. The angel tells him to stop moving, go back and not forward. Belize reasons this out as being Prior wanting Louis. If Belize had not done so in the film, critics would have analyzed it as such anyway. Louis could not handle Prior being ill, just as God, in Prior’s vision or dream, had left the angels and humanity. Sontag notes in her stigma analysis that “diseases … arouse feelings of shame, AIDS is often a secret… a cancer diagnosis [is] frequently concealed from patients by their families; an AIDS diagnosis is at least as often concealed from their families by patients” (156). So it stands to reason, Roy forcing his doctor to put liver cancer as a diagnosis. In the film And the Band Played On, many people hid their AIDS diagnosis. An airplane attendant is blamed for spreading AIDS. Not only did he hide the diagnosis from his lovers, even though the disease was not fully comprehended, he dodges the doctors from Center of Disease Control. AIDS was new and foreign, therefore having it brought down status and worth. Roy, from Angels In America, knew this. From his denial argument with his doctor, Roy lists reasons to counter lowering of status. He is not gay, not poor, not a drug user, or at least so he says. He is preventing loss of status as a lawyer. And as for the airplane attendant, from And the Band Played On, he dismisses the illness to continue having a string of lovers. When coming to terms with the illness, both Roy and the airplane attendant accept the truth. Airplane attendant allows himself to be questioned and tested by the Center of Disease Control. And Roy pulls strings for a stash of AZT drugs and avoids cancer treatment. By doing this, both accept their dying social status or have “a social death [before] the physical one” (Sontag 155). All of this can be used to cancer, but I focused on AIDS. Although, through contemplating this stigma of disease can be applied to metal illness as well. It is not normal; therefore it is ostracized and filled with stigma.

Work Cited

Angels in America. By Tony Kushner. Prod. Freida Lee. Mock. Dir.     Freida Lee. Mock. HBO Films, 2006.

And the Band Played On. HBO Home Video, 2001. Film.

Sontag, Susan. “AIDS and its Metaphors.”  The Disability Studies Reader. Ed. Lennard Davis. New York: Routledge, 2006.


Week 5 HIV 2

The word different is defined as follows, not the normal happen stance. It is the opposite of normal, the word different. For normal sweet innocent people, the word different can be similar to the word special. Special is made of gold bricks with fairy dust in the cracks. For instance that star athlete on the football team, he is special and different from the crowd. This is not the case for other people, like ones who are homosexual and ones with HIV or AIDS. To them, the word different is made of toxic waste. Straight healthy people are repelled by them. It is a reoccurrence of history as when whites treated blacks and a section of other minorities as lower. Granted it still happens, but to a lesser degree.

Angels in America is about several groups of people. Their story lines all seem isolated, but their interaction pushes the plot forward. First there is Proir and Louis, a semi-open homosexual couple; then Joe and Harper, a closeted homosexual married to a pill popping wife; and then Roy, Hannah, and Belize also have their respective storylines that also cross the first two and vise versa. The story lines start out with Louis’ grandmother’s funeral and Proir giving him the news that he has AIDS. For Joe and Roy, a job opening in Washington DC is available for Joe. And later on, Roy is also diagnosed by his doctor to have AIDS.

This version of different is often dubbed as stigma, filled with a variety of stereotypes from different events and cultures.

In the event Proir experiences near death from the cause of AIDS in his and Louis’ apartment, Louis contemplates leaving Proir. Prior is sent to the hospital. Louis does stay be his side for awhile but leaves and has a sexual escapade in the park in the dark. Stigma in both Isak Niehaus’ article and previous stigma study articles, would define Louis as someone who is repelled by Proir for his condition of AIDS. Just as a racist old white guy would run away at the sight of a black guy. However, a better case would be that Louis is just scare of Prior dying. He is afraid of his heart being damaged from the pain of the possible death of Prior. This action, in a way, the departure of Louis further spirals Prior into a death like state of thinking. He was “dead before death” as said in the production and in Niehaus’ stigma article.

Through Louis does come back to Prior in the end. Although it is after he has a relationship with Joe and Prior recovers from being in Heaven, Louis has a change of heart and goes back to Prior. It was the relationship with Joe that may have tipped him back to his last boyfriend.

In the production of Angels in America, boundaries of the homosexual culture are flexed within the realms of fiction.

Roy has a similar reaction to getting diagnosed by his doctor of AIDS, as Louis has when he admits Proir to the hospital. They both experience shock and denial, which quickly follows. Roy demands, dares him rather to say the current homosexual one, a new diagnosis from his AIDS. His denial speech involves social standing being the reason he does not have AIDS, and has liver cancer. His reasons list as being a straight person with power, or “clout”. Worthless people, gay people, are unworthy of living in his eyes and therefore are the ones worthy of HIV infection. As if having liver cancer was more manly than facing the truth of both conditions as true. Roy is washing his hands clean of the toxic waste definition of different. His clout argument is like saying the toxic waste version of different is no way comparable with the shiny gold bricks version of different.

In Niehaus’ article, the beginning of it can be compared to Louis’ spoken reason for leaving Proir. All of the stench of the excrement getting worse, was one of Louis’ reasons that he mentions to Belize, a nurse former drag queen friend of theirs. Disease can be horrific, as with the Ebola example in the film “And the Band Played On.” Those who are alive and healthy, do not want the toxic waste enzyme to be caught on them, causing death to happen to them. Just as Roy wishs he had no contact with HIV. As clearly shown in his visit to his doctor. Cancer in his mind is at least curable. Where as AIDS is not. AIDS is both a death of the physical kind and social. Therefore, Roy argues at the office that he has just liver cancer, that way he has hope of life, both for his body and to retain his “clout” or powerful social status. Had Roy been given this diagnosis of AIDS in South Africa, in Niehaus’ stigma article, he may argue for being homosexual rather than heterosexual. Niehaus highlights the culture of South Africa has AIDS spread purely though heterosexual sex. For there it is pushed to have many partners, Niehaus reports. This fact was also displayed in “And the Band Played On” when the bathhouses were investigated, but for many homosexual partners instead of heterosexual.

The battle of sexuality differs as each culture dictates. In Angels in America, Joe fights with being homosexual. To help along this realization to the audience was introduced to Harper and Prior’s interaction in a dream like state.

Work Cited

Angels in America. By Tony Kushner. Prod. Freida Lee. Mock. Dir.     Freida Lee. Mock. HBO Films, 2006.

And the Band Played On. HBO Home Video, 2001. Film.

Niehaus, Isak. “Death Before Dying.” Journal of South African Studies 33.4 (2007):845-860.

Week 4 CancerReflect

“The Fault in Our Stars” and “Tig Notaro Live” are both up front with cancer. It’s there, it sucks, and death will mostly likely follow, along the introductory lines Hazel says in the film. And the first thing Notaro says in the podcast is, “Good evening, Hello, I have cancer. How are you?” The audience laughs, and Notaro repeats the diagnosis, which goes into the infamous “tragedy plus time equals comedy,” but she mentions through out her act that she’s “at tragedy”.

The story for Hazel in “The Fault in Our Stars” starts with having had cancer for a handful of years. Cancer is not new, and she’s ultimately resigned to inevitable death. The film shows Hazel as so through her dialogue about realty TV and a montage of her lounging about. Tig Notaro takes a similar stance, when she retells events around her cancer diagnosis. Some of her family found out about it and decided to live with her for comfort and support. “I’m not doing anything,” Notaro states, “instead of doing nothing on the couch, I’m going to be doing nothing on the couch with cancer”. Both Notaro and Hazel come right out with it, they have cancer. Yet they have different ways of coping with it. Hazel has resigned to it, at the start, and Notaro flashes it in font of everyone, with humor. The humor Notaro uses for her stories of misfortune in the podcast diverts some of the harsh reality of it all. Although, Hazel and Gus do not use humor to divert the fatalism of cancer that Hazel has fallen into at the beginning of the film, “The Fault in Our Stars.” Instead Gus manages to have a carpe diem attitude. He would put a cigarette in his mouth through out the film. It was a metaphor, he explains to Hazel, of putting something that can kill you but not letting it right between your teeth. Notaro, however, does not dramatically let cancer depression take over her life, as she states with the couch siting with cancer. Nothing has changed, I still do things, but with a cancer diagnosis.

In terms of audience, “The Fault in Our Stars” has a dramatic love story with cancer lurking in the corner, and Notaro has some stories and jokes. Notaro is an adult faced with cancer, so coping with jokes and ridiculous stories can distance the realty of cancer. However, Hazel puts on a brave face with cancer. She acts as if cancer is a part of her, but changed her to be in a reality separate from the cancer-free one. For example when Gus asks her story, and she automatically talks about the journey of cancer. This is not just because of them meeting at the cancer support group. By explaining her story in relation to cancer, Hazel has accepted the cancer world versus a normal one. Cancer is a classification of being, just as being white or black is a classification of skin color and race. Notaro defines cancer more as a disease. She does this in illustrating her intestinal track disease, C. diff, in her fad diet joke. Someone complimented her flat stomach, so Notaro refers them to the C. diff. diet. It is as if someone asked Hazel her oxygen tubing is a great necklace, and her response being she got it from lung cancer jewelry store; it is located down cancer avenue by fatalism alley. This is, of course, to draw parallels with Notaro, despite the lack of humor in “The Fault in Our Stars” versus the “Tig Notaro Live” which is full of humor.

Cancer is not something to take lightly, which both Notaro and Hazel realize. In some points of Notaro’s set, she does have the tone of disbelief. She lays out the stories, C. diff, to Mom dying, to break up, to – cancer. One bad event after another, but she takes it with some fighting spirit. “Maybe I can handle this,” she affirms shortly afterward. For Hazel, she was already in a state of some acceptance about her cancer. However, the film progresses plot to which Hazel does not let her cancer limit her actions. For insistence, the scene of the Anne Frank House with all the stairs and smaller stairs scenes like before support group at the church. She was out of breath, having to recover each flight of steps, but she kept at it. A more physical metaphoric example than Notaro’s series of stories, but both dealt a series of blows to the human psyche and body.

work cited

The Fault in Our Stars. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, 2014. Film.

Notaro, Tig. “Live.” Grooveshark. Web. 8 Feb. 2015. .

Week4 AIDS1

And the Band Played On is a story of damned if you do, damned if you do not.

When HIV and /or AIDS is discovered, no one – especially the gay community – wanted to acknowledge how the disease spread, mainly because change and prevention cost money. The plot of And the Band Played On in a nutshell. That and proving it’s existence requires proof it exists and behavior is so – like when the scientists try to get a list of blood donor names to prove AIDS can be blood transferred to others but need proof of such for names.

While the crack team in France and CDC in the United States figure out HIV and AIDS, the gay community through out the US has a civil rights movement. They had enough stigma and isolation from the “normal” world. Angelo A. Alonzo and Nancy R. Reynolds, professors of sociology at Ohio State University, analyzed stigma in relation to HIV and AIDS. Alonzo and Reynolds imply that had the AIDS epidemic started more so in heterosexual whites, HIV and AIDS would not have had shown negative light on homosexual males. Worse, with “intravenous drug users” in the mix with being affected (Alonzo and Reynolds 303) and fewer women (in film), HIV and AIDS stigma will stay a “negative societal response… [and] play a critical role in the experiences of individuals infected with the virus” (Alonzo and Reynolds 303). To this day, one will see advertisements in bus, trains, and else where in cities of a stereotype homosexual male telling others to get tested for HIV and AIDS. They are not very prevalent as it would have been in the film’s time, but the stigma formed then is still around as public culture knowledge.

Work Cited

Alonzo, Angelo and Nancy Reynolds. “Stigma, HIV and AIDS.”  Social Science Medicine 41.3 (1995): 303-315. Web.

And the Band Played On. HBO Home Video, 2001. Film.

Week 3 Cancer2

If anything can be learned from studying cancer, it is that it is an invisible death. In the film, The Fault in Our Stars, cancer created pain to Hazel and Augustus. But it also was painless when Augustas discovered cancer riddled through out him. In Lorde’s “Cancer Journal,” Lorde shows misery in the entries she showcases. She talks about misery and how the day passes. This does not happen in “Fault in Our Stars.” The film does start with some day passing. Hazel takes it one day at a time, with Realty tv and reading the same book over and over. She was accepting death, as she so narrates. Augustus breaks this cycle of hers. Lorde does not show a full break in day passing depression. Augustus and Hazel toss depression out the window. If their visit to Amsterdam is not enough evidence, then the film requires more tissues.


Patty Campbell wrote an article on death in young adult fiction. It is a short article, granted, but for those wishes death away from the young, it does highlight some truths that made viewing “The Fault in Our Stars” bearable. Death, Campbell simply states, heightens life and the urgency to experience it. For some reason or other, death can help young adult fiction be adult. There can be urgency to experience meeting one’s favorite author, as Hazel does in the film, but less for Lorde in her passing days in journal entries. Both works are on a roller coaster of death’s creation. They have their highs and lows. Lorde with a low taking treatment or “poison,” and a high in publishing a book, but there is no urgency, a sharp fall and rise in the roller coaster. For Lorde, life ebbed and flowed back and forth, like waves on a beach. However, life was not so in the film.


Work Cited

The Fault in Our Stars. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, 2014. Film.


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