Karen

Karen

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

Junior Contributor III

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    Latest Articles

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    Being Above the Law in "How to Get Away With Murder"

    Analyze the issue of the show’s main characters being involved in law yet acting above it (i.e. through murders, blackmailing, theft). What are the implications of this hypocrisy and how can this form a commentary on modern society or human nature? How is the show so appealing despite the characters going against simple black-and-white laws most people have been raised to instinctively follow? How can we condemn real-life criminals, yet root for these fictional ones as they do the exact same thing? Do the characters’ backstories inform and alter our perspective of them, humanizing them so it becomes more difficult to see them as villains?

    • This is a brilliant idea, particularly in the case of Annalise. – Sonia Charlotta Reini 4 months ago
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    • I recently watched the first two seasons again after that nail-biting cliffhanger in the middle of season three. This time around I was quite impressed how the characters really struggle with what they have done. Everything is internalized and they are not as heartless as they pretend to be. They each have unique reactions and coping mechanisms, and as you pointed out, they are indeed humanized because we can clearly see that they all have a strong moral compass. I really like this idea! – AlexanderLee 4 months ago
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    • I think this is a great topic but it definately can be broadened into the appeal of anti-heroes in general and also the nature of empathy. Whether its Annalise, Dexter, or Batman- we're actively rooting for the people who are taking the law into their own hands because we've been convinced these are criminals/conspiracies the justice system simply cannot handle or wouldn't understand. We forgave the Keating five for Sam's death because he was shown to be a terrible guy responsible for the murder of a missing college student. In the same vein, Dexter was a sociopathic serial killer but because he lived by a code the audience could still be convinced to root for him. We lived in his head and understood his motivations. But if it was an episode of Criminal Minds we'd 100% be rooting for them to catch him. The characters who are humanized and relatable are easy to make excuses for. – LC Morisset 2 months ago
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    Latest Comments

    Karen

    I adored Nimona! I think it’s very aware of itself as a graphic novel, and a decent starter for anyone wishing to get into the medium.

    Comic Books, Adults, and a History of Stigmatization
    Karen

    Well put!
    As an English major myself, I can understand why classic literature is so highly regarded – though even I sometimes question the process of canonization that elevates certain works and disregards others deserving of more exposure. However, disregarding comics as a whole merely because they seem to be less nuanced than certain literature/books is a damaging approach to comics that I entirely disagree with.
    I actually took a “Comics and Cartoons” course last summer as a part of my English degree. I took it mostly because I was a casual manga and comics reader, loved superhero movies, and wanted a greater exposure to comics as a medium. I ended up becoming exposed to a lot of the great titles I’ve mentioned in my article, and the course as a whole shaped how I now view comics.
    I also realized how much you can discuss about comics in terms of colour, composition, use of frames, style of art. As an English major, I am used to discussing themes, characters, and how sentences are structured, or analyzing stories through specific literary lenses. But comics have an entirely visual element to them that brings so much more analysis and it was a genuine pleasure writing essays on how these elements enhanced the comics’ stories and how you could read them.

    Comic Books, Adults, and a History of Stigmatization
    Karen

    It’s a shame you’ve had these experiences – and that these people have a narrow understanding of the wonderful content of comic books. It’s certainly an example that helps prove my point here.
    But that is an incredibly adorable quote and here’s to hoping that kid doesn’t “grow out” of comics just because he’s told to.

    Comic Books, Adults, and a History of Stigmatization
    Karen

    Thank you! Comic books have a really rich history that reflects many real social and political anxieties – especially post-WW2 and during the Cold War, as you’ve mentioned – and I hoped to uncover some of those complexities and the evolution within my article.

    Comic Books, Adults, and a History of Stigmatization
    Karen

    Admittedly, I haven’t encountered this problem myself, though I do understand where you’re coming from. When I offer non-movie background on characters to my friends who only know the movie-versions of the characters, they’re generally surprised and interested by the random fact – so that might just be a testament to the kinds of people I have surrounded myself with, and their reception to “nerd culture”.
    As I mentioned in my article, comic book characters often have so many iterations that a single movie (or even cinematic universe) cannot even begin scratching the surface – so it’s a shame if people only look at the movie version as the “ideal” or only valid interpretation of the character.

    Comic Books, Adults, and a History of Stigmatization
    Karen

    Thank you for sharing! I totally understand this feeling of embarrassment, reading comics in public. Like you, it definitely took me a while to get over it. I’ve had this same experience reading manga too – I took a volume of Fullmetal Alchemist once to university to read before class and was so concerned that people were just looking at its front cover and wondering, ‘What the hell is this girl reading?’
    But just as you say, it’s usually an overblown concern – people are usually too caught up in their own world and worries to really care about what *you* specifically are doing. I’m glad you’ve found a way to now enjoy comics as they deserve to be enjoyed 🙂

    Comic Books, Adults, and a History of Stigmatization
    Karen

    Not going to lie – I definitely clicked this article because of its photo, but this article was a pleasant surprise. I really like the variety of films you have looked at, from blockbusters to lesser-known films to non-American films. A lot of the films here I’ve never heard of or watched, so it’s definitely made me curious to watch them at a later date.
    However, I do wish you added more analysis to various films – perhaps pick 1 major film from each category and analyze it – instead of just listing a few relevant ones here and there. I’m wondering if someone could perhaps take inspiration from this and write an article with a more narrowed focus on a particular category you listed here (the interesting takes on symptoms, for example) or even on one particular film.
    Still, great article!

    Medicine in Film: An Insight Into the Brewing Emulsion
    Karen

    What a lovely article! I have not yet watched the movie, yet it’s been on my to-watch list. (Luckily, spoilers rarely prevent me from enjoying movies or books.) This movie kind of flew under the radar for me and I didn’t give it much thought, amongst all the blockbuster and buzzing Oscar winners. But the premise, as you have described it here, is incredibly fascinating and your analysis uncovers some marvelous themes and touches upon issues that really made me think, even without watching it. Definitely watching this movie at the earliest opportunity!

    What Can We Learn from a Lobster?