Here is a short article that I wrote about the origin of the Joker.
An Examination of the Joker’s Origin
Every hero needs a nemesis. Robin Hood needs Prince John, Luke Skywalker needs Darth Vader, and Superman needs Lex Luthor. If evil didn’t exist, there would be no need to be good. And while there is plenty of evil in Gotham City, the Joker gives Batman plenty of things to worry about. The Joker is considered Batman’s perfect enemy who stands for everything that he is against. Throughout the comics, the Joker has proven to be one of Batman’s most difficult enemies. It is no wonder why people often wonder where this mysterious homicidal maniac came from.
Here is a paper I once wrote about how The Simpsons has influenced modern animation.
The Simpsons in Modern Animation
Every once in a while, something comes around and changes everything. The Renaissance showed us such beautiful art and introduced new inventions. The Great Gatsby showed us a distortion of the American dream. The Beatles came and revolutionized music forever. And in the late 1980s and early 1990s, one family came along that changed modern animation and television. Everyone’s favorite middle class, yellow skinned, dysfunctional family came and showed us something different. The Simpsons has been on the air for 24 seasons, has its own feature length movie, several video games, board games, dolls, shirts, etc. It is played in many different parts of the world, in many different languages and is currently the longest running animated show in the history of television. While people initially said it was doomed to fail, it became an amazing success that has influenced more than its own genre. The Simpsons has influenced modern animation and pop culture through its uniqueness, humor, and animation style.
When artist Mica Angela Hendricks got a new sketch book a while back, her 4-year-old daughter was insistent upon being able to try it out herself. Hendricks tried to say no, but her daughter used a phrase on her mom that she must have heard a few times…
I enjoyed this piece of art very much. I noticed a fine use of beard and black that was displayed so visually. The artist’s name was Grandpa Tombstone. He was a friendly old fellow with a brittle old back. I am sure that he liked to wear hats when he painted, for he sported a lovely neon green beret when we met him. I imagine him painting in his bathtub while eating a sandwich and yelling at the imaginary children that he often hallucinates about. ART ROOLZ!
It began with a trip back home, to a small town in the country’s western valley, to visit his dying grandmother. More than a decade after El Salvador’s bloody civil war had ended, Juan Carlos, a 38-year-old photojournalist, wanted to see how life had changed. Was his country, one of the most violent in the Western Hemisphere, better off after 12 years of war? Sure, there were shiny new roads and malls, but was the country any safer?
Juan Carlos began by documenting infrastructure and families; education and health systems, traveling for long stretches between El Salvador, where he was born, and San Francisco, where he now lives. But it didn’t take long for a new focus to emerge: the gang culture, and accompanying terror, that had seeped into the fabric of everyday Salvadoran life. With an estimated 64,000 identified gang members, El Salvador’s street gangs — or maras, as they’re known to locals — operate like armies. They control traffic stops and neighborhoods. They hold press conferences. They are incestuously intertwined with the police. In other words, they call the shots — as well as fire them. In its peak, in 2009, the gangs were responsible for a homicide rate that reached 14 deaths per day.