Unit 4 – March book Two, Understanding Comics

March Book Two – page 105

On page 105, seven panels play out the scenes of an inmate possibly Fred Leonard or Stokely Carmichael getting hosed as a punishment for mocking the officer. Looking from panel to panel the first one, is Officer Tyson taking the mattresses away from the inmates, while an inmate is singing to him about the Freedom Riders, The images create a distance from inmate and officer because he is taking a necessity from them. Yet, his acts as if nothing has happened. This image conveys the message of many things, such as police brutality and segregation. The dark and ominous illustration of prison gives the reader a feeling of hardship. The bars create this wall between the officers and the inmates. There is also a difference in shading of characters as Office Tyson is in the open where the light hits, yet the inmate Fred Leonard was trapped between the bars with harsh shadows. This visualization allows me to see how police treated inmates, especially during a time of segregation.

Something that stuck out to me about the Mississippi State Penitentiary was the difference in emotions between the inmates(blacks) and the officers(white). The faces of the inmates are very “soft” and not angered, yet the officers are always enraged. The depiction of the faces creates a strange distinct that explains power and authority. Position wise the officers should be in control, yet it seems like the peaceful protest of the inmates make it so that they are in power. All of the inmates singing allows them to defend themselves against the officers. The singing also portrays their souls. In the last two panels, there is a very dramatic “VOOSHH” which represents the intensity of the water. To show how powerful the water is the water breaks into the other panel. The last panel shows his face in sheer pain, yet it portrays his mental strength to withstand this attack.

March 2 inspired me to create a piece of art for my non-textual. 

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