Marvel Comics


Marvel Comics, originally named Timley Productions, started in 1939, though it didn’t gain much recognition until the release of The Fantastic Four in 1961. Today, Marvel is known for introducing the world to great comics such as Spiderman, the X-Men, Iron Man, the Hulk, the Avengers, Captain America, and all of the evil nemesis of these household super heroes.

Martin Goodman founded and launched the company (then called Timley Comics) in New York City. He, along with Abraham Goodman, were the sole leaders of the company – Goodman being editor, managing editor, business manager, and Goodman being the publisher. The company’s first publication, entitled Marvel Comic #1, introduced the very first Marvel super hero – the Human Torch. Joe Simon became the first editor of the company and helped launch Marvel’s next house hold super hero – Captain America.

Marvel Comics gained popularity over many decades. Throughout the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, Marvel broke barriers and introduced the world to famous heroes that still influence our lives. X-Men, Spiderman, and The Fantastic Four all became blockbuster hits, and even teamed up with Disney Pixar and CBS soap operas. Today, Marvel is owned by Disney and is still located in New York City.

If I had to choose one superhero to be my favorite, I think it would have to be Spiderman. I like the story of how he became super – he was a normal person like you or me, but by chance this special spider bit him. All of a sudden he has these crazy powers that allow his to shoot webs from a colorful costume and swing from buildings. Sometimes it’s a little hard to believe these crazy superheroes but when you imagine something like that happening to anybody, it definitely creates a kind of dream world where anything is possible. I think Marvel did a great job with Spiderman and it is no surprise why it is such a successful comic.

In conclusion, Marvel, though introduced many decades ago, lead the frontier for comics and is, to this day, breaking barriers and keeping their superheroes alive. They have made so many superheroes household names, and continue to reach out to readers of many generations and interests. 


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The Piano and Pride and Prejudice


These two films are obviously different for many reasons, but they do share a few similarities. First off, both are excellent films. They are renowned for their cinematography, visuals, and storyline. Second, each tell emotional stories that move and challenge the audience intellectually. This makes for a unique cinematic experience.

Pride and Prejudice is based on the Jane Austen novel, and is already a world famous story. The verbal elements are outstanding and Austen’s words remain timeless and classic. The film adds to this beauty by offering incredible visual elements at a high quality. The landscape, the costumes, and the set all provide a beautiful canvas for the storyline to be painted upon. This only adds to the quality of the motion picture itself and creates a winning combination.


The Piano is set in New Zealand, which is known as one of the most beautiful places on earth. The images used in the picture itself definitely live up to that reputation – they include gorgeous shots of the coast and the ocean, cliffs, and other natural wonders. This, along with the incredible talent of the actors, allowed this film to win many awards and gain international recognition.


Overall, I believe the acting and visuals were stronger in The Piano than in Pride and Prejudice. I think it was set in a more notable location and utilized the natural beauty of the earth as well as creative cinematography. Watching it was appealing to the senses and helped to evoke emotions, which in itself is extremely powerful. However, Pride and Prejudice obviously has an incredible script that has been famous since the 1800’s. This helped project the film as an instant classic itself. Pride and Prejudice does use many strong and beautiful images and that in conjunction with the script, makes it a great film as well. 

The Chinese Dragon

The Chinese Dragon is a symbol that has been used since 3000 BC to ward off evil spirits and depict happiness, wisdom, power, luck, fertility, and immortality. Today, it is one of the most prominent symbols in China – decorating cities, monuments, and buildings all over the nation. The Chinese people even declared themselves “Long De Chuan Ren” which translates to “Descendants of the Dragon.” The worship of this creature started in the ancient times when it was regarded as a sacred animal and used as the emblem of Chinese emperors. The emperors even believed that they were the descendants of the dragon, naming their bed the “dragon bed” and their throne the “dragon throne” (Chinese Dragon).

There are nine different types of Chinese dragons. Tianlong are the Celestial Dragons, who guard the gods, their palaces, and pull their chariots. Their main duty is to support and protect the mansions of the gods. The Shenlong are the Spiritual Dragons, who control the wind and rain to benefit man.  The Dragons of the Hidden Treasures are known as Fucanglong and they keep guard over the buried treasure of both nature and man. Dilong are the Underground Dragons and they preside over rivers and streams. The oldest of all of the dragons are the Yinglong, the Winged Dragons, and as their name suggests, they are the only ones with wings. The Quilong are the Horned Dragons and are thought of being the strongest and bravest of all. The Panlong are the Coiling Dragons and are thought to inhibit most of the lakes of China. Huanglongs are the Yellow Dragons and they are thought to be the most scholarly because they emerged from the River Luo and presented Emperor Fu Hsi with the “elements of writing.” Finally, the Long Wang, the Dragon Kings, are made up of four separate dragons, each ruling over four different seas (north, south, east, and west) (Owens).

Dragons are apart of different cultures around the world, but not quite as deeply rooted as the Chinese. The dragon is used in European cultures, usually derived from Greek and Roman mythology. Persian, Japanese, and Indian cultures use the dragon as a symbol as well. The Vietnamese even believe they are descendants of the dragon as the Chinese do. Though the dragon is a prominent symbol in many cultures, not all societies incorporate and praise it as much as the Chinese (Dragon Culture).



Works Cited


“Chinese Dragon.” Chinese Dragon. Beijing Service. Web. 05 Mar. 2012. <;.

Owens, Kevin. “Draconika: Chinese Dragons.” Draconika. 2011. Web. 05 Mar. 2012. <;.

“Dragon Culture.” Chinese Culture. Web. 05 Mar. 2012. <;.

Elements of a Photo

This photo moves me so much. The very first time I saw it I became so emotional about it – it captures so much pain and emotion while saying so much about our history as a nation. From a technical standpoint, this photo has important elements, such as line, balance, symmetry, and texture. It is not only political but artistically correct. Because of the balance of the photograph, Mary Ann Vecchio is standing in the center kneeling over her friends body. The curb behind her creates a line that accentuates the dramatic positioning of the bodies. The eye is drawn right to the center of the photograph and it is so hard to look away from the screaming girl and the dead body. The body on the floor, the curb, and the posts make lines that draw the eye and the texture of the ground adds a contrast to the body lying on it.

This picture was taken by John Filo at Kent State University in Ohio, on the day of the Kent State Massacre. There were students protesting in the presence of the Ohio National Guard and the men opened fire – killing four students. This picture clearly captures the anguish and the pain of the students who witnessed their friends being shot for protesting their beliefs. I feel like it is so important because it recognized the fallacy in our nations past and also shows how far we have come.


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Newseum Critique

I had never been to the Newseum before, and overall I am happy with my experience. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I had been forewarned by friends and family that it could get heavy or emotional. The first exhibit that I stumbled upon was the Pulitzer Prize Winning Photo Wall, and I was absolutely fascinated. The photos were so real and intense. In fact, that is where I spent the majority of my visit. I loved reading the description of the photos on the wall and learning about the historical moments in which they were taken. I can see why each photo was selected for such a prestigious award.

The next exhibit I went to was the September 11 Memorial Exhibit, and it was definitely heavy. Because September 11 is something I experienced personally, reliving the memory of that day is not easy for me. Watching the video footage and seeing the metal from the top of the tower made it so real and easy to connect to. It was such a hard point in American history and I’m glad that the Newseum made such a respectful and beautiful exhibit to remember the many lives lost that day.

I thought the Journalist Memorial Wall was a beautiful addition to the Newseum. I feel like many people do not hear about journalists losing their lives for their work but of course it does happen. It is such an honorable thing to die for and it shows the dedication and hard work that makes American journalism so great. It is very special to record each and every name and show the risk taken when pursuing one’s dream.

The last exhibit I got to see before heading back for class was the Time Warner World News Gallery. What I liked about this exhibit was the global scale on which it was based. It is one thing to focus on news in America, but I thought it was great that there were references to other monumental events outside of our nation. It was also really interesting to learn about how many countries do not have freedom of press as we do. It helps people appreciate all that we have in the United States.

Overall, I loved my trip to the Newseum. It is a different take on the typical museum going experience and I loved seeing all that it had to offer. It moved me emotional and made me think about the country and world I live in.

A Culturally Significant Image

Picking a culturally significant image wasn’t vert difficult, especially choosing one that was meaningful to me. I love photography and art, and I had a few options to choose from for this assignment. Eventually, I settled with the Abbey Road photo – the cover to the Abbey Road album by the Beatles. Released in 1969, Abbey Road marked the 11th studio album released by the famous rock band and solidified their previous success. This photograph is a symbol of cultural as well as a historical symbol in the context of music.

It is a cultural symbol for a few reasons. To this day, tourists traveling to London take pictures crossing the crosswalk on Abbey Road, just as the Beatles did in the famous photograph. There is even a webcam set up to video all of the people at the location, and it streams over the internet on a website. It helped put the Abbey Road recording sutdio, EMI, on the map, and it became the site where the soundtracks to The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars have been recorded, as well as the sounds of Pink Floyd, Badfinger, and the London Symphony Orchestra.

The image itself signifies rock and roll in the 60’s and 70’s – the height of superstars, idols, and an age of artistry and originality. It was the time period in which musical artists broke the mold and took stage with risk and untouchable qualities. It is clearly important because to this day, decades later, it remains a cultural symbol that people of all ages travel near and far to see. Britain even named it a sight of “cultural and historical importance” when it was in jeopardy of being sold a few years ago. It is seen to be a part of English and musical heritage.

The photograph itself looks aged. With todays technology, a photographer could take a much clearer, cleaner, more precise image of the Beatles crossing the road. However, the authentic look of the photograph makes it more historical and cultural to music fans and London tourists, and there is no point in penalizing a photographer who couldn’t use technology that wasn’t invented yet. I think the fuzzy look of the photograph is generally appreciated by viewers. Many don’t know that the historic photo was taken in 10 minutes while local police held up traffic as the world-famous artists crossed the road. The photographer stood on a ladder and snapped the timeless photo of the band. Personally, I love the lighting and the way the photograph is set up. The band is all in sync as they cross, and because the idea was originally though of by Paul McCartney it undeniably screams “Beatles”.

In conclusion, the Abbey Road picture has been and still remains a symbol of rock and roll, stardom, and the significance of a small London neighborhood to people all over the globe. The simple photograph is a visual image for the Beatles as well as for the era in which they thrived.