I had this idea for a church “class” (more like a discussion group) where we just look at art. Talk about what we notice in it, what the artist might be saying with particular choices especially where it’s different from other similar pieces, etc. I’ve been thinking a lot about images and their potential for communication. That’s one of the many things I like about comics – a big portion of the story is in the pictures, you have to pay attention and look for clues about what’s happening, it isn’t all given to you in the text.

The class idea was actually inspired by a piece of classical religious artwork, but I think it could be expanded to just about anything. Photos in news stories, obviously comics, maybe even just pictures people take themselves. For a face-to-face class I could imagine everyone bringing in an image of their choice with their thoughts on it, voting on 2 or 3 to discuss as a group. Maybe some light reading about art and images to help with the discussions, but I could see going without that too if people don’t really want more homework.

I wish I had gone to art school. I wanted to but was told that I couldn’t because that wasn’t a realistic career path. That’s frustrating to me now because I see so many people with very successful creative careers. The internet has made creative content so much more visible and given it such a wide reach, I think it might actually have been one of my safer options! But there was no way to know that at the time so I got a “practical” degree. And I can’t really afford to go back.

But I can learn about things on the internet! And from books! It might not impress anyone else or get me any jobs, but it will probably help me interact with art in a more informed way and make me feel more comfortable doing something like this class. I’m thinking about adapting my class idea to the blog for now to get some practice at it. The problem is, since I don’t tend to get a whole lot of comments, it’s not one where I can ask everyone to bring their own pictures and actually expect it to happen. So I’m thinking I might choose one to explore and just invite people to jump in with comments if they feel like it.

Most of the ideas I have right now are from comics. (Surprise.) At least one is potentially triggering and I’m not sure if I want to skip it altogether or just try to pick a different “cover image” (I don’t want it to accidentally show up in people’s feeds) and give a warning. I have lots to say about it…including some things I’ve said before, so it’s probably skippable. But discussing the image itself and the way it’s been used could add something. I’ll have to think about it. (It’s that Joker alternate cover for Batgirl that didn’t actually get used but is still all over the internet, for anyone wondering.)

Also, I was thinking of doing it as a monthly post. But I already have two of those (video and 3 things) and that’s starting to get a little crowded. Especially since I have a list of about 6 other posts I want to make soon not to mention a much, much longer list of topics to discuss ~eventually~. So maybe every other month, swapping out with 3 things. That would mean my first month is June, since I just did a 3 things for May! I’ll probably at least give it a try this first month.

I won’t promise this will be the last meta post for awhile, but I think they’re slowing down. At the very least I have a review coming up very soon (probably next) and I also want to expand a little on my devotional over on the site I share with my sister. It was a little weird writing about the Trinity since for a long time I would have rejected that language. Originally my devotional talked about that but after talking to my sister I decided it wasn’t really helpful and I wanted to keep it short and simple. But I do want to talk about how my views have changed and what it means for me to do a post like that. And just this minute I decided on my next video post! So that’ll be happening soon.

Audience Participation šŸ˜‰
Would you be interested in an image-exploring class/discussion group? What sorts of questions would you have or what would you want to discuss in relation to images in general. Any specific images jump to mind as good ones to study? Anything else to share?

See ya soon.

3 thoughts on “Images

  1. I think I’d enjoy this. Especially if there’s comic content. I’ll have to think about your other questions.

    Maybe just post the image and then let the conversation go from there? What do the viewers see that stands out to them, what do they think the artist was trying to convey, is it even very good art? I know that’s kind of subjective, but look, some art is just bad and people should admit that. Liefeld.

    Since you mentioned that Batgirl cover all I can think about is The Killing Joke, which is just so grossly unnecessary I can’t think of any specific pieces of art at the moment.

    Though for artists in general, I really love Alex Ross and Marcus To.


    1. Just posting an image is a good idea. I have a lot of thoughts about some of the ones I was considering, but that might mean they’re not good selections for a discussion group. I wouldn’t want to dominate the conversation, so ideally instead of images I’ve thought a lot about and want to talk about a lot I should pick something that’s fresher and more likely to bring something to mind for everyone. The ones that I want to talk about might make better stand-alone entries. Good sample questions too. I wouldn’t think to ask if something’s “good art” but it’s a reasonable question, along with just “do you like it?” Makes it personal right away. Thanks!

      The Killing Joke…yeah. That’s been on my mind too. Specifically the fact that I didn’t so much mind The Killing Joke until I realized how much some people love it, and that cover was a big part of that. There are still guys using that as their avatar on discussion boards and such. Always guys who are complaining about liberals taking over, ranting about feminists, etc. Along with the comments when it was revealed about how they don’t read Batgirl but were going to buy it just for that cover, it’s come to represent a very thinly veiled threat. So the reaction to that image from misogynist creeps has not only affected the way I view the alternate cover, but also the way I react to The Killing Joke callbacks in general and in particular the panel where she opens the door and he’s standing there in that ugly Hawaiian shirt with the camera. It was a slightly startling image the first time and contributed to a creepier idea of who the Joker is, but now it’s personal because there seem to be so many guys who really enjoy that scene, and I wouldn’t have known without that alternate cover. Also things about the alternate cover not actually depicting a scene from The Killing Joke and what impact that has on my interpretation of it, but if I continue much more on this I might as well just make the post right now and I don’t really feel like it. Later.

      Thanks for the suggestions! I’ve seen some of Alex Ross’ stuff, hadn’t heard of Marcus To. I’ll take a look.


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