Reading Response: Remediation Reads

For Wednesday I want you to read two unusual documents. They cover the same content because the second document is a remediation of the first. Remediation occurs when you change the intervening substance through which information/impressions are conveyed.

The first document is the 9/11 Commission Report–a document created by a Congress task-force after investigations into what happened on the morning of September 11, 2001. It’s strange for a gov’t document in that it reads much like a novel. The document is long–nearly 600 pages–but I’m only asking you to read pages 1 through 14 of the first chapter, “We Have Some Planes.” After reading those pages carefully, you can skim the rest of chapter 1 (until page 47), noting the included content, the charts, headings, dialogue, etc.

The second document is a graphic adaptation of the 9/11 Commission Report by two veteran comic-artists who worked for Marvel: Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón. It too is long. I’m only asking you to read the first chapter, “We Have Some Planes,” which runs from pages 1 to 29.

While reading these two documents, think about and respond to these questions:

  1. Where do you see content from the 9/11 Commission Report showing up in the graphic adaptation? How has it changed?
  2. What can a graphic novel do that a gov’t report cannot? Why? What are some of the different affordances/constraints of the two media? What different effect/affect might the different mediums have?
  3. What do you think Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón are trying to accomplish by remediating the Report this way?

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